By July 25, 2004 Read More →

Are You The Client From Hell?

Has your travel agent seemed a little on edge with you lately? Have you noticed a change in tone when he talks to you? Are you becoming more and more intimate with his voicemail? Quite possibly you could be turning into the client from hell.

Relax. There is still time to reclaim your status as a nice person. Read on.

Be conscientious of my time. I am a professional and my time is every bit as important as your time. Please be aware of this when you call to ask for help. While I will go out of my way to help you, you must also remember that I have other clients as well-some of whom may have (sorry to say) a greater priority. I need to prioritize my work so I can deliver the knockout service to each client of mine. We are no different than any other professional-you would not do that to your doctor, would you?

Be honest with me. If you have already booked that vacation or trip and are just trying to keep your agent (or your own surfing skills) honest, please let me know. I am not saying that I won’t help you, but I would rather know up front that I don’t have a chance at the sale-but given my knowledge, I might have a shot at the next one. And, when I do help you, please remember my first point.

Refresh those kindergarten math skills. Apples belong with apples and oranges belong with oranges. There is nothing more frustrating that being asked to investigate one option only to be told that you found it cheaper elsewhere only to find out that it is not comparable. When you say you want to leave from Baltimore to Ft. Lauderdale, I will research Baltimore, Washington and Dulles Airports for you as well as Palm Beach and Miami. Boston is not an option in my book, nor is Tampa. Yes, you may find the fare to be less expensive for the Boston to Tampa route, but that is not what you asked. So, please be sure that you clearly define yourself.

Have an idea about what you want. It is very difficult to help someone when they cannot even decide what they want. Please do not be the ice cream-lover who must sample all 31 flavors. If you come to me looking for pricing on a family vacation to Alaska, the Caribbean, Europe, or the Pocono Mountains, chances are that I am not going to take your request too seriously. Now, if you are trying to decide between Alaska and the Caribbean in the summer, we can talk.

Be realistic. Inevitably, the question is going to come up, “What is your budget?” Believe it or not, I am not looking to empty your wallet. This is a critical question that needs an honest answer to design your trip. I need to set some expectations for you and you need to have an idea as to what to expect for your hard earned dollars. I am not able to find a week in Disneyworld for a family of four in the Grand Floridian (concierge level) including air, character breakfasts, park hopper passes, and a personal meeting with Walt himself for $1,999. But, I might be able to get you into an off-resort property-but still no Walt. I am not being nosey, and you always have the final say.

Do you see yourself? Be honest…most travel agents are genuinely nice people, who have specialized in this ever changing complex field. Your travel agent will work with you to the Nth degree but if you wind up morphing in to the client from hell, be prepared. You just might be the one getting a pink slip.

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