The Weymouth branch of Hays Travel sits in the bustling centre of the seaside town and is home to manager Katie Bunting’s tight-knit team of six full-time staff, who can claim more than 70 years’ travel experience between them.
The store is bright and welcoming inside, with walls in Hays’ cheerful orange, and the team dressed in smart orange and navy uniforms.
Large flatscreen TVs play not only inspirational travel content but also team photos and information about how this branch and other Hays Travel branches are supporting their local communities.
For the Weymouth branch, giving back has taken the form of participating in a town-wide Halloween “witch hunt” for kids, displaying one witch in their own shop window and naming and coordinating witches for lots of other shops too.
A small charity set up in memory of a little boy with a rare form of brain tumour is also close to the team’s hearts, and this year the agency has provided gardening supplies for a commemorative garden at a local school.
Hays Travel branches are impressively transparent about how their customers rate them, and the Weymouth branch enjoys a 5/5 rating on review site Feefo.
The secret of their customer service excellence is twofold: Katie’s tireless focus on training, going above and beyond the extensive programme provided by Hays Travel head office, and the team’s dedication to providing the most personal service they can to every customer.
This sees them hand-deliver tickets where possible, and sending handwritten Christmas cards not only to current customers but also several former clients now too old to travel but very appreciative of a friendly message.
Becoming a “dog friendly” shop, with a sticker in the window, has brought new foot (and paw) fall, while Katie’s entrepreneurial spirit has seen the store put up a poster at nearby Portland Port to alert cruise ship passengers to the fact they can stroll to their branch to exchange currency.
Clever use of Facebook saw bookings soar from 78 in 2017 to 213 in 2018, and experiments with posting on Instagram are also bearing fruit.
This all resulted in this innovative branch growing its revenue by 33% last year, and making it a very worthy winner of the South West’s Top Agency accolade.