In the age of the internet, using a travel agent may feel like the conventional approach to booking tickets. With global content at the fingertips of travellers, the internet often tends to make them believe that they are being catered with the best deals from across the world.
Reality hits, when travellers realize how travel agents can make booking a hassle-free experience. Even though it comes at a cost, the services you, as a travel agent, provide are certainly viable. Travellers dread the idea of planning their trip, especially air travel, because of the uncertainty it involves. The value you can add is by helping alleviate the stress that the air travel brings with it.
Here are a few things that travellers look for in a travel agent:
When a traveller is booking with you, they’re not just purchasing a ticket; they’re purchasing your services as well. Ticket selling can easily be accomplished by machines, but offering not just service, but quality service is the differentiator that can set you apart from the multitude of travel agents out there.
Expertise is a vital touchpoint for travellers in search of a differentiated experience. Travel agents must look to specialize in a niche market and develop a valuable offering.
Sell expertise, not deals.
Specialization in Service
Travellers have access to a variety of information at their fingertips, so much so that they themselves have become generalist travel agents. When they knock for help, they’re seeking an expert.
As a travel agent, you are required to offer packages and services that are harder to find for an average person. With everyone being able to search and book activities, accommodations and hotels, it is important to specialize in something that resolves to make you a better expert than others.
Focus on a few destinations or types of trips and be an expert on those, rather than striving to be the ‘jack of all trades and master of none’.
The best travel agents are all about the relationships they maintain with their travellers. Being available to clients – just a phone call away – makes them feel reassured. It is important to respond to your clients on time, whether it is online, by phone or in person. This will help build their confidence in you.
Try to not make room for your customers to crib about your services at any point. Being accountable for mishaps and taking responsibility for your mistakes will make you a trustworthy travel agent.
In the travel business, you will always be measured by the happiness you bring to your customers. Offering discounts, incentives and special privileges to your clients will certainly help you scale the happiness ladder.
Sell happiness, you will always be remembered by the value you add to your services.
Engaging With Clients
It is crucial for travel agents to build a digital media presence. Engaging your clients with insights and tips will boost your brand value. A good digital impression plays a major role in nurturing your clients. Regular travel blogs, updates and latest news will portray you as an active social identity to your online audience. Customer views, preferences and engaging marketing content will help you engage with your potential customers better.
Make your customers your own brand ambassadors!
Developing a trusted reputation can give you credibility in the market. The first thing that a traveller looking for a travel agent does, is to research about established travel players in the market. Your brand should speak for itself. Considering the booming competition in the airline space, it is the minutest of things that differentiates your offerings from that of your competitors.
Get your clients to endorse your services. Build your reputation with testimonials and traveller reviews. An article about yourself or your travel agency on national media or in local newspapers could earn you credibility good standing.
Creating a compelling brand should be your goal, everything else will follow.
The likelihood for a traveller to use a travel agent increases in direct proportion with the complexity in the travel options available on the internet. The market is constantly changing and the traditional travel business is witnessing a rapid makeover. Travel agents are no longer the conventional travel players who would manually book tickets for travellers. They are expected to compete with rapidly growing online travel agents.
In these demanding times, quick adaptation to new ways of travel and technology will suit the changing nature of modern travellers. Following these simple yet effective tips will help you establish a space of your own in this competitive market, enabling you to cater to your target audience more profitably.