MY BEST ...
'Putting customer service at the heart of the Trailfinders culture. Another company may offer the same flight for a few quid less, but they can't match our service.
We can't maintain such high standards without the right people. The vast majority are graduates - we pay way above the industry norm to get them, but they're worth it. They work in a call-centre environment, but they aren't call-centre people. We give them respect and that flows through into the service they give to customers. They all know that there's really only one mortal sin - to mess a customer about.'
MY WORST ...
'I wish we had expanded more quickly. In 1988 there was a boom in the travel business and we should have grown immediately to take advantage of that. I took the view that growing too slowly was better than growing too quickly.
Some of my colleagues were in favour of more rapid expansion, and with hindsight I think they were right - I had a box file on my desk marked 'Manchester' for eight years before we opened our office there. Although we have paid a price in terms of increased competition, our growth has been organic and we have stayed out of debt.'.