The Travel Network Group has seen its customer service score jump up to a “world class” 83.9 as it continues to focus on what its members want.
Chief executive Gary Lewis addressed 125 of the consortium’s 920 members with the update at its business partner forum, vowing to continue to “obsess” about how to make their members’ lives as travel agents easier.
The score jumped from 80.9 last year and 76.0 in January 2015, racing away from the average score for the UK (77.8) and the tourism sector average (80.2).
Lewis said: “How do we make our business fit our customers? We obsess about the customer. Having fantastic product to sell is just part of it. The only differential is delivering for our customers [TTNG members].”
Examples of how they’ve helped their members include free direct mail campaigns, personalised email and text blasts, “state-of-the art” white label marketing and commercial agreements with tour operators, Lewis told Travel Weekly.
He said TTNG had assessed members’ needs more closely in recent years, focussing on benefits they want – such as more personalised marketing – by tracking who is engaging with them and finding out why some members are involved less.
Lewis also revealed the firm’s net promoter score (NPS) has gone up to 49%, higher than the average across the tourism industry (24.2%) and the UK on the whole (13.9%).
And he said retention rates of members were also higher than the UK and tourism sector averages.
Data showed 83.9% of TTNG members intended to remain a customer, compared to the 80.2% tourism sector average and 77.8% mean score for the UK on the whole.
“If you can retain your existing customers, you have your the platform for success,” he added.
In the last three years, the number of TTNG members has risen from around 700 to 920 (including multiple branches of some agency members).
When the Travel Trust Association and Worldchoice merged in 2007, they had around 850 members between them.
Lewis put it down to listening closely to members’ needs, such as offering a dynamic packaging solution (Honeycomb) and adopting a test and learn strategy.
“The most important thing is to control you own destiny,” he said. “We’ve been on a journey and shown that if you obsess about your customers you can get world-class results.”
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