With all the forms of communication we have out there you would think the world would be communicating better. We all know that is not true. Because we can communicate in so many ways, many of our communications aren’t complete, clear or effective. This especially happens in the communication between our agents and travelers. Travelers hope to get their request for travel off their desks and many times this request doesn't deliver some key facts we need to ensure the best value. Here are three concepts that we train our people to secure before delivering their consultation.
The trick is to understand what the person wants to accomplish with their travel request. The impact or the result of the trip. We have called this the experience identifier question. What has to happen over the course of this trip for it to achieve the results you desire. It's important that we know what the purpose of the trip is and what the drivers to the traveler are. They may be arriving or departing at certain times that are in and around other requirements, staying near a certain location, getting in and out quickly or not, closing the deal, etc. I will quickly also add that the goal and the result are two different things. So my goal may be to get to Chicago by a certain time and back by a certain time but the result is much more. Knowing this allows us to provide better service.
This refers to what the traveler may like or not like based on their history about travel, that location, that trip, previous experiences, the trip requirements. When the traveler gives a detailed history including some or all of these items, the agent had a much better idea of what to include, what to avoid, and how to make the experience right for that specific traveler.
Tools like what frequent flier memberships, hotel programs, and knowledge the traveler may have are important as well. Most of this is usually in the traveler’s profile but reminding us of tools and preferences is useful. At times these tools allow us to uncover better rates or availability with this status as well. The basics of a travel request are pretty clear but embellishing requests with these concepts will improve communication and deliver faster better results.