TUI confirms next stage in systems integration

TUI Travel is extending its virtual call-centre concept to the First Choice retail network with plans for the project to be completed by Christmas.

The operator launched the concept nine months ago whereby calls are diverted to shop staff who log themselves into the system when they are available.

Thomson and First Choice distribution director Nick Longman said creating a seamless approach for customers was his number one priority.

“We’re not there with completely integrated systems yet. It won’t take long but it is not an overnight thing. We want a see-through system so that if customers book through a shop and then write a letter, everyone has access to the same information and we’re looking at how we can adapt systems to do that.”

First Choice shops are also getting web access as part of the ‘WISH – Web in Shops’ project that has already begun in TUI shops. The Thomson front-end retail system is also being extended to the First Choice network.

The seamless approach also involves making the same information on the reservation system accessible by call-centre staff and shops.

“The shops will be able to put everything people can see on the website in front of their customers,” he said.

Longman, who also has responsibility for e-commerce is scrutinising online conversions. Brands including the new First Choice website are under-going an analysis of the booking journey to see where customers are leaving and where they go.

“The First Choice website has been relaunched and we have made a number of enhancements in terms of the customer journey. Now I want to see what the results are. My responsibility is to hit the bottom line numbers so I want to see it working.”

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