I need your help and opinions, so please take a moment or two to add your two cents in a comment!
When we are young, we go to the doctor regularly for a checkup. As we get older, and our health begins to stabilize, the visits become less frequent. And when you are much older, sometimes a sudden event, such as a heart attack, delivers the long overdue wake up call to go see the doctor again. There is really no difference in your travel practice. Sometimes, we get so focused on the way it has always been done, that we miss how it is really being done now.
Last week in the TRO Community, a travel professional asked for suggestions on how to handle a client issue. Here are the pertinent facts:
- The client did not receive a reasonably important email (cause unknown)
- The client had an issue in the beginning of the trip which the email would have covered
- The client called the agent for help
- The voicemail was delayed three days (cause unknown) and the agent had not returned the call
The agent wanted to know how to handle it
Is this my wakeup call? I am admittedly very old school in many ways. My suggestion was to immediately call, explain that an email was sent, inquire about the rest of the trip and guide the conversation as positively as possible and get an idea of the client’s level of frustration. With several more days of travel, the agent would have time to come up with a way to compensate the client, if at all.
Most of the agents who responded had different take. Most felt the client was too high maintenance or too helpless and should have been able to solve the problem without the email and without calling the agent. Most suggested letting the client complete the trip and just follow up normally after the client returned.
I agree that the client was high maintenance and should have been able to figure out a solution to the issue without involving the agent. But the client didn’t.
I am not asking for anyone to take sides, but after 15 years in the business, I wonder if I am suffering from tunnel vision myself.
So if this was you, how would you have handled it?
PS: If you like the idea of agents sharing ideas, make sure you are a member of the TRO Community.