Which is better?
- Option A: Client calls to say they’ve booked elsewhere.
- Option B: Client books somewhere else and never calls.
I’m of the opinion that if they didn’t book with us, I’d rather they don’t go out of their way to call and let us know.
We had a call today from a client who has booked with us before and was looking to book four cabins on an upcoming cruise. She had called the cruise line directly for pricing and was wondering if we could beat the price. After some quick research, we let her know we couldn’t find anything lower but we found the same price.
Upon hearing that, the client told us that she was going to book direct with the cruise line but wanted us to handle her air arrangements. We politely explained that we don’t make commission on air so there would be a service fee for that booking. However, if we booked her cruise, we do make a commission, so there would be no fee. That’s when she told us thanks for our time but she was going to book her cruise direct with the supplier and her air online.
Did I miss something? Should we have discounted our services to get the sale? I really don’t think so. We had mentioned the advantages of using an agent and the services we provide. The client had used our agency before and went out of her way to call us again. Based on that, I have to believe she had a positive experience with us previously.
Don’t get me wrong, I want to hear feedback about our agency. If she had a bad experience with one of our agents, I want to know. But if we offer the same price and she was just calling just to see if we could offer something lower, that puzzles me.
I realize you can’t close every sale but this one is baffling since we matched the price, she made the extra step to call us. And I can’t forget that she had used our agency before. Even more confusing is that we could have taken care of everything on the phone for her right then. Instead she chose to create more work for herself by calling the cruise line to book her cruise and then having to go online and book her air separately.
Was there something we could have done, should have done to get this sale or is this one of those clients you’re better off not spending too much time worrying about?
Stephanie Lee works in Operations at Travel Quest, a host agency out of MN with over 200+ home-based travel agents. She graduated from the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University with a degree in Environmental Studies/Liberal Studies. She was awarded ASTA Young Professional of the Year in 2008 and was named one of Travel Agent’s “30 under 30” in 2009. She can be reached at Stephanie@TQagents.com, via Google+, or 800.392.6484. For more information on Travel Quest visit www.TQagents.com or www.facebook.com/TQagents
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