Who does what, when?
By way of introduction we thought we’d give you a brief guide to the Tailored Travel team – in our opinion, the best there is in the group travel market. Leading you briefly through the process from the first call into the Sales Department, to the Operations Department who ensure that everything that has been promised by the Sales team is delivered and finishing with the Accounts Department who handle payments and invoicing...
Sales - at Tailored Travel we have always been clear that our group organisers receive excellent service before, during and after every tour and that those members travelling on the tour enjoy a wonderful time together. Achieving that objective starts from the moment that first call comes into the Sales Department to discuss your thoughts for your next group tour. Michael (who started Tailored Travel in 1998) and Damian have worked side by side since Damian’s arrival 7 years ago in 2006.
In most cases the initial tailor made offer will be sent to you within 24 hours of that first call. Once you come back to say that you like the offer and to discuss and incorporate any changes you might like, Michael or Damian contact the various suppliers - airlines, hotels, preferred guides/tour managers etc - to option off the required dates. When that process is complete, the initial offer becomes a fully costed quote including the tailor made itinerary, definite dates, definite prices and with your best estimate of the group size.
Finally, everything is agreed and that final tailor made quote is turned into the group’s personalised glossy four page colour brochure with highlights of the tour, a detailed itinerary and a booking form. A group organiser will usually want 50 or so copies of the brochure to distribute to members at their next group meeting. It is at this stage that the file is handed by the Sales Department to the Operations Department.
Operations - once the brochures have been sent out, the tour is allocated to one of the members of the Operations Department who will be your point of contact and who will handle every aspect of the tour up to and including its departure and return.
Head of Operations, Sandy, who has been with us since 2004 (and is our longest serving member of staff) heads up a team of four. Louise has been with us for 7 years, Kate 2½ years (and has just returned from maternity leave after the birth of baby Oscar) and Nicola 1½ years. It is their job to ensure that every aspect of the tour as advertised in the brochure is delivered.
Each one of them is completely unflappable in their dealings with coach companies, airlines, hotels, museums and galleries, guides and tour managers, dealing with everything from pre-paid entry to places of interest to finding out whether the hotel bedrooms have tea and coffee making facilities. Throughout that process, the team member responsible for your tour will liaise closely with you, the group organiser, to ensure that every aspect of the tour meets the group’s expectations.
Around six weeks before departure, detailed instructions will be sent to each of the suppliers and a draft Client Information pack will be sent to you for your final approval. Once approved by you, that Client Information pack and all necessary tickets will be posted out to everyone on the tour around two weeks before departure. Finally, subject to answering last minute queries from individual travellers, the hard work of the Operations Department is done and it’s on to the next tour!
Accounts - throughout this process, the Accounts team of Simon (who has been with us for 5 years) and Sandy Borland (3½ years) deal with every financial aspect of the tour. On receipt of completed booking forms all invoices are processed and sent out, either to each individual member or, if you prefer, one payment from your group’s account and one invoice for the whole group. Our accounts team also ensure that all final balances are processed eight weeks before departure (with gentle phone reminders made to those who might have forgotten), payments to all suppliers are made and any queries of a financial nature answered.
Delivering the best quality service in group travel is a team effort and no one person or department is more important than the other. The objective is that you, the group organiser, have fantastic service at every stage of your dealings with Tailored Travel and that your members have a wonderful holiday together, so that when Michael or Damian call you on your return to get full feedback on every aspect of the tour the conversation ends with you happily discussing your plans for the following year - so that the process can begin all over again!