From hillside hideaways in soaring mountain ranges to enviable villas with ocean views and white sand beaches—wherever you want to go, TUI can take you there.

TUI is the UK’s leading travel brand, serving millions of customers each year as they embark on holidays, flights and cruises all over the world. And with more than two million people following TUI UK and First Choice, a subsidiary of TUI, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, that’s a lot of holidaymakers to keep track of.

TUI UK’s social media networks are an essential connection point between the brand and its customers. On one side of social, the brand team prioritizes engagement, reaching new audiences, promoting their offerings and creating transparent content for their customers.

“We focus a lot on building confidence in TUI by being as transparent as possible about our offerings. We’re always drilling into what people are saying about our brand to understand key themes and sentiment, which informs parts of our content,” said Naomi Bressan, Social Community Manager for TUI UK and Ireland.

On the other side of social, TUI has a dedicated customer service team. The travel industry revolves around customer experience, and if things don’t go to plan, delivering top-tier customer service is a must. As social media becomes the primary destination for customer service, TUI uses Sprout Social to ensure its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram bases are covered.

When the global pandemic hit, we received customer queries on an unprecedented scale. Sprout enabled us to get our teams up and running as quickly as possible, with the Sprout customer support team going above and beyond to help us when we needed it most.
Nicola Smith
Senior Social Marketing Manager, TUI UK & Ireland

Creating stronger a customer support system amid global travel disruptions

The start of the new decade kicked off swimmingly for the TUI team. But then, COVID-19 took everyone by surprise and completely disrupted the global travel industry.

In February 2020, TUI received 53,900 messages across their TUI UK and First Choice social channels. By the end of March, that number increased by 269% to more than 198,000 messages.

At the time, TUI UK had 30 customer service agents, along with support from the Brand Social team, managing the increasingly overwhelming number of inbound social messages. As call volumes increased many customer service agents were moved to answer inbound calls so 61 people from across TUI volunteered to assist.

Sprout also provided immediate customer support, offering TUI UK additional user seats and efficient training for the volunteers.

“When the global pandemic hit, we received customer queries on an unprecedented scale. Sprout enabled us to get our teams up and running as quickly as possible, with the Sprout customer support team going above and beyond to help us when we needed it most,” said Nicola Smith, Senior Social Marketing Manager for TUI UK and Ireland .

Shifting gears to serve new content 

As the customer service team worked its way through the Sprout Smart Inbox each day, they’d tag inbound messages to categorize inquiries and keep track of recurring themes and topics. Meanwhile, as TUI’s brand team adjusted their content strategy, they were able to use insights from tag data to determine which kinds of content they should prioritize and proactively communicate.

Interspersed among posts about TUI’s dream destinations, they began sharing content highlighting new TUI policies, health and safety measures, refund information, travel advice and more.

TUI’s team also uses social listening to influence their content strategy, monitor brand health and glean insights about their competitors. “We regularly report on sentiment around our brand and in Sprout, we can see where there are dips and spikes. Then we can click in to view those messages to understand what’s happening and why,” said Bressan.

With regard to their competitors, TUI looks at sentiment, emerging topics and their own share of voice in travel-related conversations. “If people are asking about luggage, trip amendments or specific destinations, for example, we can see how frequently people are talking about us, compared to our competitors,” said Bressan.

Returning to high days and holidays

With Sprout’s powerful social solutions, TUI UK continues to connect with customers, navigate change and overcome new challenges.

“The Smart Inbox capability, along with Message Tagging, helped us to respond to over 500,000 customer queries in three months with a remote team of 61 people. We could not have done it without Sprout,” said Smith.

Sprout’s Engagement Report, which tracks response rate and reply times and the Inbox Team Report, which customer care metrics at an individual level, give everyone on the TUI team visibility into customer service performance.

In Sprout’s Tag Report, TUI can easily analyze the performance of specific content themes like “COVID content,” which garnered more than 28 million impressions and 3 million engagements between March 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020.

“I couldn’t recommend Sprout enough. Sprout support is so easy and quick,” said Bressan. “It’s got everything that social marketers and customer support teams could want all in one place, which makes it easier to do the job at hand.”

Take your content and customer care to new heights with Sprout Social. Request a personalized demo or start your free 30-day trial today!

Download PDF