Voting is open for the 2018 Selling Travel Agents Choice Awards and only you can choose – but how? We look at how to identify the cream of the crop, with the help of some cat and dog pictures, just because… Here are five things you may want to consider when you're choosing the best in travel:
Are they top of their game? Whether you’re deciding on an airline, destination or tour operator, you need to consider where they stand against the competition in their category. They may be a real specialist or they could have a diverse range of product but really excel in this region or arena, what matters is the confidence you have in this brand or destination. Who would you choose for your most difficult customer without hesitation? You could consider how they contribute to the travel industry as a whole too – are they champions for hospitality or committed to sustainable tourism?
Is your loyalty rewarded? Brands that champion the trade always give back to loyal agents. It doesn’t have to be huge cash prizes (although that’s always nice!), perhaps they offer generous trade discounts on their product which allow you to test it out yourself, run regular fam trips for top-sellers, always pop in to your agency personally to tell you about their new product and bring cup cakes too, or simply send a note to say thank you for a big booking. It’s nice to feel appreciated.
Do they offer you training? Travel brands which value the trade often offer some kind of training or education, whether it’s a flash online training programme with a certificate for you at the end or a face-to-face session with one of their sales team. Do they invite you to events where you can meet the team and learn more about the brand and its products? Or perhaps they are always out and about, taking part in various trade events and roadshows and making sure they get face-time with the trade.
Who makes your job easier? Think about the experience you have with this brand. If something goes wrong or you have an urgent query do you spend half an hour waiting on the phone tearing your hair out or can you get hold of someone quickly? Is there a dedicated team for trade sales? Do they have a special trade area on their website where you can download marketing collateral to promote them or access brochures?
Do they leave your customers happy? Having said all that, who cares what you think (sort of). A happy customer means a repeat customer, in theory, so their joy is your joy! What have your clients reported back to you? It could be outstanding service and staff or little touches which weren’t asked for but topped off the experience they had. Perhaps they reported impressive value-for-money or just downright quality. If your customers took the time to gush about something, the chances are they were seriously impressed!
The Selling Travel Agents Choice Awards are the only industry accolades both nominated and voted for by travel agents alone so we really need you! You dont need to vote in every category - just the ones that are relevant to you - and everyone who votes will be eligable for a host pf prizes including hotel stays, theme park tickets and spa products!
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