Condover Up Close

Deborah’s getting in touch with her inner child and exploring her creative side…

I really do not feel I have the stamina (or the free time) to compete with BCo’s latest blog post – interesting though it was! Instead, I thought I’d follow up with a brief update on my current placement with JCA based in sunny Port Solent.

JCA are part of the TUI Education Division and specialise in adventure residential trips for both school and non-school groups at one of their 13 UK-based activity centres. They offer a range of activities and courses aiming to promote education, personal development, team-building and of course, fun! Their flagship activity centre Condover Hall, (which you may remember from the TUI Sport Weekend blog post) offers a fantastic range of both indoor and outdoor activities as well as sporting events and corporate team-building. A few weeks back I was lucky enough to visit the centre and get in touch with my inner child, taking part in many of the activities – my colleague Emily and I rocked the laser maze and Grid of Stones but sadly we didn’t scale the heights of the high ropes course!

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Disclaimer: these images are not of myself, sorry!

Having worked at Divisional or Sector level for my past 3 placements I am finding it very refreshing to now be working at brand level and I’m really enjoying the increased autonomy and responsibility that comes with this type of placement. Working with the marketing department, I am very much embracing my creative side, developing new skills and gaining a better understanding of the difficulties in marketing a product where the end customer actually differs to the product’s target market.

A key focus of my placement here is to look at how we can more efficiently market our business to school teachers and other party leaders. School teachers (especially primary school teachers) are notoriously difficult to market to due to the fact that they are either teaching a class or on some form of school holiday! And even if they do happen to be available, you need to first succeed in getting past the gate-keeper (a.k.a. school secretary) which is not an easy task I can assure you! In this market, even more so than in other parts of the travel industry, word of mouth can really make or break your business. Teachers talk. Ensuring that our product remains innovative and of a high quality, while maintaining a high level of service will be key to the continuing success of the business.

A large part of my project here involves analysing how we track and reward our loyal customers. In such a highly competitive market and with many schools restricted by budget and rules against using the same provider year on year, this is proving to be a far more difficult task than I had first anticipated. I find myself regularly drawing on the acquisition/retention learning of my university days while evaluating the customer retention success in other businesses in the market.

Anyways, I said I’d keep this short and sweet so I’ll save my extra-curricular adventures for next time. Jennifer O’Gorman and I shall be taking on Paris with our TUI staff deals next weekend so I’m sure we’ll have some great customer experience stories to share with you – we all know how the French are for customer service!


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