How does a travel professional add value to the travel experience?
A travel consultant can add “good value” to the travel experience by delivering excellent customer service. Wikipedia defines customer service as “the provision of service to customers before, during, and after a purchase.” Customer service involves a series of activities tailored to enhance the level of customer satisfaction, by giving the customer the feeling that the service or product has met their expectations.
So how does a travel professional do this? According to a survey by the I.B.M. Institute for Business Value, more than 2,000 travelers worldwide spend more than five hours to search and book travel online. Rather than dallying away in the time-consuming activity of planning on your own, a travel professional can help you gain more “value in time” and much less head spinning.
When it comes to booking travel, a common misconception of travelers today is that everything is cheaper on the Internet. What most travelers do not realize is that “cheaper” does not always mean good “value”. There are some who enjoy the activity of researching, but with all the information out there on the World Wide Web, how can you feel confident that you are getting the best value for your money? Ask a travel consultant. A travel professional is specialized in certain destinations, can share their own travel experiences, and offer invaluable insider advice.
Travel consultants understand the skepticism new clients may have about whether a travel professional can do any better or find opportunities that excite them. There was a time when they were booking their own travel online too. Travel professionals have working relationships with different suppliers and these connections are just another way their service adds value to the travel experience. They can suggest special experiences that you cannot easily get on your own. This value translates to lower prices, complimentary upgrades, bonus amenities when traveling and other good things down the line, even after booking.
The difference between using a travel professional versus booking on an online search engine is the value of personalized attention. A good travel professional is easily accessible before, during, and even after the booking process. When something goes wrong, you have someone to call who can get the problem resolved for you. Whereas if you simply click-and-book online, there is no one to call to help you; you are basically on your own. A travel consultant provides the security of an expert who you can depend on in case of any inconvenience or disaster.
A good travel professional has the ability to understand what is important to you, he/she listens, pays attention to the details, and anticipates what you want before you even know you want it. He/she can create a one-of-a-kind vacation plan for you based on your own wants and desires.
Although there is a small fee to use an expert, the service a good travel professional delivers is invaluable. As humans we want to feel special; to be taken care of; to feel “good”. A good travel professional connects with the emotional part of us that is excited to travel, and with their expertise, they can draft the vacation of your dreams and exceeding your expectations before, during, and after your trip.