Every January TUI invites us all to do a Back to the Floor day. As it says on the tin, Back to the Floor Day is about getting people who work for TUI (but not in retail), on to the shop floor for a day, which is historically our busiest day of the year in retail, Saturday 17th January. Everyone across the business is invited to take part to help our customers Discover their Smile as we take them to their happy place and deliver truly exceptional customer service by going the extra smile. Here’s what our grads had to say about it:
I spent the day in one of our smaller stores in Letchworth with manager Sarah and the team. After having a quick cuppa’ we were open to our customers. It was great to see how loyal some of the customers were to one holiday adviser in particular and how they trusted them to arrange their ideal holiday, year after year.
One encounter in particular which surprised me was a self-employed couple who had their heart set on two weeks in Cuba.They sat down and spoke to holiday adviser, Katie, who got to know them a bit better and learnt that they owned their own business (so time off and cost was a bit of a worry!) and that they wanted to see as much of a new destination as possible in a short space of time. After exploring different options, the customers ended up booking a ten day cruise around the Caribbean (which was cheaper than Cuba) – where they would visit six different places in the Caribbean, including Havana for two nights! I was amazed at how Katie had not only recommended and convinced the customers to change their holiday plans, but also at how much more excited they were at seeing six new places! They thanked Katie profusely before leaving the store around two hours later. It made me realise the importance of our presence on the high street and also the unbelievable in depth knowledge the holiday advisers have, of all our destinations, which they are able to pass on to the customers. Overall, a great day!
As opposed to having a back to the floor ‘day’ I was actually very lucky and got to spend a week at one of our bigger, Grade A Superstores in Dunstable. One of the key areas I wanted to cover throughout my visit was the IT systems that are used in the retail stores and the importance of the functionality and availability of these systems during Peak Trading (our busiest time of the year). Whilst at the store I got some hands on experience with the main systems that they use, which was great!
I have always believed that there is a place on our high streets for travel agents and having this experience has confirmed to me that there are still so many loyal customers that love using their local store to book their holidays. They may browse online to get ideas, but it is the warm, friendly welcome, the expertise and knowledge, plus the travel advisers eagerness to help that keeps bringing customers back into the store and confidently booking with us year after year.
I spent my Back to the Floor day at our store in Bicester, in Oxfordshire. As I left for Bicester it started to snow heavily and by the time I arrived there was a pretty thick covering. I was interested to see how this would affect footfall and sales in the store for the day – would the snow deter customers from venturing out, or actually would the freezing winter weather encourage customers to seek solace by booking some time away in the sun?
I was greeted by the shop manager Wendy and the first thing on my agenda for the day was to join the team for their morning briefing, where they totted up the sales they needed to beat their targets for the week, and fired each other up for the day.
I spent my day shadowing Wendy and assistant manager Steve; sitting with them as they made new bookings, handled customer queries and processed bureau de change transactions. I took full advantage of it being a quiet day and used the time to chat with each member of the team (over the obligatory cup of tea!), talking about what they love about their jobs, how the many different retail processes work, and also got some feedback on projects I’d actually made within my first placement, which was great to have! Thanks to Wendy and the team for a great day!