Social Media, Social Media, Tell me who is the Best!

Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,

Thanks to Facebook and other social media, we live in a world that feels like the grass is always greener on the other side. It seems like only MY grass has so many weeds, and is a more greenish yellow-brown than the deep green of my neighbor’s! Isn’t this true?

I remember that when I went to meetings and conventions before social media, other companies and competitors talked about how WONDERFUL their businesses were doing, but I knew from other sources that it wasn’t the truth. Let’s face it, people haven’t changed, only the method used to deliver the “news” has. Now information is more “in your face” and you are constantly bombarded with information every time you check your social media. There was a time when you only found out about people or companies when you met them in person.

Let’s talk a bit about clients who complain during their trips – just when you thought you were all done and ready to enjoy your commission and the benefit of a referral. Suddenly, you get an awful phone call, text message or email. If a problem is happening on your client’s trip, contact your supplier and tell your clients that you are doing so. Get back to the client as soon as you get an answer from the supplier. If a problem has ALREADY happened and they want to complain about it and demand a solution, ask them to send it in writing with all details. If it is pertinent to the supplier, forward the complaint and ask for an explanation and/or compensation for your client.

Remember, a client always behaves differently when he/she is excited planning for the vacation compared to when they are actually on the trip. Not every traveler is relaxed and easygoing. Some are more demanding, more uptight. Jet lag can have a bad effect on many people, and a change in medication can play an important role (taking it on time, changing it, or not taking it at all).

From a supplier’s perspective, I can tell you that some clients will complain even because of the weather (over which no one has any control) and demand compensation for that.

My advice is to listen to your client, deal with real problems as soon as they arise (and deal directly with the supplier) and if not, ask to have it put in writing in detail once they get back. Let them cool off and have the time and energy to put it all in writing.

Handling an upset client is similar to what you should do when you feel overwhelmed by so many postings about fantastic green grass on Facebook. Take a few deep breaths. Be gentle to your clients, and to yourself!

Travel is like life, only those who choose to see the beauty actually will!


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