Thomson agents will have direct contact with reps in resort for the first time from this winter after a successful technology trial overseas.
Every one of Tui Travel’s 3,000 holiday reps will be given an iPad, starting with 421 winter reps from November 1, instead of next summer as planned.
Reps will be contactable around the clock via email, text, phone, Skype, FaceTime and Twitter for agents and customers who have any pre-departure requests or queries.
Agents and clients will be able to make requests about accommodation or order a birthday cake and find out the best local restaurants via the rep.
They can watch a video tour of their hotel room via FaceTime.
They will also be able to use Holiday Planner, the online and mobile app, to pre-book restaurant meals or kids’ clubs, for example, at any of Tui’s ‘differentiated’ properties – its Gold, Thomson Family, Couples, Sensatori, SplashWorld and Holiday Villages.
Tui will also have more technology in resort. Hotels will have digital noticeboards; transfer coaches, hotel rooms and public areas will have free Wi-Fi where possible; and welcome meetings will be available on YouTube.
Ian Chapman, director of holiday experience, said: “We want to take customer service to the next level.
“We have got to be better than Google by putting information wherever customers want it.
“People want to plan more pre-departure – in the trial we had a 50% uptake for bookings at à la carte restaurants before customers travelled.”
During the Cyprus trial this summer, in which 75 reps had iPads, holidaymakers sent an average of four emails to reps pre-departure. Following the trial there was a 40% increase in the proportion of customers who said they would travel with the company again.
The moves form part of Tui Travel’s introduction of its multimillion-pound Phoenix reservations system, which is being introduced across the retail network and overseas.
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