How do you know you have a top-notch travel agent?
Here are a few signs:
- They don’t take an hour to get the details of your reservation. Everyone loves a personable conversation. Your agent can chit-chat, make recommendations for your destination and even ask about your children, and yet not waste your time. But if you’re twenty minutes in and they still don’t know if you need a hotel or car, your agent could be wasting valuable time. Good travel agents stay busy, juggling a dozen reservations at any given moment. There’s not time for a lengthy diatribe about politics, the weather or the price of rice. Make sure the reason you like your agent is that they’re friendly AND professional, not the fact that they keep you on the phone longer than a long-lost cousin.
- They have on-the-ground knowledge about where you’re going. Really good travel agents are experienced travelers. They know what you should do when changing trains in Geneva, how to hire a car in the UK, secure an upgrade to a fabulous room in Japan and where to eat in Vegas. This personal experience is invaluable and can help you in numerous situations. It’s also a sign that your agent’s the real deal and not just a graduate of travel school. After a few reservations you’ll be able to tell how sharp they are, and if it’s a good review make them your personal favorite.
- They remember your preferences. With NDA, artificial intelligence, and well, frankly…profiles, it shouldn’t be necessary for an agent to remember all your preferences. But you know what? All the best ones do anyway. The reason is they care. It’s a no brainer.
- They aren’t “rule-breakers”. Watch out for agents who always know a way to get around the rules. They’ll get you in trouble. If you don’t work for a government agency, don’t try to use government rates. If you’re not sure you can make a certain flight, don’t book a second flight on the same airline because you run the risk of the carrier cancelling both reservations. There’s a reason for most rules in the travel business, and the sooner you accept that, the less trouble you’ll have.
- They’re detail oriented. There’s a difference between Ontario, California and Ontario, Canada and the worst way to learn the difference is when you’ve been booked into the wrong one. A conscientious agent will review all the details of your reservation to make sure they have everything right. The right seat. A hotel near your meeting. Your frequent flyer numbers and car rental contract numbers in every reservation. If they’re not verifying the main points are correct, you’re not getting stellar service.
Travelers are faced with a lot of frustrating ordeals when they travel these days. Don’t make the mistake of being complacent when it comes to agent performance. A much better travel partner could be sitting in the chair next to your current agent.
Teplis Travel hires the most experienced travel counselors we can find. We give them industry leading technology, access to private fares and discounts and special training to make sure they hit the high notes. Call us at (800) 669-6547 to find out how we could help your company tame the travel beast!