Published on Friday, March 22, 2019

Five TTNG members share their stories

There was a lot of love in the room when The Travel Network Group invited some its members to the stage at last week's conference in Budapest to share their individual membership experiences. Each one outlined how they had benefited from being part of the group. On hearing one story, chief commercial officer Lisa Henning was even reduced to tears. Here's some of what they had to say...

Sam Fisher, sales, training and development manager at Disabled Holidays, made some major changes at the company after taking part in a TTNG training day in partnership with the Institute of Customer Service. Describing the day as 'life changing' and 'almost like therapy' she said it not only made her better at her job but also a 'better wife and a better Mummy'. Since then she has streamlined the team and has put some initiatives in place to bring the fun back into the workplace. Staff arrive each morning to music and take part in regular activities and games, such as penalty shoot outs. As a result, staff have better moral and higher conversion rates, she told fellow members.

Jacqueline Dobson, president of Barrhead Travel, signed up to TTNG's Mystery Shopper scheme. She said the Scottish agency group had always wanted to put this kind of initiative in place but didn't have the time or resources. One of the unexpected results of the Mystery Shopper checks was that it also made the managers reflect on how they were managing the stores. Based on the first round of Mystery Shopper calls, back in May 2018, Barrhead's overall score was 63%. It changed some of its processes and, as a result, it pushed that score up to 83% in February. "I would urge every member to sign up," she told delegates.

Daniel Radnor Director LoveitBookit, is a TTA member who found being part of TTNG invaluable in the early days of starting up his cruise specialist company. Working alone at first, he appreciated being able to sound out ideas with TTNG about his business, particularly making use of Lisa Henning's previous experience at Planet Cruise. "The TTNG team were like an extension of the business and it was great to know I had the support out there," said Radnor. The firm sells cruise holidays via a TV show on the Really channel and is about to launch a show on Channel 5.

Keith Herman, managing director Inspire, has made use of some of the marketing support offered by TTNG, including the production of marketing videos. "People retain much more information when they watch it in a video rather than in text," he said. "Social media has also become important. It's the new advertising. Years ago we would put an ad in the Sunday Times and hope we got a response. Now we can use social media to advertise our travel e-gift cards," said Herman.

Wayne Dennett, travel and post office group manager for the Lincolnshire Co-op, has been a member of TTNG for seven years. During that time he said the business, which has 13 branches, has benefitted from advice from the consortium's expert commercial team on changes to legislation such as GDPR and the Package Travel Regulations, the possible impact of Brexit and new ATOL agreements. The consortium has also helped the business make significant improvements in capturing data.

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