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Thu 9 Oct 2008 04:00 AM

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Mystery shopping welcomed

A progressive Dubai-based travel firm has revealed how ATN's new mystery shopper programme has inspired its employees to make sure the service they offer clients is up to scratch.

A progressive Dubai-based travel firm has revealed how ATN's new mystery shopper programme has inspired its employees to make sure the service they offer clients is up to scratch.

Alpha Holidays product manager John Flower said although he was initially "struck with fear" when he read about the initiative, he soon realised that it was "a good opportunity to take a proactive approach".

"Once the first set of results were released, we at Alpha Holidays took aside our team and briefed them on the programme and reminded them that this was a good opportunity to take stock of ourselves as a company and to double check that we are on the right track," Flower told ATN.

"I think generally speaking we are, but it doesn't hurt to be sure, so as a team we spoke about the value of being prepared - not just for a mystery shopper, but for all our valued travellers - existing ones and new ones."

Flower said he and management also advised the team that this initiative could be used as "a tool rather than a weapon".

"We wanted to make sure that all of the staff, from the receptionists to the ticketing staff and of course the holiday team, are all up to speed with our company's objectives and understand the need to be on top of our game," he added.

Flower said that the UAE travel industry needed to "take a good long hard look at itself" and that ATN's mystery shopping programme was a reminder of this.

"Alpha Holidays is taking a positive view of this programme and hopes to rate well with all of our customers, not just the mysterious ones," he concluded.

ATN's mystery shopper initiative is conducted in partnership with Grass Roots Middle East, a company that specialises in performance monitoring and improvement.

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