Tui touts ‘revolutionary’ res system

UK tour operating giant Tui Travel says a new reservation system due for launch next October will give complete transparency between its sales channels.

The firm said it will also increase customer retention and allow it to introduce a new reward scheme for holidaymakers.

Distribution director Nick Longman predicted the new system will revolutionise the B2B and B2C booking process, as well as Tui’s entire back office system.

He claimed it will offer the customer “a seamless process in a multi-channel environment” no matter how they choose to interact with the company.

He said the pricing element was still to be worked out, since currently it is cheaper to book online than through a shop because of the service fees that agents charge.

“People understand that there’s a price for service. If there’s human intervention at some stage, there will be a charge – and that will be picked up by the system,” said Longman.

He added: “We’ve talked about transparency and the single customer journey for some time but couldn’t completely deliver it.

“From October we will and as soon as a customer comes into a shop or logs in online, the system will bring up their previous holidays, their CSQ scores, if they’ve ever written a complaint letter – everything.”

Longman added that better knowledge of the customer would inevitably lead to increased retention rates. He said: “A retained customer is so much better and more valuable than ones you have to keep acquiring.”

The system will also allow Tui to introduce a comprehensive loyalty scheme, enabling it to recognise and reward repeat customers properly.

“A big thing in our sector is the lack of recognition. There’s nothing worse than being a loyal customer and having travelled with us for 20 years and not getting anything for that.

“The cruise lines do it brilliantly. We won’t be able to give hundreds of pounds’ worth of onboard credit like they do, but we can offer them things like premium seat upgrades, better rooms, VIP airport lounge passes or waiving supplements to eat in speciality restaurants. But it’s up to us to identify the customers who deserve them.

“We wouldn’t know who they all are now, so it’s a bit hit and miss and pretty limited at the moment, but we will from October.”

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