13/02/2013 - Expert ‘coaching’ for Skills Holidays in new Channel 4 series
Skills Holidays of Nottingham are set to star in a new Channel 4 reality consumer TV series, titled ‘Britain’s Secret Shoppers’.
The documentary offers help for businesses wanting to increase their profits and grow their client bases. As part of their involvement with the programme the Skills team received expert advice from entrepreneur and self-made millionaire Justin Preston.
By going undercover and using secret focus groups, Justin proves that sometimes customers really do know best. Working together with employees he looks at ways for companies to offer the best deals to ‘super-serve' loyal customers for the benefit of the business.
"We thought it was too good an opportunity to miss," explained managing director Nigel Skill, "although we doubted we'd be chosen to appear in the show."
The company, which offers affordable and luxury coach holidays, was in fact shortlisted. After detailed background research with Skills' marketing and design coordinator, Paul Nichol, the production company filmed a series pilot at Skills' Nottingham headquarters and filming began in earnest in August 2012.
"It was a great experience - and an eye opener into how television really works," said Paul Nichol. "The whole team really came together and got on board with the project."
(pictured are Simon Skill, coach driver Brett Sweetmore and Nigel Skill)
The filming lasted for three months with the Channel 4 crew attending Skills' office and shops, and even going on tour on the coaches. Business expert Justin Preston and a team of business analysts provided detailed analysis throughout the project and worked alongside Nigel, Paul and the Skills team to develop new ideas.
"Many of us had to work outside our comfort zones and it wasn't always easy taking part in some of the tasks presented to us, especially knowing that the show would air to millions of people," continued Paul Nichol. "We all learnt a great deal and are now even more dedicated to delivering the best deals and the best levels of service for our customers - which I believe will give more people the confidence to choose Skills Holidays for their next break."
For Skills, 2013 is already proving positive, with a 33% increase in enquiries compared to last year and an increase of 16% in passenger numbers. The company plans to launch a brand new website in March, and is looking at new ways to attract holiday makers as well as group organisers.
"We've taken on board Justin's advice and suggestions and have already implemented some of them," said Nigel Skill. "The success we've had so far this year though has been largely due to the strength and character of my team. I'm really proud of them all, and of how they rose to the challenge of the television filming and got stuck in to a new experience.
"We believe that the Channel 4 series will help boost confidence in the coach tourism industry as a whole and hopefully will help others improve along the way as well. I hope the show will demonstrate that Skills can continue to drive a commanding presence into our 95th year of service, by delivering modern and stylish coach holidays for the 21st century."
The Skills team will appear in episode three of Britain's Secret Shoppers, due to be aired on Channel 4 at 8pm on Thursday 28 February.
Find out all the latest news and more information about Skills Holidays by joining the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SkillsHolidays1919 or visiting www.skillsholidays.co.uk.
Britain's Secret Shoppers will start on Thursday 14 February at 8pm-9pm. The show will also be available on other Channel 4 stations.
Skills Holidays will feature in the third episode on Thursday 28 February 2013.