Rachel Troop, 25
Rachel Troop has officially been part of the family business for just under two years but is already making big changes. For all of its 20 years, Louisville, Kentucky-based Vacation Experts has used a commission-only income model; however, through Signature Travel Network’s Sales & Marketing bootcamp, Troop learned that “the advisor-to-client workload far outweighs that of the advisor-to-supplier and that should be recognized.” Thus, she came up with a professional fee structure and implementation for the agency.
While it took some advisors time to appreciate the new payment structure, COVID-19 helped Troop’s case when “they saw commission/income come to a drastic halt and realized how much work they put in for each booking.” The transition to a fee-based model, Troop says, will “benefit each advisor and strengthen professionalism/relationship with the clients, improve the luxury travel focus we have, and be a step in the direction” to fit the current travel climate.
During the pandemic, Vacation Experts launched a webinar series recognizing various destinations and agency partners to create interactions for their clients. They have also held internal webinars [and] trainings that Troop hosted with focus on customer experience/ service and making sure everyone is adhering to the agency’s standards.
The most intricate trip Troop has planned was a group trip for a local French club to Montreal and Quebec City. Since the trip was customizable, she had people doing different pre- and post-trip stays. The trip included tour of Le Château Frontenac, as well as progressive dinner, for which Troop had to make the individual reservations and time out each course and time getting to the next restaurant. The trip was made more challenging due to cancellations, receiving flight credits and refunds and eventual rescheduling due to COVID-19.
She adds that a large portion of her business is referral-based and that “working with clients who understand my value and what I provide” makes the process more enjoyable.