Final Word: if it’s good enough for the Silver Fox…

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It doesn’t matter if you are planning your holidays on the smallest of budgets or a relatively large one – having a good travel agent makes all the difference.

A good agent will know your history, your likes and your bucket list. You won’t need to explain to them where you’ve been before and why a particular holiday isn’t suitable. Budgets won’t be an issue. In an ideal world they will even know the dates of all your big milestones: birthdays, anniversaries and even retirement.

At a recent event with Princess Cruises I met TV’s Philip Schofield and was surprised when he told me that he’d used a travel agent for years.

“We always use the same travel agent and have done since I was 22 or 23,” he told me. “They have never put a foot wrong. They know us so well. They’re even looking after my mum at the minute who wants to go away. They’ll make sure she’s got a tailor-made holiday around what she wants to do.”

While the Schofe is probably using a travel agent who specialises in holidays for the well-heeled – he wouldn’t tell me who it was – the premise is still the same.

“The only holiday that has ever gone wrong was one to Cyprus – and it wasn’t with them,” he added. “When that happens it makes you think.

“It’s also the fact that it’s always right. They know what we like, what we don’t like and where we want to go. If you have that sort of relationship with your travel agent then you’re on to a winner.”

It’s also the fact that it’s always right. They know what we like, what we don’t like and where we want to go

These are wise words from the silver fox. Gain the trust of your customers, take pride in researching holidays that will suit them perfectly and take their feedback on board. It could be a mini cruise to France or a round the world voyage to celebrate a big anniversary. It simply doesn’t matter. Also, if a customer always holidays on a relatively small budget – they may want to splash out for those big occasions.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to knowing your customers – sometimes better than they know themselves – and knowing the types of holidays that are out there to suit them.

If it’s good enough for Philip Schofield then it’s good enough for me.

Sam Ballard

Sam Ballard is the publisher of CRUISE ADVISER and has been writing about the cruise industry for a number of years. His CV includes the likes of shipping magazine International Cruise & Ferry Review and the digital publication Cruise News. He can be contacted on:sam@cruise-adviser.com.

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