Worldwide tour operator Travel 2 has pledged to continue training even more ‘ambassadors’ in its call centre after trials brought in hugely positive feedback from agents across the UK.
The ambassadors – who are experts in particular destinations or products – are appointed for their specialist knowledge after a tough interview process. Once in place, they are called upon to provide detailed information or give itinerary advice when agents contact Travel 2 for help.
As part of their role, the ambassadors are the main point of contact within the call centre for the relevant partners. They have regular meetings with suppliers and destinations to find out the latest news and promotions, which they then share with their Travel 2 colleagues.
Lisa McAuley, managing director B2B tour operations, dnata Travel Europe, explained: “Gold Medal has had its ambassadors in place for a number of years, and we realised it was a brilliant way of making call centres much more efficient.
“Each ambassador becomes the go-to person for specific advice. If a complicated query comes in, it can be passed on to them quickly. It is a great way of ensuring our agent customers are getting the best information so they can make the appropriate recommendations to their clients.
“Also, it has helped us build team spirit even further. People like having the responsibility, being a champion for their product and to share knowledge with their colleagues in the team.”
Being an ambassador isn’t without its rewards either. Each is expected to keep up-to-date with their specialist product by attending fams at least every 12 months.
So far, Travel 2 has appointed ambassadors in a selection of its top products – these include Princess Cruises, NCL, MGM Resorts, Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, Destination New South Wales, Centara and Universal Orlando Resort.
Call centre staff who wish to be considered an ambassador are invited to apply, and then interviewed by representatives of their chosen product.
McAuley added: “We are encouraging staff to step up if they have a passion. We want our employees to be proud of their achievements and provide the best service, so this is a great initiative.”
What the Travel 2 Ambassadors said: “Being a Universal Ambassador has made me appreciate even more on what an amazing product Universal is – from its amazing rides and attractions to their beautiful accommodation to suit all budgets! I am kept up-to-date on all the latest news, which I share with my colleagues. I’ve also been encouraging people to complete Universal’s training course.”
Clare Joyce, Reservations Consultant – Universal Ambassador: “The Atlantis Ambassador programme has been great as it’s allowed me to help the rest of the sales floor to keep up-to-date with all new promotions and features around the hotel. We ran an incentive here that gave everyone an equal chance of winning with every Atlantis booking. It went down really well and gave an extra push to the product.”
Mike Wilkes, Luxury Travel Specialist – Atlantis Ambassador: “It is a privilege to be an ambassador for Centara. The brand is well known across the call centre but being a point of contact means I can help with things like room configurations, any ongoing offers and also contact the supplier directly to quickly turn around any queries.”