As a travel agent, you are selling people an experience. Your customers come to you because they expect you to take the pain and stress out of planning a holiday for them.
To ensure repeat business and referrals, you need to make the experience as positive as possible. With over 97,000 itineraries booked annually, Travel Counsellors has a lot of experience to draw on when we ask what makes customers happy, and what keeps them coming back. This can be as simple as adopting a few simple service methods that are easy to implement but make a massive difference to how your customers experience your business.
One of the best ways to prove yourself to your customers is to stand behind your word and your deadlines. This shows your customers that you can be trusted, meaning they are more likely to value your advice and feel confident that they have received value for money.
To make sure you’re delivering and hitting deadlines consistently, follow the “under promise, over deliver” rule.
As an example, when you say you’ll do something for a client, take a reasonable estimate of how long it will take to finish something, and give yourself a small buffer. This means that you’ve covered if something unexpected comes up, but you also look impressive to the customer when you get it done quicker than you promised.
It’s important to make it easy for your customers to get in touch with you. Being unable to get support is one of the biggest pain points for modern consumers. It can quickly spiral into a frustrating and negative experience.
With this in mind, Travel Counsellors developed the MyTC app, which allows your customers to email, message or call directly through the app. For all those times when you aren’t available, your customers can get the support they need through Travel Counsellors 24/7 support. This lets you tell your customers that they can get help whenever they need it, no matter what time (or time zone).
Create a Standard of Communication
Create good systems for following up on previous enquiries, where you establish when to communicate with the customer. Make it understood that there are certain things you won’t proceed without their consent.
If you’re chasing a lead on the phone and they say they can’t talk, don’t just say you’ll call them back. Let them know when you’ll call back, and get them to give you a verbal confirmation. This will make them more likely to pick up the phone. On top of this, it’s an idea to keep a log of things you’ve already spoken about with your customer. If you interrupt your customer’s day asking them to repeat themselves, you impact the overall positivity of their experience.
Use the Right Tools and Tone
When you communicate with your client make sure you’re using a method that’s fit for purpose. In most cases, the best way to communicate is by email. An email thread lets you keep all the information in one place, makes it easy to search for old information, and almost everyone has an email address.
If you get online enquires through social media or by text, direct that enquiry to an email address, which is much better for longer and detailed correspondences.
Be a Positive Communicator
Don’t let yourself fall into language that is too formal, a common habit for people writing professional emails. People prefer to work with people who they find relatable.
Keep things professional, but don’t be afraid to be light and let your personality shine through. Keep your language positive and make sure you are customer-oriented when you are addressing a problem. At Travel Counsellors, our travel advisors get to know our customers so that they are more likely to create positive experiences for them.
Help Customers Help Themselves
Modern consumers often want to take care of things themselves. This is especially true for people of the younger generation, who hate making phone calls, even if they need help.
One way to manage this is to provide resources that make it possible for people to find help when they need it. Having easily accessible information saves you time as well, as your customers will be able to answer their own enquiries. The MyTC app works on this principal. By compiling all the important information about a client’s trip in the MyTC app, Travel Counsellors makes it easy for your customers to answer their own questions anywhere and anytime.
Listen to Feedback
An essential factor of your customer service skills is knowing how to listen to the voices of your customers.
Customer feedback provides insight into what your customers enjoy about your services and what can be done to make their experiences even better. Over time, this feedback will help you provide exceptional customer experience and boost customer loyalty.
If you receive a complaint, the most important thing is to hear what the customer is saying. Try to understand why the customer is frustrated and be proactive in resolving any issues. When you resolve the issue, follow up with the customer to ask if they are satisfied with how the complaint was handled.
Let Your Customers Know What Your Standards are
Make it clear what kind of service you provide. This gives your customer something to look forward to, but it also shows them what they can expect from the service. This works both ways. The customer will definitely hold you to account on everything you say. You also develop an implicit understanding of what your services cover. This gives you something to point when the customer asks for something outside of your standard service.
Know How to Juggle Your Responsibilities
For a busy travel advisor an important skill is knowing how to be efficient yet personal in communicating with customers. Every customer deserves your time and attention, but it’s important to establish a balance so that all your customers are happy and satisfied.
To help, prepare any resources you think may be relevant for a customer before meeting with them. This way, you will be ready to provide further information to answer any questions that your customer may have.
The most important thing is to always be polite and always listen. If a customer needs to talk for longer to feel comfortable, then it’s in your interest as well as theirs to provide the kind of service that delights them.
The most important thing is to always be polite and always listen. If a customer needs to talk for longer to feel comfortable, then it’s in your interest as well as theirs to provide the kind of service that delights them. __ If you'd like to know more about succeeding in your travel business, get in touch with our careers team on 1300 889 123 or fill in the contact form.__