With our franchise model built on the power of networking and referrals, you never know who could end up becoming your customer. For Travel Counsellor, Cathy Chapman, a previous career in teaching has led to her arranging unforgettable holidays for none other than businesswoman and entrepreneur, Sara Davies.
We spoke to Cathy to find out more about the amazing Japanese adventure she’s planned for Sara and her family, the difference she makes to her customers, and why she’d recommend Travel Counsellors to anyone who’s considering a career change.
How did Sara become your customer?
Sara became my customer a few years ago, but I actually used to teach her. Before I joined Travel Counsellors, I was a teacher and I taught Sara and her sister French. She was one of my A-Level French students, so that’s why she came to me once I transferred over to travel from teaching.
Where will Sara be heading on this trip?
Sara and her family will be doing a ten-night Japan trip, starting off in Tokyo with a child-friendly tour of the city. On the first night, they have a reservation at an interactive, ninja-themed restaurant, which the kids will love! Other highlights include a bullet train ride, visiting Disneyland, a visit to the culturally rich city of Kyoto, a traditional sword dance experience and mountain biking in Hakone – a beautiful national park which is overlooked by Mount Fuji.
Sara’s upcoming Japan trip sounds incredible! Could you tell us why you chose that particular itinerary for her?
Because I’ve done quite a lot of holidays for her over the past seven years, I know what makes her tick. I knew she’d want something that was suited to her children. The Japan itinerary came to mind straight away because I knew it would be perfect for her and her children's needs.
I’ve got a really close bond with Sara, and because of that, I knew that one of her boys is going to be doing a project on the bullet train in school – so this itinerary really was heaven-sent. It’s traditional, it’s authentic and there’s a lot of activities involved. Lying on a beautiful beach would bore the socks off her! It’s all about getting to know your customers and finding what’s right for them.
Why do you think your customers value booking with you?
First and foremost, I think it’s because I care about their trip as if it was my own. I also think it’s because they know they can contact me at any time. Especially with what’s gone on in recent months with air traffic control issues and wildfires, they know they can WhatsApp me and I’ll be there for them. I think they really value and appreciate the complete control and care that I show through the whole process – from before they go, to while they’re there and even when they come back.
It sounds like you’ve built a loyal customer base over the years. Based on your experience, why would you recommend Travel Counsellors to people who are thinking of changing careers?
Changing careers is a big step, but if you’ve got fire in your belly and a great work ethic, then absolutely do it – you won’t regret it. I just think it’s the best job in the world! Plus, I’m also making a lot more than I used to make as a head of department. The uncapped earning potential is fantastic. Another perk for any fellow teachers is that when you want to go away yourself, you’re not confined to the school holidays!
It’s been great chatting with you Cathy. Finally, what’s it like to be part of the Travel Counsellors community?
It’s just the best! You get to meet so many like-minded people. Yes, you’re working on your own, but you’re not really on your own because you’re in this amazing community. You can also work in teams with other Travel Counsellors. I’ve got a couple of little teams set up, but even if I hadn’t, there are still plenty of opportunities to get together. You’re invited to training sessions, there are celebration events at Venus, there are training roadshows and supplier events – there’s just so much going on. Everybody’s got everyone’s back. There’s no competition because there’s plenty of business out there for everybody.
Ready to join our community and help your customers explore the world with confidence? Enquire about becoming a Travel Counsellor today.