Kuoni creates trade team to improve service for agents

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Kuoni has pledged to improve its service to agents with its first dedicated trade support team, following speculation about changes at the operator.

Managing director Derek Jones revealed the operator’s call centre would be split into trade and consumer teams from December 3.

Rumours about changes at Kuoni had led some agents to fear increased call centre waiting times and less flexible opening hours.

Currently, some agents book through Kuoni’s homeworkers to avoid call waiting and because they are available when the call centre is shut.

But homeworkers will now form part of the consumer team, while the trade team, based at Kuoni’s Dorking head office, will work alongside the operator’s trade relations managers. Both teams will report to head of trade sales Amanda Darrington.

Managing director Derek Jones said the move aimed to give agents a better, more focused service, with all trade staff sitting and working together.

The operator hopes to “replicate” existing relationships agents have built up with individual sales staff.

“Agents have built up relationships and the plan is to replicate that,” he said.

He admitted agents may have to deal with a different person in future. “We do recognise this is a downside in the short term but we are confident these relationships will be built up again,” he added.

Jones pledged that call waiting times would improve or stay the same under the new system.

“We want to improve our support for the trade,” he added. “The blockage for us was the fact that people dealing with commercial relationships were completely separate from our trade sales support.”

More trade reservation staff are being recruited in tim