Improving customer service is a never-ending challenge. There will always be times, ways and means by which you can deliver even better customer service to interested travelers. Providing good customer service means not just doing right by your customer, but by assisting your customer with all of their needs, you help to grow your business into a trusted brand that others will flock to. So what sort of things of this travel agent’s checklist do you need in order to improve customer service?
1 – Specialization
Specialization is the first key step towards improving customer service. If you thought about working as a travel agent was just booking individuals on flights from Washington D.C. to New York and that was going to be the end of it, you are sorely mistaken. Customers can easily book these simple types of trips by themselves – and they do so all the time. When a customer comes to you, he or she is looking for something much more complex out of their travel agent and you need to be ready to deliver.
So what does specialization looks like besides offering complexity? The true key to specialization is to know some of the ins and outs that are much more difficult to come by as a member of the general public. Specialization can look like focusing your travel agent specialties in a given area or region and making yourself an expert about how to navigate, interact with, and know special little things in those areas that can make a normal trip something special and adventurous.
With so much information available online, many of your clients will already come with a knowledge of where they intend to go and a broad overview of what they would like to do. What they want from you is something that will set the trip apart. Part of this also means crafting special and unique experiences for the unique individuals who come to you.
Learning a bit about them and how that can play into the options you put into their trip is a great way to improve customer service. Learning how to specialize and spot those little life-changing add-ons can help foster goodwill, build trust, and bring your customer relations to the next level.
2 – Inspiring Trust
One of the things you must 100% know if you are going to have successful travel agencies is how to inspire trust. The fact is, it does not matter how great your rates are, how great your deals are, how competitive you are in the market or how much you know if your clients just don’t trust you.
Trust is the foundation for every sale and for every marketable adventure, and a very simple fact is the more your clients trust that you actually have their goodwill and best interest at heart, the more options, packages, and add-ons you will be able to sell them.
A client who genuinely believes that you are offering these packages because it is something they will truly enjoy is a client who will gladly say yes to them all. Having a genuineness and an honesty about everything you do is crucial to being able to sell more – and more importantly, give your customers an even better experience.
3 – Self-evaluation
One of the most important tips for improving any customer experience is to improve yourself with critical self-evaluation. Self-evaluation should be done on an ongoing basis, but if life and work get hectic, purposefully setting a time to evaluate whether you are giving the best values, deals, and customer service available is an important step to maintaining the highest standards. The fact is, new technologies emerge, new competitors launch new lines, new brands join the market and new sales pictures analyze the industry.
With so much vying for the attention of your prospective customers, you need to know with 100% certainty that you are giving your clients the best they can get anywhere. If your clients are not getting your finest, they will go somewhere that will. Self-evaluation does not mean you have necessarily been doing anything wrong, rather self-evaluation is a great tool for ensuring that you keep doing things right and that you’re able to take advantage of emerging market trends to benefit your customers.
4 – Quick response times
One of the hallmarks of excellent customer service is the ability to actually reach you. In our interconnected world, with social media, the internet, and cell phones this has become far easier. But it only works if you are willing to make yourself available to your clients whenever they need you. If your clients are traveling abroad and something were to go wrong, they need to be able to reach you any time of the day or night. Remember, they have spent lots of their hard-earned money and time trusting that you will provide an excellent trip and excellent service.
If you are unavailable to help them when they most need you, they will be clients you will not see again. Any of us who has ever been put on hold and waited for minutes or hours knows how irritating it is when you simply need to get ahold of somebody quickly and are unable to do so. That is why solutions like Travelport Mobile Agent are indispensable for travel agents to be available everytime their clients need their support.
5 – Sell your expertise
Some travel agencies post on their websites that they can get the best deals. However, with online self-booking tools and airlines offering direct deals, it becomes ever harder and more challenging for a travel agent to offer a better deal than individuals can find themselves. Rather, as a travel agent, you should sell your expertise. You need to sell what your clients cannot buy for themselves. This means you are selling a specialized, customized, unique experience to your clients. The more special and unique you can make it, the more satisfied your customers will be.
So learn to offer the best customer service you can, from improving your response time to offering trips of a lifetime. You will become a travel agent known for exceptional customer service. And the word spreads out…