TUI's Covid journey
Play • 33 min

Liz Edwards, Head of Communications at TUI, tells Daisy about repatriating thousands of customers and why IT systems were actually the biggest challenge that TUI faced when Covid hit. This insight into what goes on behind the scenes at a holiday company was totally fascinating. 

Some key lessons from Liz:

  • Put the customer at the heart of whatever you are doing. This is an oldie but a goodie. And it can mean challenging some really important assumptions. For example, customers don't care how you categorize them internally, so don't make that their problem. 
  • Allied to this is an important reminder about transparency. Liz asks her team whether they would feel proud to explain a policy or decision on morning TV. 
  • Sometimes what's needed is an apology, or at least an admission that things are going to get a little rocky. I think the key word for this whole episode has to be 'journey'. Take your stakeholders, both internal and external, on a journey with you and show them how you are fighting to deliver better for them. 
  • TUI's experience shows that even the best prepared organizations get caught out when new systems come under strain. Let this be a useful reminder to look at your own org charts and think about what you would do if any one of those departments went down? Do you have a plan? The key is to do that even for the systems that don't seem mission critical right now. 
  • Also crucial to your crisis plan is including breaks for all personnel. That means you too. How would you ensure continuity if something happened to you? How will you delegate more of your tasks swiftly so that you can concentrate on urgent triage and strategy?

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