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15 whole years ago

2004.

15 whole years ago.

Lots of things started in 2004 that now it’s hard to imagine life without: Facebook, for example, was launched from Mark Zuckerberg’s dormitory room in 2004 – and registered under the name ‘TheFacebook’ – in fact, most of us in 2004 were still using MySpace to connect with friends! The X-Factor and Strictly Come Dancing first appeared on our screens the very same year, and bands like McFly and Franz Ferdinand released their first albums.

You may have guessed that this post isn’t just for the purposes of making you feel slightly old – or confused, depending on when you were born – it’s to officially round off the celebrations for our 15th Birthday here at In2action! It’s been 15 years since our Senior Team formed the company and launched the Holiday Village product alongside First Choice. Times really have changed since then – new offices, new members of the Head Office team, and new contracts – but our ethos has remained the same since those early days. Providing the highest quality of service, giving opportunities for life changing experiences to our guests and staff, working towards honest growth as a company and of course – being professionals in fun!

We’ve been treated to a trip to London to celebrate our 15 year anniversary which was a great time full of laughter and fun, but now it’s time to get working towards our goals and ensuring we’re ready for the next 15 years! Keep a sharp eye out on our blog and our social media pages for what we’ll be getting up to next – and roll on 2034!

5 Reasons to Work Seasons

Here are our '5 Reasons to Work Seasons.'

When In2action first started in 2004, the idea of heading away on a seasonal job abroad was alien to most 18-30 year olds. A holiday in the sun, with friends or family – sure, but a job? One that requires you not only to pack your lunch but also your life into a suitcase for a period of 6 to 9 months? Relatively unheard of.

Throughout the early 2000’s and beyond, with the advent of low-cost airlines and cheaper national and international travel, tourism quickly became a multi-million pound industry, with companies fighting to ensure the best of the best were at their check in desks, on their coaches and entertaining holiday makers in their resorts, both here in the UK and abroad. In the In2action Head Office alone, there’s people who did 8, 9 or even 10 seasons before finally hanging up their flipflops; so what is the real pull of working a season, and why do so many of us (the author of this blog included) come back year after year? We dug deep into our memories & asked around…

  1. The lifestyle. With In2action there’s never a dull moment. When work is done there’s always something to do – whether that be heading out on a boat trip, a jeep safari or a trip to explore the local area, or perhaps choosing to relax pool-, beach- or lakeside, there’s always something to do and people to do it with…
  2. The family. When you work for In2action you’re part of the team, and part of the family. Living and working together is a fantastic way to make friends for life; friendships that outlive the seasonal lifestyle are frequent and many of our current and ex-colleagues have stayed in contact over the years.
  3. The variety. There are so many job roles to consider, and many of our current and previous staff members have tried their hand at plenty of them! You might work alongside school kids in the UK, run kids clubs in Europe, or deliver family activities in Montenegro or Turkey. Many of our staff work with one of our ski or Lapland partners in the winter too.
  4. The job. It is so rewarding to interact with people, inspire children and adults, and improve your own skills. With positions in kids’ clubs, holiday parks, schools adventure sites or in crèches there’s something for everyone – you might even find yourself running a canoeing session or perhaps even instructing one of our brilliant high ropes courses. Every day is different – a lifetime away from a repetitive 9-5!
  5. The opportunities. We’re proud to have staff teams that are full of vigour and we love to bring out the best in people. We run a Management Development scheme each year to ensure that talent is recognised, and that we have the best supervisors, managers and co-ordinators in place across all our sites.

So what are you waiting for? Head to our website for more information www.in2action.co.uk or give our brilliant recruitment team a call in the office. Adventure is out there – let’s go!

Has your business got lots for tots?

Has your business got lots for tots?

As any travel industry worker will tell you, it’s the ‘shoulder periods’ that really matter. Lots of companies can boast high sales and fantastic income during the peak weeks of Summer and Easter holidays, but fewer are able to shout that they are bustling and busy during the weeks either side of those times. Of course, the recent decision to impose fines on parents who take their children out of school to go on holiday has had an impact on this; but so too has the ever-present question of the pre-school holiday market – parents with young children looking to take a holiday, whether at home or abroad.

It’s a notoriously difficult market to corner, and whilst some companies manage it well, there are others for whom this is an incredibly difficult task. In this blog post we explore just some of the ways in which you could win the pre-school market (and none of them involve employing Peppa Pig).

  1. It’s got to be safe. Safety is a huge priority and the accommodation and facilities need to be laid out with children in mind. If you can save me having to bring along things like plug socket covers and bed guards, so much the better. If you’re offering kids’ clubs then a security system is absolutely vital, as well as fully trained, qualified and knowledgeable staff who will look after my child. In2action have 15 years’ experience in looking after babies and toddlers in creches all over the world, and we hold our staff teams to high standards – just as parents would wish.
  2. Make Pre-School your Priority. Whilst there’s much more to running a business than thinking about toddlers, my whole life now revolves around them! So, to make me choose your business out from the hundreds of businesses out there offering low-cost out of season breaks, you are going to need to stand out. In2action’s brand new Play Concept, Play2inspire, is just one way to do this. By including Play Scenes in accommodation, even the ‘down time’ between the pool and tea (or even the ‘witching hour’ before bed) will be just a little bit easier.
  3. Get us active. Toddlers have SO much energy; and that energy doesn’t take a holiday when they do. Providing high-quality, tailored activities for this age range is a fantastic way to attract parents to your business. Whether this means opening a creche so parents can have some time to relax, or offering inclusive, parent-accompanied sessions so that families can play together, In2action can help. From Messy Monsters to Teddy Bears’ Picnic, we’ve got it covered.
  4. Back to School. Don’t panic, we’re not suggesting you don a blazer and revert back to the schoolyard, but children of this age are constantly learning and exploring the world around them. If your staff teams or activities can help with that learning, then you are in a fantastic position to create customer loyalty and generate great feedback. We’ve had years of experience designing activities that relate to the Early Years Foundation Stage (a learning and development scheme for children under 5 years old) and we promise they’re so much fun, the kids won’t even realise they are learning! Take for example our brilliant Minibeasts sessions, where children count, identify colours, develop their literacy skills and start to identify species… all whilst heading out on a bug hunt!
  5. Make it an Ethos. You can have all the fantastic activities you like, with incredible activity leaders in your creche and lovely, kid-centric accommodation – but if the rest of the staff teams struggle to make eye contact with my 2 year old, or refuse to return a high-five on the way into dinner, the experience is lessened. A well-trained team is a high-performing one so if this is something your business needs, In2action can help you with a tailored training schedule to ensure your staff teams are delivering the highest possible levels of customer service at all times.

If you think you could benefit from In2action’s pre-school activity programmes, training or Play2inspire Play Scenes, why not contact us on info@in2action.co.uk, 01983 200300 or catch us on LinkedIn and your normal social media channels.

How important is the internal customer?

How important is the internal customer?

"There's a remarkably close and consistent link between how internal customers are treated and how external customers perceive the quality of your organisation's services. A commitment to serve internal customers invariably shows itself to external customers. It's almost impossible to provide good external service if your organisation is not providing good internal service." (Jan Carlzon, who dramatically turned around failing Scandinavian Airlines in the 1980s)

What is meant by an ‘internal customer’? An internal customer or internal service provider can be anyone within the company. This could be a co-worker in another department, or perhaps the person who sits next to you every day. Or further afield, this could mean a distributor/ supplier we depend on to provide products or services (which in turn are used to create a great experience for our external customers).

We know already that great external customer service creates customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and customer retention. So why does internal customer service matter?

"There's a remarkably close and consistent link between how internal customers are treated and how external customers perceive the quality of your organisation's services. A commitment to serve internal customers invariably shows itself to external customers. It's almost impossible to provide good external service if your organisation is not providing good internal service." (Jan Carlzon, who dramatically turned around failing Scandinavian Airlines in the 1980s)

What is meant by an ‘internal customer’? An internal customer or internal service provider can be anyone within the company. This could be a co-worker in another department, or perhaps the person who sits next to you every day. Or further afield, this could mean a distributor/ supplier we depend on to provide products or services (which in turn are used to create a great experience for our external customers).

We know already that great external customer service creates customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and customer retention. So why does internal customer service matter?

Outstanding internal customer service leads to extraordinary external customer service. We must ensure we are applying the same rapport building techniques and customer service to our colleagues and people within the company as we would with a customer. This creates a great working environment - highly motivated and happy teams outperform a demotivated team every time. Teams that work in a positive environment are far more likely to recreate that environment for their customers, leading to external success.

Not only does excellent internal customer service lead to excellent external customer service, but excellent service to our customers is dependent upon healthy internal customer service. Improving our internal customer services leads to us being able to cut costs, increase productivity, improve communication, boost morale and therefore deliver better service to our external customers.

So how can we ensure our internal customer service is extraordinary?

1. Get to know your teammates.

Go to lunch with other people in other departments, where possible say good morning and good evening to everyone every day. Schedule quick calls/ chats just to check in and see what’s happening in their department. Get to know everyone around you personally; you might just find a new best friend!

2. Get the “big picture.”

Get an understanding of how the whole of your business works. How does what you do every day contribute to the company? What do other departments need from you to meet their goals? Think outside of your own desk and your own department.

3. Treat people how you wish to be treated.

When you receive an email that requires some work or research, let the person know that you received it and you’ll work on it. Do not let it sit in your inbox for days until you get around to replying – after all, you wouldn’t do that to a customer!

4. Build Rapport.

Acknowledge co-workers with a smile and call them by their name. When someone approaches your desk stop what you’re doing, make eye contact, and be attentive to what they have to say.

5. Have a positive attitude.

Your attitude is reflected in everything you do. It not only determines how you approach your job and your co-workers, but it also determines how they respond to you. Avoid complaining and spending time focussing on the negatives, and instead focus on doing what it takes to get the job done - and done right.

Is the Customer Always Right?

Is the Customer Always Right?

An oft-debated maxim, coined by 1909 by Harry Gordon Selfridge (yes, THAT Selfridge’s) as a way of running his business. The neat phrase not only has the effect of convincing customers they are in the right place, since their views and opinions will not only be accepted but accepted as the absolute truth; but also of ensuring that employees are providing a customer-focused and customer-reliant experience. A business that declares that the ‘customer is always right’ encourages employees to respond and react to their customers’ every need… surely a recipe for success?

At some point in our lives, we have all been a customer – whether buying your newspaper and coffee in the morning from your local shop, or negotiating deals with contractors at your place of work. In that position, we all feel as though, sure enough, we are right! Nevertheless, this phrase has often been debated with regard to its efficacy as a customer service model. It’s even been used as the title for a BBC programme where products are subjected to consumer testing under the watchful eye of their creators! Does this mean that the customer is, indeed, always right?

At In2action we like to do things differently. Instead of debating the rights and wrongs, we decided long ago that our emphasis should be placed on Customer Experience. Through our training, our activity delivery and our staffing solutions, we aim to ensure that the people we come into contact with feel accepted, rewarded and most of all inspired. An inspired customer is one who is unlikely to debate the rights and wrongs with you – and an inspired staff team is one that will deliver the most excellent customer experience, without even being asked.

Need a customer experience boost? Why not give our experienced training team a call & let us see what we can do for you. With a wide range of off-the-shelf workshops or the ability to create you something tailored especially for your business, In2action would be pleased to help you and your teams deliver the best possible customer experience.

www.in2action.co.uk/activity-solutions/training/

Keeping Active

Let's Talk About Keeping Active!

It’s time for us to talk about getting moving. With a company name like In2action, who can blame us for having action as part of our ethos? We’re not talking a regimented training schedule here, but a little active play each day can only be a good thing for children and adults alike.

That’s why so many of our activities have a focus on movement. Even whilst on holiday, an In2action programme can really help your guests get their heart rates soaring. Take our fantastic Water Rollerz, for example – running on selected Holiday Village sites (alongside TUI & First Choice), our Schools Adventure Sites and Canvas Holidays campsites, these giant inflatables challenge participants to run – on water! A novel, exciting experience on the one hand – but a definite stamina test on the other! For those of us tired of the gym or the treadmill, our fantastic climbing walls and high ropes courses are a chance to stretch muscles you didn’t know you had whilst challenging yourself to go higher and further than before.

The youngest members of the family aren’t left out, either. Children’s health and fitness has become something of a buzzword in recent times, and whilst In2action aren’t currently designing CrossFit for Toddlers (but what a cute idea that could turn into!), we do strongly believe that active, fun sessions for this age range are vital in instilling healthy habits and getting children to see the joy of getting moving! In2action staff are able to lead little ones in fantastic Wiggle and Giggle themed sessions (in selected First Choice Holiday Villages) where the focus is all on movements. As children grow, so do our activities – and there’s always an ‘active’ element to them! Children might find themselves dancing in a Dinosaur Disco or perhaps searching out hidden treasure in a pirates themed activity. We believe that putting the fun into getting moving really helps children to form healthy habits for life.

With healthy living more of a buzzword than ever, and the seemingly unstoppable rise of the ‘Insta-Joggers’, isn’t it time your business invested some time and thought into the health and wellbeing of your clientele? We’ll help create you an action-packed programme of activities – from concept, to design and all the way through to training. Give us a call on 01983 200300.

What our clients say

What our clients say
In2action has provided Center Parcs with a number of qualified staff members during our busy peak periods. The quality of staff provided is exceptional - staff are always professional and enthusiastic, interacting brilliantly with our guests to provide outstanding customer service at all times. We are hugely impressed with the organisation demonstrated by In2action and are confident the staff we receive in the future will be of the same standard.
Steve Cooper
Outdoor Pursuits Technical Advisor, Center Parcs UK
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