By now, travel agents know that the Internet has changed the field forever. We know that in order to stay in the game, we must incorporate technology into the way we do business. But while it is important to integrate strategies like smart phones, social media, and search engine optimization into your business, don’t forget to emphasize the one thing that will set you apart. When it comes to competing against huge online travel agencies, it is your personal touch that will get you the client.
Think about it: there is a huge world out there to compete with. How are you going to set yourself apart? What are your other interests beside travel? What once-in-a-lifetime experiences do you have the inside scoop on? And how can you incorporate those special interests and connections into top-of-the-line vacations for your clients? Figure out what you can offer that no one else can, then sell it.
There is one thing that the Internet will never have – a personality! In a world that is so inundated with technology, sometimes all that customers really want is to have a real live human advocating for them. Make sure you emphasize the ways that you can serve your customers that the cold heartless Internet cannot. Answer your phone yourself, and return calls and emails quickly. Let your client know that there is a living, breathing agent ready to go to bat for them. It will make a big difference!
Clients who have been brought up in the Internet age have been trained to think that all they need is a one-size-fits-all vacation. And if that is all they need, there are plenty of huge online travel agencies that are willing to sell it to them. But you know that the real way to travel is with a customized trip that caters to specific personalities and vacation interests. Don’t relay on “off-the-shelf” travel packages. Start crafting custom experiences for your custom clientele.
The world is changing everyday, but don’t worry! With the right mindset, you can stay ahead of the game.