When booking a holiday there are so many things to consider. “Where would I like to go”, “when would I like to go”, “can I get the time off of work” and the all important, “What’s my budget” .
The thing that gets overlooked nine times out of ten is if you’re booking a holiday through an agent is the service they provide and why you should book through them.
Here are my top five things you should consider when booking a holiday using an agent.
1. Doing the ground work (finding you the best possible match for your holiday)
Life is hectic enough as it is and in this day and age who has the time to sit down and search everywhere for the best possible holiday location and accommodation?
A good agent will ensure that all you requirement are met, if the exact holiday you were looking for isn’t available for some reason then they should offer to find you the closest possible match to the holiday you’re looking for. Take the stress off your plate and let them do the groundwork for you. If they don’t offer to look for you that should tell you something.
2. Providing insurance
Does the agent provide you with travel insurance? While you are probably only thinking about actually getting away on holiday something you may not have considered is “what if something goes wrong”. No one likes to think about something going wrong on his or her trip, but the reality is that sometimes it can’t be helped, and it’s better to be prepared for worse.
For your own peace of mind check to see if the agent provides insurance, if they do ask them to explain what it covers.
3. Being in the know
If you’re going away with the family it can be hard to agree on exactly the area you want to stay. If you haven’t been to the area before there is a good chance that you won’t know what amenities are close by, what there is to see and do, good places to eat, and other specialised information. Holiday agents should take the time to make sure they are clued up on all of these points and will be more than happy to take the time out to discuss them with you. Going the extra mile can make the difference between using them and not.
4. Friendly staff / family feel
There is nothing worse than ringing your holiday agent because they’ve left you a message about your holiday and when you finally get through after being on hold for twenty minutes to be told “I’m sorry but we are not sure who called you, or why”.
The good agents to deal with are the ones that answer your phone call promptly (and politely), ask around the office to find out who it was that called you, and if that person is busy explain that they will give you a call back in the next five minutes (and then actually call you back when they say they will). A family run business generally means you get a better service. Larger companies often leaves you feeling frustrated; being told you’ll get a call back, and then being left waiting and waiting can really put you off.
It’s much nicer when you can sit back and relax and not have to worry that your holiday is being processed by robots instead of people.
5. The little touches
Lastly, it’s the little touches that really make a difference between enjoying your holiday and having an exceptional holiday and using the same agent next time because you were so happy with the service.
Customer loyalty should be a high priority for any good agent, offering their customers some kind of discount for booking another holiday with them.
Development of the company should be an ongoing goal, and getting feedback from you the customer is the best possible chance of doing so. A simple questionnaire about your holiday doesn’t take a lot of time or effort on your part (or the agents), but could mean that if there is an issue to be raised then it gets noted.