The right kind of help can take you far and beyond, pleasantly.
Believe it or not, many people still rely on travel agents, even when travel purchases are a click away today. Like a good friend, your agent provides the human interaction that no app or automated web bot really could. He would also gladly take on any booking issues or hiccups you may face in planning your trip—a reality that’s not possible with absolute reliance on technology. Think of all the frustrating call transfers, flurry datas and pending requests that you could avoid by having excellent help on speed dial. All you need to do is make sure that the travel agent you hire is competent and highly reliable. Find out by filtering a potential hire through these five factors.
Screening processes are important for a reason. Your travel agent should possess a recognised certificate or license that authenticates their service. In Singapore, for example, all travel agents are required to have a Travel Agent License pre-approved by the Singapore Tourism Board. Those of you living outside can always check with the national tourism board in your country for more information. While there’s no test to filter well-behaved ones from the bad ones, all practicing agents should, at the very least, have credibility in common.
2. Customer engagement
A great travel agent prioritises customer satisfaction. Find out by initiating a casual conversation about a general topic such as the weather or a travel goal of yours. The first interaction not only breaks the ice, it is also a tool with which to gauge the agent’s level of commitment to customers and his sensitivity towards first impressions. Any sign of unfriendliness or aggression is a red flag telling you to move on. As a paying customer, you should never have to justify your need for reliance and quality service.
3. Tons of questions
Not only would a good agent enquire on your travel budget, he would also insist that you provide a trip outline. On top of that, he would cover crucial details such as trip duration, key places to visit, accommodation preferences, and transportation plans. Good synergy is all about feeling like you’re supposed to supply honest facts about your trip. If the agent in question is a star performer, he will definitely take heed of this from the get go.
4. Honest communication
The first conversation with a travel agent should tell you if he is an excellent choice, based on honesty. A good agent is always open to sharing real-life success stories and accounts of past mishaps, as well as quick to provide suggestions upon enquiry. With a good agent, you will always feel that you are in control of informed choices.
5. Passion for traveling
It goes without saying: travel agents should be passionate about the subject they are servicing about! An agent does not necessarily accumulate frequent flyer miles himself, but he should always be excited when communicating travel topics with enquiring customers. That way, customers feel more empowered about their travel plans.