Every year TUI encourages its employees to spend the day in either a Thomson or a First Choice shop as part of their annual ‘Back to the floor’ initiative. Having spent 3 months working within the distribution division, I was keen to witness first hand some of the things I had learnt during my time here.
The peak sales period is always a challenge for shop managers, but to take on a relatively inexperienced employee for the busiest trading day of the year is probably the last thing they desire. However, the Southampton manager and her team were extremely welcoming; even bringing in home made rocky road and muffins for the occasion to spur on their key sellers. However, all the sugar went to my head and I ended up booking myself onto a bargain cruise in March. I think it just goes to show how good the team’s sales technique really is!
Buzzing from my recent purchase, I was keen to get stuck in and despite not being able to competently use our retail booking systems, I went on to book 10 other passengers on the same cruise and also made a flight only book to Thailand. Throughout the day, I was fortunate enough to interact with our customers and get first hand feedback regarding our product offering and the benefits of visiting our retail estate.
My most recent project involved how we engage with our travel advisors to promote group bookings through the use of our internal intranet site and how we incentivise our staff; so it was of great benefit to see how these tools are used in practise. When working in distribution it can be very easy to get bogged down in the nitty-gritty details and forget the enjoyment with which our products evoke on a daily basis. Going ‘Back to the floor’ for the day in such a lively shop infects you with passion for our products and refocuses your ‘customer obsession’ and ‘playing to win’ values.