BY Solomon Asuquo
As a Travel Consultant or Travel Service Provider, how do you add value to your clients? In a perfectly competitive market like ours; if you can add real value to your clients, you will not only encourage them to buy travel products from you, but also to bring more customers for you. Of course, we all know that a good customer relation plays a vital role in “maintaining the sales circle and promoting the brand of the organization”.
Enhancing your customers’ experiences will help to build trust and keep customers loyal and here are three steps we can take to add value to our clients and the brand we representing
- Identify customers’ real needs and desires
To add real value to our customers, we must endeavor to identify what their real needs and desires are. What they want and how they want it. However, the needs and desire of one customer might be different from the other, some may be credit sales, timely response to phone calls, but they all have one desire in common; get value for goods/services paid for and that is the desire to reduce cost and avoid unbudgeted expenses.
When it comes to travel; be it leisure and business travel, every customer’s need is to work within the budget. Once a customer comes to you for ticket reservation and the ticket is issued a budget line is established. Afterwards, any additional costs arising from that same ticket, except through the customer’s mistakes, increases the chances of you losing that customer. Reason, you are not adding value.
- Be ready to serve
To add real value to our customers and the brand we are representing, we must always be ready to be at their service. To serve and serve successfully involves two important things;
Firstly, commitment on the job- we must be committed, dedicated, focused and result oriented. Ourselves interest must not interfere with our jobs. As a Travel Consultant, ticketing is not all about you earning fat commission, it goes beyond that. You must always ensure that your customers get value for the services paid. ASTA says; without Travel Agent you are on your own. This emphasized the inevitable position of Travel Consultants in the aviation market.
Secondly, we must be skillful, proficient, adept and conversant with the industry trend. My mentor called it “product knowledge.” “If you have passion for this job and really want to remain in this industry, you must have the product knowledge and be conversant with the industry trend.” He emphasized. The bottom line is; you can’t give what you don’t have. All what a customer needs from you is information and if you fail to read and acquire new ideas, information and skills, you will have no other options than to give out stale and dated information to your customers. Meaning, you are not adding value.
- Be everywhere your customers are
Know what? Every customer is value insatiable, including you and I. They will always ask for more, always try something else; called another travel agent to compare your prices, and invariably issued their tickets from another travel agent. They will always try to check fares online through the various online travel management companies and airlines. But the only way to overcome this challenge is to be everywhere they are including website and social media, follow up phone calls and departure time reminder, at their birthday anniversary your happy birth text messages entered, your company branded calendar at their sitting rooms. All these and many more gestures will always promote your brand and remind them of your presence.
Solomon Asuquo is a Travel Consultant at Rewards Travels and a Senior Reporter/Content Partner Manager at TravelTimes.com.ng