Having spent the decade since my graduation gaining valuable experience at the forefront of customer service operations for bed banks and tour operators in the travel industry, I feel it's time for a new challenge.
My most recent role, held for almost 6 years, has enabled and secured my personal growth as the manager of a small (6 person) customer service team, but with wider responsibility for customer service training for some 1,500 front-line service delivery staff overseas.
Practical and pro-active individual with experience in customer relationship management and the training, support and development of individuals to deliver high standards of customer care, including face-to-face service delivery in a hospitality environment and post-sales care via telephone, email and letter.
Proven skill to work within company, legal and regulatory standards and timeframes, using sound judgement and reasoning to resolve issues internally and externally, whilst ensuring customer satisfaction and company profitability.
Builds and develops strong and productive relationships and liaises confidently and professionally with customers, colleagues (in the UK and overseas) and industry professionals.
Highly organised and able to prioritise workload for herself and others to pre-empt or react to internal demands and external factors.
Strong investigative and analytical skills to accurately interpret information from varied sources in response to claims, complaints and information requests both internally and externally.
Demonstrates a high personal drive with ethical and professional behaviour in demanding roles and environments, whilst maintaining a positive, approachable and friendly attitude and continued support to other departments and individuals, particularly those whom she manages.
Group Guest Relations Manager – Specialist Product Portfolio
Dec 2009 – Present
Hotelplan Ltd (UK) Godalming, Surrey
• Responsibility for the Santa’s Lapland and Esprit Sun brands, alongside the Ski Total, Esprit Ski and Inghams chalet and Chalet Hotel product within the Hotelplan portfolio.
• Management of 5 team members. Responsibility for developing their roles, training and supporting them in letter writing/complaint handling and authorising compensation and gestures within agreed parameters.
• Responding to written and telephone complaints, ABTA Arbitration and legal claims; including investigation, compensation and reclaims, Defence preparation and Court attendance.
• Support and assist the Social Media and Marketing teams as necessary with responding to guests and media.
• Ensuring compensation is kept to a minimum in order to maximise profitability, whilst being mindful of customer retention and brand perception.
• Involvement in the pro-active handling of issues such as flight delays and diversions, problems with guests overseas and crisis management response (e.g. ash cloud, avalanche).
• Regular reporting to Directors and senior management on complaints received, compensation/incentives awarded and compliance of resort management teams with information requests and deadlines.
• Involvement in staff training for 150+ overseas managers and 500+ service delivery staff (Hosts, Representatives), delivering training on Guest Care and Complaint Handling modules for all staff, adapting content and methodology depending on staff role/level.
• Responsibility for updating brochure and website booking conditions for all 4 brands, sometimes twice annually, ensuring alignment with industry and business requirements.
• Liaison with Product and Marketing teams on brochure and website accuracy and content, as well as liaising with partner Travel Agents to ensure they are maintaining accurate and appropriate product content on their own websites.
• Responsibility for workload management within the team and for compliance with deadlines and best practice in accordance with company and industry standards.
• Regular attendance of ABTA and TravLaw seminars and Consumer & Legal Affairs Committee meetings as necessary.
• Monthly reporting of incidents to insurers and/or Health & Safety Manager, with follow-up investigation and reporting as necessary.
Customer Relations Executive
Dec 2007 – Dec 2009
youtravel.com Guildford, Surrey
• Tasked with assessing and improving the structure and operation of the Customer Relations team, comprising two office-based staff, one consultant and one Administrator.
• Internal liaison and investigation with resort managers, handling agents and hoteliers regarding complaints and personal injury claims.
• Responsibility for handling personal injury claims alongside insurers, comprising investigation and collation of documentation from clients, hotels, handling agents and associated parties.
• Liaison with Product and Agency Sales, resort handling agents and hoteliers to ensure accuracy of promotional information.
• Guidance to Administration and Confirmations teams in respect of advising of client reallocations and compensation payments.
• Responding to written complaints, ABTA Arbitration claims and personal injury claims, conducting necessary investigation and awarding compensation, deducting from suppliers where necessary.
• Responsibility for amending bookings to reflect compensation payments and hotel NET rate adjustments.
• Reorganisation of internal data collation to assist with management reporting for Directors and senior management.
• Responsibility for creation of the company’s Crisis Management Plan and implementation in conjunction with the Head of Resort Representation.
Customer Relations Manager, Health & Safety Manager
Nov 2006 – Dec 2007
InterArgo Westminster, London
• Health & Safety data collection and Customer Relations for all brands: Argo Holidays, Medlife Holidays, Jetlife and medlifehotels.com.
• Responsibility for one team member, and for the administration of the department including allocating and reclaiming compensation awards and ensuring business targets are met.
• Statistical and financial reporting to Directors and senior management, monthly and annually.
• Advising the overseas resort managers in best practice for handling customer relations and health & safety matters in resort, in accordance with industry regulations and standards.
• Recommendations for improvements to the product, including the withdrawal of unsatisfactory/problematic properties.
• Addressing legal and regulatory correspondence, including ABTA Arbitration claims, Trading Standards issues and escalated complaints to satisfactory resolution, whilst ensuring business requirements are met.
• Obtained recognised qualifications in Fire Safety and Food Safety.
• Operational visit to Egypt for health & safety inspections and meetings with resort staff regarding operational processes and improvements.
Customer Services Executive
Jun 2005 – Nov 2006
medhotels.com Woking, Surrey
Customer Relations Executive (University Placement)
Jul 2003 – Jul 2004
InterArgo Westminster, London
Bournemouth University, Poole, Dorset
Oct 2001 – Jun 2005
• BA (Hons) Tourism Studies
Modules included: French, Economics, Accounts, Behavioural Studies, Environmental Studies, Hospitality Management, Destination Management.
Dissertation examining complaints and the consumer environment.
• GNVQ Leisure & Tourism – Distinction
• NVQ Level 2 & 3 Customer Service
• AS Level Law
• 10 GCSE’s (A*-C) including Maths and English
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