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Olivia Barnsley – Retail Apprenticeship

Olivia Barnsley – Retail Apprenticeship

Olivia Barnsley

Olivia (on the left) winning the People’s 1st Travel Advanced Apprentice

I started A levels at college but struggled with the workload and I needed to support myself financially as well, I then took paid work and moved out of education but I always knew that I wanted to build a career and having looked at the Travel Apprenticeship, I thought this would allow me to do that. I now have the opportunity to gain a qualification, earn money and work in an industry I’m passionate about.

I’m ambitious and keen to complete my apprenticeship; I’m aiming to be a ‘Super Seller’, excelling in sales. Being a Travel Apprentice means I now have some amazing opportunities ahead of me, being part of a large company like TUI and Thomson Retail means I can look to side step into other roles, including Cabin Crew and experience different places and cultures.

While completing my Apprenticeship I have the same duties and targets as my Travel Advisor colleagues – there are 10 of us in our team. We strive to maximise sales while ensuring our customers return again and again. I know I contribute to this because I already have many repeat customers and scored 100% when a recent mystery shopper came into our store.

Having started my Apprenticeship I am now full of confidence, I strive for more and I know I can move up within the company.

My Travel Apprentice Achievements

Within 6 months I’m well on the way to achieving my annual sales target and I’m the Cruise Specialist in my shop and again we are performing well against target. A lot of our customers are repeat customers and I personally have 6 customers that return to book their holidays with me already. My customer service has also been recognised, I’ve had ten 100% scores from the customer satisfaction surveys, I think this maybe because I personalise each enquiry. One comment was, “Thomson has a focused and enthusiastic adviser who is happy in their work and confident in their recommendations”.

What has the Thomson Retail Travel Apprenticeship given to me?

I’m eager to learn and like to exceed the amount of learning expected of me, there are additional  training modules to the Apprenticeship which I do in my own time – I am now an ‘expert’ for cruise because of the knowledge I have gained through online training.

I’ve achieved distinctions in my technical certificates for my Apprenticeship – my destination knowledge has surpassed what I thought I would be capable of, I’m proof that this knowledge transfers into sales.   I like to research at home and am passionate about Mexico and I have sold 8 holidays to this destination alone due to the research I have done.

I think my best achievement is getting 100% on the customer surveys, this verifies that I am doing something right!

The Travel Apprenticeship in Thomson Retail has really changed my life for the better, the Apprenticeship has improved me as a person, not just in the training I have received but also it has helped me hugely with my confidence both in and out of work. I’m really looking forward to further improving myself, in work and at home. I’m determined to keep achieving and surpassing my target, and want to further stretch myself to constantly be the best in everything that I do.

I’m a real advocate of the Travel Apprenticeship – I regularly speak to young people who come into store about this amazing opportunity.

What Thomson Retail said about Olivia:

Olivia is a natural at work and talks to her customers with great confidence, building fantastic rapport quickly so that our customers trust her. The knowledge she has gained in her Apprenticeship has given her added confidence, she has developed a brilliant sales technique, and delivers exceptional service scoring 100% on 10 customer surveys – truly outstanding.

Any learning Olivia receives she is quick to share with team. She uses her initiative and offers support and help daily. She wants us all to achieve our targets and does this by helping and sharing knowledge. Olivia is a true Ambassador for Thomson – every team should have an Olivia!

Our New Design Stores

Our New Design Stores

We’re proud to announce that we have just celebrated the opening of our largest Holiday Design Store in the UK and Europe at the Gateshead MetroCentre. The 2,000 square foot store will showcase some our most cutting edge technology on the high street, and is being officially opened by the Newcastle Falcons Rugby team.

The customer experience in store will be enhanced by high definition screens and projections featuring destination and hotel content and boasts many technological transformations including an 84” touch screen interactive map designed to inspire customers before they book their holiday.

Customers in store will be able to view ‘top ten’ lists and live weather information, read reviews and view videos of destinations and hotels. Social media feeds will be streamed onto the screens, with customers encouraged to celebrate their holiday bookings by tweeting to see their name and holiday destination appear on the screen.

The store is zoned with specially designed areas for customers to browse for holidays on their own devices or using interactive screens, they can visit the Advice Bar with a dedicated self-service computer to access reviews as well as destination, excursion and visa information or even book their own holiday – with our knowledgeable Travel Advisors on hand to answer any questions. For a fully immersive booking experience customers sit in booths with relevant holiday images and video content projected on the walls so our that our specially trained Travel Advisors can really bring the resort to life for the customer.

For customers visiting the store in the MetroCentre, the fun-filled opening weekend will include the chance to meet the Newcastle Falcons as well as win a family ticket to see them play. The store will continue the celebrations with our Thomson cabin crew serving afternoon tea for customers who come and visit on Friday, Las Vegas showgirls making an appearance courtesy of Hayes and Jarvis on Saturday and finally a special guest appearance from the MetroCentre’s very own ‘Metro Gnomes’ on Sunday!

 

Thomson Retail Apprentice

Thomson Retail Apprentice

Take the first step on your career journey and join Thomson Retail as an Apprentice.  Once on board we will help you become a destination expert to recommend and sell holidays and ancillaries to a range of our customers. You will learn to put customers at the heart of our business and constantly ‘go the extra smile’ by creating unforgettable holidays that make us famous for service and create customers for life.

As part of TUI GROUP, the world’s number one integrated tourism business, we continue to build a single customer facing team across our airline, contact centre, overseas and retail service teams that will deliver a consistent, contemporary service to every single customer. Joining us will not only provide opportunities for you to grow your career, but the benefits of being part of an exciting multi-cultural united team.

WHAT YOU WILL BE DOING:

As a Thomson Retail Apprentice you will learn to create unforgettable holidays for all of our customers with your personality, professionalism and personalised service. Over time, you will understand our customers and adapt your style using information provided to help you find ways to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. Your growing knowledge will help us collaborate and answer questions for our international colleagues and customers. There will be modern technology to work with so you can discuss, recommend and sell suitable products and services, and promote and assist our customers to self-serve online.

You will inspire and respect your colleagues whilst sharing a great amount of fun. If things do not go quite right, you will grow in confidence to investigate and resolve every question or complaint straight away. You will start to enjoy change and challenges but regardless you will always ‘go the extra smile’. With our support your desire will lead you to achieve your qualification and importantly, your sales and service targets.

In addition to Thomson and First Choice, your scope will steadily grow to include our range of Cruise, UK and other exciting holiday products and with these comes a varied administration role. Finally, you will be guided to handle multiple currencies and comply with the procedures, upkeep and responsibilities of operating your local shop.

Back to the Floor 2015

Back to the Floor 2015

On 17th January, over 170 employees from around our business including our directors, travelled far and wide to go ‘Back to the Floor’ within one of our Retail Stores or Contact Centres. Going back to the floor enables you to experience a true insight into the retail or contact centre side of our customer journey, helping our customers ‘Discover their Smile’ as we take them to their happy place and truly deliver exceptional customer service by ‘Going the Extra Smile’.

If you’ve never done it before and wonder what the experience would be like, Fraser Ellacott – Customer Operations Director has given us a few of this thoughts from the day.. ‘Back to the floor is one of the most important and enjoyable days of my calendar year. Speaking with our front line teams and our customers for the day gets us truly focussed on how we can help people Discover their Smile again with one of our amazing holidays. It gives me energy and inspires me when I see how incredibly passionate and professional our holidays advisors are and my recent experience in HDS Liverpool was one of the best – I think I even helped a few sales on the day… although Dwayne might have a different opinion!’

Jeremy Ellis – Marketing Director who also took part in Back to the Floor this year also said… ‘I love Back to the Floor. I look forward to it every year and the team always make me feel welcome wherever I go. The experience you gain from seeing our fantastic front line staff in action combined with the opportunity to talk to customers is invaluable. I always end up taking lots of insights and anecdotes back to head office to ensure we drive better business decisions. I thoroughly recommend it to anyone.’

Travel Advisors

Travel Advisor, Full Time & Part Time

As a Retail Travel Advisor you will help to create unforgettable holiday experiences for all of our customers with your personality, professionalism and personalised service. You will understand our customers and adapt your style using information provided to help you find ways to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. Your knowledge will help us collaborate, answering questions for our international colleagues and customers. There will be modern technology to work with so you can discuss, recommend and sell suitable products and services, and promote and assist our customers to self-serve online.

You will inspire and respect your colleagues whilst sharing a great amount of fun. If things do not go quite right, you will be pro-active and confident to investigate and resolve every question or complaint straight away. You will enjoy change and challenges; taking opportunities to assist with incidents and emergencies, but regardless you will always ‘go the extra smile’. Your desire to achieve will lead you to exceed all company, sales and service targets.

In addition to Thomson and First Choice, your scope will include our range of Cruise, UK and other exciting holiday products and with these comes a varied administration role. Finally, you will be comfortable to handle multiple currencies and comply with the procedures, upkeep and responsibilities of operating your local shop.

Help make our customers smile and in return you will be rewarded with some excellent incentives across a variety of sales and service performance targets. Additional benefits include holiday, flight and foreign exchange discounts, a childcare voucher scheme and free annual travel insurance.

Retail Managers

Retail Managers

As a Retail Manager your leadership will help to create unforgettable holiday experiences for all of our customers with your personality, professionalism and personalised service. You will be forward thinking. Using modern technology, customer feedback and insights you will spot trends, challenge the way we work and find new ways to improve customer satisfaction, loyalty and grow our business. Your team’s knowledge will help us collaborate, answering questions for our international colleagues and customers.

You will inspire and respect your colleagues whilst sharing a great amount of fun. Additionally you will encourage your team to be pro-active, investigate and resolve every question or complaint and learn from their results. If things do not go quite right, you will be confident to step in, take ownership and resolve any issues straight away. Similarly you will take the opportunity to assist with incidents and emergencies, but regardless you will always ‘go the extra smile’.

Your expertise will assist you to coach, develop and performance-manage your team consistently whilst setting high performance standards that drive engagement, and lead you to exceed all company, sales and service targets. Finally you will be accountable for the balancing of accounts, compliance to company procedures, health and safety due-diligence and the varying responsibilities of managing your local store.

If you are customer driven, positive manager with a proven passion for delivering contemporary service who is a confident and fun motivator, with the drive to exceed targets and overcome challenges, this could be the role for you.

Thomson Retail

Thomson Retail

With 600 stores nationwide, working with Thomson offers a wealth of opportunities to further you career. All our customer facing teams have shared goals, meaning the skills and experience you gain in our shops will also equip you to work in our contact centres, overseas and airline, supplemented with some role specific training.

Our award winning Holiday Design Store is truly a modern, forward-thinking concept, and it’s a combination of new technology and a new approach to customer service that make it special. The shop has been modernised, but it is much more than that…the service we offer our customers has been modernised too. Our customers are blown away by our technology and the overall shop environment, but most importantly they are be impressed by our personalised service. We have developed a quality training programme to help our staff embrace the new approach.

This shop is all about showcasing our amazing product range in an engaging and modern way. With interactive tables, an interactive map, an advice bar, a community wall and different zoned areas to make a booking, our Advisors have everything at their fingertips to convert sales.