Natasha Pitt

Customer Proposition Manager

Chamonix Office Winter 2012-13, now UK based

I knew for a while that I wanted to do a ski season after finishing my degree. Whilst studying French, Spanish & Portuguese at uni I’d spent some time in the Alps and I’d definitely caught the bug. I wanted to make sure I was using my language skills on my season as well as getting a good overview of the leisure & travel industry, which is why the Crystal overseas office roles caught my eye.

I split my time between the operations and reservations teams. Ops was all about providing the essential back-office support for our in-resort teams to be able to deliver great ski holidays. A typical day might involve tracking down lost property and reuniting customers with their favourite ski gloves, fact-gathering for any queries or complaints that had come through to our customer service teams before/after holiday, editing info-pack/app content written by the resort reps, liaising with the French suppliers about phones, IT, or cars and packing up internal mail to take to the airports on Saturday. Another key part of the ops role is providing support and infrastructure at the airport on a Saturday – which is a great chance to get hands on – guiding customers, organising coaches and reps.

The res team is a key liaison point between UK teams and our third party accommodation or extras suppliers. My main responsibilities were making sure the availability and bookings we had matched up to what our partners were able to provide. So this could involve amending booking systems, speaking to hoteliers about extra rooms, special requests or working on providing solutions for large or complicated bookings. There was a lot to learn but it was all really interesting and gave me a good understanding of how everything pulls together to create our ski holidays for customers.

After my season, I knew I wanted to come back to the UK but wanted to stay with Crystal if possible. There were quite a few opportunities to do this, but a job in the marketing team caught my eye. I’d spent a very small amount of time studying marketing but didn’t know a huge amount before I got the job. The marketing team are very customer-focussed so my ski season really helped me get my foot in the door. I enjoyed learning how to apply what I already knew in a completely different way and worked my way up to brand manager.

After a couple of years a job came up in the customer proposition team – which is all about adapting our product to meet our diverse customers – for Crystal and Thomson Lakes & Mountains, which is where I am now. I never imagined when I applied for my first job at Crystal that my journey in the company would have looked how it does, but as I look around me I’m definitely not the only one who started their TUI career overseas.