Amadeus asked, "What do travelers really want?" in its recent bulletin for travel agents, urging agents to discover why profiling is the secret to repeat business
“What separates the mildly successful travel agents from the wildly successful ones? Surprisingly, it’s not just matter of deploying a brilliant business plan. Brilliant customer service can take your business just as far—if not further,” the bulletin said.
Amadeus said successful travel agents take the time to get to know their clients. “They do more than sell travel—they sell the right travel to the right people.”
Fortunately, agents don’t have to be a mind reader to get to know customers better, according to Amadeus. “ But you do need to take the time to understand their interests, budgets, preferences and requirements to deliver travel experiences that will surpass their expectations—and keep them coming back for more.”
Amadeus also offers ways to draw an accurate profile for your clients—and better understand their needs and how to use Amadeus technology tools to manage the tasks.
• Getting to know them, all about them.
You’re a travel agent, not a psychologist. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to steal a page from their playbook by getting some background on what constitutes a successful journey (Because not everyone’s idea of paradise will be the cruise that most of your customers rave about.).
• Some good questions to ask include:
- What was your best travel experience?
- What’s on your travel bucket list?
- If you had an unlimited budget, where would you go?
- How many times per year do you usually travel for leisure?
- How many days is your “ideal” vacation?
You can formulate these questions in an E-mail if you don’t conduct business by phone or in person — and be sure to store the answers in the “Notes” field of Amadeus Profiles in Amadeus Selling Platform.
• Ask “why?” instead of “where?”
Your customer might know right off the bat that he or she wants to go to Bangkok, but you’ll still get a better idea of what they want from their travels to Thailand if you hone in on the purpose of the journey.
• Questions to help you uncover travel motives:
-What’s the purpose of this trip—business or pleasure? Is it to explore a new culture, stealing some downtime—or reuniting with relatives abroad?
-Who else is traveling along? A spouse, partner, child, associate, best friend or sibling?
• The nitty-gritty:
Once you have a better idea of who you’re serving and why they want to travel, you can focus on where they’re going, and how.
But don’t jump the gun and suggest the Hyatt because you’ve had a good track record with this chain. Perhaps your customer craves independent boutique lodging.
• Take the time to find out what your customer is looking for with this trip:
- What are your preferred brands for hotel, air, car and cruise?
- Preferred location within an area?
- Property style: small and cozy, large, corporate?
- Desired amenities?