Customer Operations Advisor

Real Travel Customer Operations Advisor 
TUI Travel Plc – University+ Sector
Based in Brighton
Full Time
Company Overview
We are Real Travel Ltd, which is a division of TUI Travel Plc, the world’s leading travel company. Under Real Travel Ltd we operate the brands, and i-to-i volunteering. We support over 5000 students & young people travelling to a range of worldwide destinations every year. Our brands have been trading for over 14 years and have established huge credibility within the student space.
Real Gap Experience is the UK’s leading gap year and student travel adventure specialists and has sent over 50,000 people on adventures abroad. We offer over 200 trips around the world from volunteer work abroad, to overseas work experience, or simply Gap year travel round the world. is the original volunteering company with over 19 years experience in providing volunteer travel across the world.
At the core of the business are the values of exceptional customer service, coupled with student-friendly pricing of high-value, unique group travel packages. We are a very social and friendly bunch who enjoy celebrating success (or just it being Friday...) together!
The role:
As a Customer Operations Advisor here within Real Travel you will be responsible for the Real Gap and i to i volunteering customers ensuring you build a strong rapport and meet / exceed set targets. You will need to ensure that all customers’ bookings are dealt with in line with company expectations. You will be responsible for building and managing your own personal pipeline of customer enquiries and deliver the best customer service in order to prepare and support customers during their travels. A passion for Travel and making our customers dreams a reality is a must.  You should always have a play to win attitude. 
What you will be doing:
Pre Departure
Effectively manage bookings for all brands – including initial booking with suppliers, visa applications, DBS checks, credit control, changes to programme etc.  Ensure all paperwork is received in plenty of time and passed on to supplier where necessary
Make new bookings and chase up confirmations where necessary. Ensure any changes or details affecting the customer are communicated and confirmed
Liaise with overseas partners on booking details and build great relations. 
Book flights with the Flight Centre/Flexi Flights for multiple Gap Year bookings and ensure all flight arrival details are entered into the booking system
Support customers in their pre travel planning, ensuring they have logged into their online accounts. Answer all customer email enquiries received into shared in boxes in a timely manner
Make amendments to customers trips when requested and apply and collect admin fees on all changes where necessary
Ensure all customer balances have been collected at least 90 days before departure date
Ensure all flight details have been received from customers and passed to in-country teams at least 4 weeks before departure
Ensure that cancellation requests from customers are passed to sales team and are communicated to and confirmed with in-country partners 
Co-ordinate regular cross-departmental skype calls to in-country partners, keeping country ‘bibles’ up to date and communicate any updates to relevant teams
Liaise with the product, marketing and sales teams
Make editorial changes to the website and online account via Drupal where appropriate
In country support
Ensure that each team overseas is aware and has prepared for each traveller before they arrive in order that the overseas experience is received as advertised and expected
Handle all correspondence  and requests from customers while in country, dealing with issues quickly and effectively to minimise the complaints received on completion of programmes.
Post departure
Liaise with customers regarding their experience and feedback and communicate to in-country partners and product team where necessary
Manage trip FAQs on Drupal system, adding useful comments taken from feedback
Key Skills, Knowledge, Experience and Competencies:  
A passion for Travel and making customers dreams a reality is a must.
Previous travel or volunteering experience with an understanding of the world and what it has to offer.
First class interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate at all levels of the business, both verbally and in writing.
Organised and logical approach with the ability to prioritise a heavy workload and work under pressure and to deadlines. Accurate and detailed approach – Attention to detail is a key part in this role.
Self motivated, and confident with high levels of initiative and exceptional problem solving skills.
Customer focused, driving to exceed customer expectations.
Team player with flexible attitude.
Previous experience in the Travel Industry would be advantageous as would experience in a customer operations role.
Outgoing, positive and professional can do attitude.  
A flexible approach to working hours, Weekend and Bank holiday work where required
Reliability & Commitment.
Attention to detail and a desire to get things right with experience of working in an administrative or customer service environment
Knowledge of databases, word processing and spreadsheet packages
Ambassador for the product across the business, commanding respect through product knowledge
Participation in the Customer Response Unit in emergency situations
Hours and location:
The position is based in Brighton. Core hours are 09:00 – 20:00 Monday-Friday. 10:00 – 16:00 Saturday and some Sundays will be required due to business demands in peak selling months.
Work outside these hours may be required due to business demands. This position will also require you to be on call, on a rostered basis. You may also be required to travel within the UK and Overseas.
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