Travelcare is collating holiday experiences of its staff to build a network of “Virtual Experts” to give customers first-hand accounts of their chosen destinations before they book.
Customers are able to consult the online database which includes information, both good and bad, on holiday locations and even individual hotels and excursions.
The new system has been piloted at Travelcare branches in Greater Manchester. It even allows customers to talk, by telephone, to people responsible for the holiday write-ups and ask questions of their own.
Staff at all Travelcare’s 340 UK branches, as well as at its head office in Manchester, are being encouraged to add write-ups of their holidays, cruises, excursions and educational trips, so would-be holidaymakers can benefit from their experiences. Details can then be accessed in branches before customers book.
“The staff in any one travel branch are unlikely to have been to all the hotels, or even the resorts, they are likely to be asked about by customers,” explained Karen Pocock, Travelcare’s head of retail.
“But within Travelcare’s UK-wide network that expertise will exist, and this is a way of tapping into it to provide our customers with all the information they need to book the right holiday for them.
“As Travelcare is independent we always provide as much information as we can about a destination, good and bad, before people book. Arming people with all the necessary information makes it easier for them to make a well-informed decision and choose the holiday destination that is best for them. This is an innovative way of helping us do that effectively.”
Travelcare, part of the Co-operative Group, is now rolling out access to its Virtual Experts system across its UK branch network.