New Freedom Travel Agents’ Consortium head Jane Atkins has unveiled plans to offer members the chance to mystery shop their own staff to improve customer service levels.
The consortium’s 120 agencies will be able to sign up to the scheme within three to six months.
Freedom is part of the Co-operative Travel Group, which operates a similar scheme across its owned high-street shops.
Atkins, who began in her role in December, said: “It’s something we do as a matter of course in our owned stores. I would not impose the scheme on Freedom agents but members might love to know what service they are giving customers and if it’s in line with what they want to provide.”
The service would provide feedback on improvement areas. It will be run by a third-party company, yet to be announced.
Meanwhile, Atkins has also revealed plans to offer white-label websites while foreign exchange bureaux, supported by the Co-operative Travel Group, will be trialled in two members’ shops from the end of this month.
All the new services will be available at an extra cost to the basic package offered to subscription-based consortium members.
Atkins also hopes her appointment will help the consortium raise its profile as it looks to expand. “It’s not a numbers game and we don’t need to double in size but that said, in the last two weeks even I have been surprised by the number of enquiries we’ve had,” she said.
The benefits of joining include the fact the consortium holds the ABTA licence, removing the need for members to hold individual bonds, and backing from the Co-operative Travel Group, said Atkins. All members use a common technology system, while the group has a fairly low-cost infrastructure allowing tailored services to individual agents, she added.
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