The Guernsey branch of Travelmaker – part of the Channel Islands Co-operative – has a team of five, led by manager Sandy Ogier, who’s been at the helm for an incredible 27 years.
The agency sits inside a Co-operative supermarket, and is decorated frequently to celebrate festivals and special events. In fact, the team’s creative approach to theming was recognised by winning “best store” across the whole Channel Islands Co-op group at Christmas.
This very experienced team claim 60 years in travel between them, though they also include one much newer recruit, 20-year-old Megan, who joined just a few months ago.
Product knowledge is kept up to date through regular training, and by attending educational trips and cruise ship visits, with a special focus on river cruise last year.
Examples of going the extra mile for clients include printing several copies of documents in large font for an elderly client who tends to misplace them, and making phone calls throughout New Year’s Eve for a customer in Australia.
The branch has also participated actively in Co-op initiatives such as “quiet hour” once a week, when the supermarket turns down lights and turns off music to create a more comfortable environment for shoppers with autism.
Despite a very high repeat business rate, Travelmaker Guernsey continues to try to attract new business, placing adverts and advertorials in the local press and holding a successful annual travel show. In 2018, the show was enhanced, adding a schedule of presentations, and introducing new partners – with huge success.
It is clearly a great place to work, with Sandy and her team going out for dinner or doing pub quizzes together several times a month, and in an employee satisfaction score, the Guernsey Travelmaker team received the highest score across the Channel Islands Co-operative group.
The store has seen remarkable growth in recent years, with its revenue almost doubling between 2016 and 2018. The recent closure of another agency on the island has contributed to the sales boom, but it’s also down to this agency’s exquisite customer service, vast expertise and real sense of team spirit.