On occasion, problems arise mid-trip. Perhaps the room is not as anticipated, the day-trips too energetic or the passport is lost. While the situation may be easily corrected in most instances, a bit of pre-emptive planning can work miracles for saving both a vacation and a client relationship.
Always provide your client with a list of numbers to call in the event of an emergency. At the very least your international clients should have the number of the United States embassy in the country they are visiting. In addition, however, also provide them with the telephone number of the tour operator and your own number. While we all hope not to receive an urgent call in the middle of the night, better your client have your number to call than not!
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Prior to their departure, cover with the client the procedure for handling any issues which may arise. Something as simple as politely addressing an on-site problem with hotel management or speaking with the concierge about available free time can deal with many issues on the spot. As we indicated yesterday, anticipating any potential problems removes their shock value and can provide the client with the assurance you are always on the job!
When the client returns from their trip, make contact the day after their return. Demonstrate a concern for their trip by asking about their experience. The best time to address any issues, as well as the best opportunity to speak to them about the next trip, is immediately upon their return. If problems have arisen, assure them you will be acting as their advocate until resolved.
Few expect every business relationship to be without problems. What matters to most clients is the pro-active manner in which you handle any problems that may arise. A little bit of planning in advance and checking in with clients before small problems become large ones can serve you well!