Felix: mystery shopping exercise helped identify gaps in frontline staff knowledge. Felix: mystery shopping exercise helped identify gaps in frontline staff knowledge.

Emirates Holidays has implemented new staff training measures after an ATN mystery shopping exercise revealed gaps in the service provided by its frontline staff.

The tour operator has met with the company that conducts the mystery shopping exercise for ATN each month, Ethos Consultancy, and as a result of this consultation, where an in-depth appraisal of the sales team’s performance was provided, has introduced training to boost the product knowledge of all sales consultants.

“It was highlighted that our staff have varying degrees of knowledge – the concept of having specialists [in certain fields/destinations] is good, but in addition we need to complement that with improved knowledge across the board,” explained Emirates Holidays senior vice president John Felix.

“It (the exercise) has highlighted that we need to raise the general benchmark [of product knowledge] because that changes the customer experience.”

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Felix said training was already underway to ensure that no matter who was speaking to the customer, their product knowledge was sufficient, even if they were not a specialist in that certain destination.

“We are using this mystery shopping exercise as a positive,” said Felix.

Emirates Holidays was one of four companies visited on two occasions by Ethos Consultancy mystery shoppers in July.

The results, printed in the August issue of ATN, saw Emirates Holidays score the lowest points overall against all mystery shopping criteria.

Other companies mystery shopped that month were Dnata Holidays (first), Qatar Holidays (second) and Etihad Holidays (third).

For the results of this month’s mystery shopper, see pages 28-29.