The little things matter. Really, they do! | Travel Research Online


The little things matter. Really, they do!

OK there is the old adage, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” And yes, I agree with it… to a degree. Many times, you have no control over the small stuff anyway, so sweating it makes no sense and cannot change the outcome. But the small stuff you do have control over… definitely sweat that!

You only get one chance to make a good first impression. How many times have we heard about perfecting that elevator speech? Well, the same advice applies to your written word as well. In fact, good impressions in writing are paramount to your reputation. Spoken words can be forgotten. Written words are their forever. (See what I just did?)

The travel industry is full of details. Payment dates, complex itineraries, airline routings, credit card numbers, confirmation numbers, GDS codes, and more fill our days, and being accurate is critical if you want an ongoing business. Send one client to Panama City, Florida instead of Central America and you might be ok. Do it more than once and there’s no chance!

People have so many choices when planning travel. Face it, finding solid and loyal clients is not as easy as it was in the 80’s and 90’s. People will go to the Internet and they will go to the supplier directly unless we can give them a solid reason to use a travel professional.

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Yes I actually saw that in an email I received last week! I subscribe to a few dozen agent newsletters as well (because I am interested for a peek at the competition, and to see if they are seeing the same trends I am seeing). Not a week goes by when some glaring error invades my inbox.

  • Their/They’re/There
  • Except/Accept
  • Effect/Affect

And my personal peeve… “ect.”

As a consumer, when I see these types of errors in an email, on a website, or on a printed document, I have to wonder how much importance the agent put into my itinerary.

Granted, many of your prospects may not take notice; but what if the one that does happens to be your golden client? Are you willing to risk it?

When I write anything for publication, I scour it several times. I also know that my eyes are not trained to spot my mistakes; so I often will have a friend or colleague give it the once over as well. Trust me, it will be time well spent. Woe be the agent that puts this out:

Cruise pricing so low, we cannot advertise to the pubic. Call for the best rates.

You only get one chance for a first impression—don’t blow it.

Before I end, I do want to add a caveat. While mistake-free writing in all correspondence is desirable, mistakes in a more casual medium (email, chat, text, and Facebook to a degree) can be overlooked, strive for that ideal frist (see, did it again) impression!

Agree? Disagree? Do the little things matter? Leave a comment!



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