Aymen Mazhar (November 4, 2015)
Customers today want excitement, convenience and the best deals when planning a journey. According to a survey, 53% of respondents used travel agents websites while researching their holiday purchase. Whether travelling for business or on holiday, many customers want travel agents to provide them with their expert knowledge and opinion. Providing a service that is better, faster and more affordable than what the customer can do for him/herself is important in order to match the customer service needs. Here are some ideas for travel agencies to improve the level of customer satisfaction!
It is vital to arrange a well planned trip, by discussing customer needs in detail; the services they require from you, their budget, their choice of hotels, whether they prefer bed n breakfast or a resort, their preference for food etc. For example, if the customer is a vegetarian, provide details of all the nearby vegetarian dining options when planning the trip. Each aspect should be taken care of and the trip should be in sync with the customer’s desires. A mismanaged trip would be far from customer satisfaction, as the very reason they hire travel agencies is to avoid inconvenience.
Secondly, many customers seek expert opinion and recommendations from travel agents. If it’s a family looking to spend vacations, offer them a package which will have different activities such as sightseeing, shopping malls, activities for the children etc. Go the extra mile by offering suggestions, put yourself in the customer’s shoes and think what kind of vacation you would want for your family, or the sort of business trip that allows you to relax in your free time.
A major reason for customers to opt for a travel agent is that they don’t have adequate time or expertize to choose the finest options, especially if it is an overseas trip. In such scenarios, your customers want the best option in the shortest possible time and are looking for travel advice owing to their lack of experience on the subject. Here’s where the customer’s trust in your agency is of essence. Offering convenience includes primarily the wants and needs of your customer, and being well versed in the details that go into planning.
Understand that travel plans are often subject to unforeseen changes. Travel agencies must be ready to keep the customer in the loop on any changes to their schedules or journey. They must enable real-time communication that allows for customers to be notified about events as they occur. Upon encountering such problems you must always offer customers the best possible alternate options.
Customers are always on the lookout for good deals and discounts. With so many sources of information and travel providers to choose from, customers are more motivated than ever to look for bargains. When looking for deals, customers not only consider price but the overall quality that they are receiving. Being diverse in terms of the choices being provided will add more value to the customer experience.
Value for money is what customers want. Travel agents should be able to qualify customers and understand their needs and accordingly recommend options with a clear, cost saving approach. No customer wants to pay more than what is necessary.
If your customers have any queries, make sure you are available. Provide multiple communication channels for them to get in touch with you. This could be over the phone, via live chat service or email. Travel companies must determine what customers want from them and should know how they want to hear about it, both prior to purchase and during the travel. Be elaborate in the details when you deliver any relevant information, and create a relationship with them. Help the customers out by offering your expert advice and resources that they pay for. Going a little out of your way would only certify better customer experience. Personalize your services and get to know what the customer wants. Once the customer has made the purchase, it should not be the end of the client-agent relationship. Therefore, travel agents should make themselves available pre and post booking and should be responsive to any queries that the customers have, which helps retain customers and counts as good customer service.
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