Not too many years ago, corporate (and personal) travel agents held a good amount of power over their clients, controlling almost all aspects of air, ground transportation, and hotel bookings. But in today’s modern, high tech world, travel can be booked with a swipe of a screen by anyone with a smartphone in hand. So how do you, the professional travel agent, make yourself a priority to your clients? Here are some ideas for making yourself the go-to in the world of traveler management:
Be a Trusted Source
While it is easy for anyone to book travel nowadays, sometimes it’s almost too easy. Become a trusted source for clients, so that coming to you provides them with a sense of calm. Booking any kind of business or personal travel can be stressful, and knowing there is someone on their side is extremely helpful. Know your clients likes and dislikes and help winnow down the options for them. A trusted travel agent is also a referral that brings in future clients and grows your business.
Be Complex and/or Specialize
Life with the internet is a great thing, but, with all the options for travelers out there, how do they make a trip unique and different? A travel agent who can handle complex trips (a family reunion for 50, or a corporate meal with multiple food allergies and/or preferences, for example) will be called more often than someone who does simple bookings. Being able to find special deals and unusual side excursions mean that your connections are working for you. Managing corporate travel is almost as difficult for large groups but if you can find that niche, you will be the go-to for both corporate and personal bookings.
What do we mean by “be modern”? Simply, take advantage of what is out there to make your business the end all, be all. Utilize and recommend apps for employees and clients (including one-stop shop apps for travel expense tracking, hotel bookings including off the beaten path options, airport and airline apps, etc.), be in constant communication via email, text, and again, the apps you use on a daily basis, and, finally, use social media. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, and others can help you grow your business and keep in touch with clients – blog postings, destination photography, live videos, and more can help manage travelers.
Embrace the current, almost overwhelming amount of information available these days and make your traveler management job easier by recognizing that your clients appreciate having you on their side as they make both business and personal travel decisions.