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Old March 19th, 2007, 06:25 PM
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Default Good TA and a bad TA

what makes a good travel agent . What makes go back again and again to that same TA.
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Old March 19th, 2007, 07:01 PM
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A good TA?

1) Someone who exhibits a genuine appreciation for my business.
2) Someone who will answer phone calls and e-mails in a timely (minutes to a few hours ... not days) manner.
3) Someone who will maintain my preferences in the PNR so they can see if what I want is available without having to "reinvent the wheel" every time.
4) Someone who will proactively monitor my booking for more favorable pricing.

That's about it. I don't care anything about getting a bottle of wine or a Pinnacle Grill lunch, or other such goodies. They're thoughtful and nice, but I much prefer the good service on the front end.
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Old March 20th, 2007, 03:26 AM
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Default Re: Good TA and a bad TA

Quote:
Originally Posted by earl
what makes a good travel agent . What makes go back again and again to that same TA.
Two simple words. Customer service.

I want a TA that does more than just books my trip. Any idiot can do that. I want someone who keeps an eye on prices and acts as my advocate in the event there are any problems.

Most people would probably say price. But I think price is relatively low on the hierchy of what makes a good TA for me. Oh, sure ... I don't want to pay a mint for my cruises, but if one TA is slightly higher than other, but that TA gives me great service ... treats me like a VIP and makes sure my travels go smoothly, I'd sooner pay a bit more and keep using that TA.

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old March 21st, 2007, 10:28 PM
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Ansering from a TAs standpoint: I think the number one service we can give is speedy response to inquiries: certainly no longer than 24 hours, hopefully only a few hours. It is important for us to watch prices so if they do drop we can offer the best rate to our customers. For me, asking questions is the key. I can better service my cliants if I know something about their needs and desires plus knowing if they are elegible for discounts of any kinds. I have to admit, I like to add that bottle of wine or OBC. It makes me feel good. Nmnita
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 06:42 PM
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In the beginning, I didn't know anything about cruising at all and just got this TA by luck of the draw. I told him what my father said we wanted (trip was for my mom and me); he looked me over and said "Nope, you'd hate it". He said "This is what you need", described a totally different ship. We booked his recommendation and LOVED it. There have been times when I've gone to him asking about a cruise and he said "I won't sell it to you, you'd hate it". I trusted his judgment then and I do now.

Thirteen cruises in 9 years later, he's still my TA. He responds in a timely manner to my inquiries, gives me a fair price, sometimes he gives us a gift (and sometimes I bring him one). He values my opinions; we usually get a "de-briefing" phone call from him within minutes of leaving the ship.
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Old March 22nd, 2007, 08:22 PM
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Susan,

You are lucky but not all agents do business the way your TA does. Continue with him, he has served you well. I have a little different apporach, I would never tell a client not to do such and such, but would advise him/her according to their needs and personality. That is why I like to ask questions. I did once tell a cleint not to cruise a particular line from what I knew about her. She did anyway and guess what? She held me responsible for her bad cruise. Almost 8 years of being an agent plus many year traveling and in management for one of the largest and most popular hotel chain and I think she was my only truely unhappy client. NMnita
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita
I did once tell a cleint not to cruise a particular line from what I knew about her. She did anyway and guess what? She held me responsible for her bad cruise.
Sometimes you just can't win for losing, huh?

Blue skies ...

--rita
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 07:21 AM
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Sometimes, you have to stick with the same TA. I think my mother would disown me if I booked my cruise with somebody else.

Fortunately, she does a pretty good job. Her business is continuing to grow, even though a lot more people are booking through the web instead of going to a travel agent. She lives in a town with a lot of older people. They like having somebody their own age that they can talk to.
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SharHite
Sometimes, you have to stick with the same TA. I think my mother would disown me if I booked my cruise with somebody else.

Fortunately, she does a pretty good job. Her business is continuing to grow, even though a lot more people are booking through the web instead of going to a travel agent. She lives in a town with a lot of older people. They like having somebody their own age that they can talk to.
You may have hit the nail on the head when you mentioned a town with older people. We have a similar situation here, but you know much of my business is from out of the area. The net has hurt in some cases, but not as much as you may think. Eventually it will, that day is probably 10 years away. NMnita
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