Question from a prospective client – “I found another package online which is including eight beaches, while your itinerary includes only three beaches in the itinerary”?
I am sure that every professional from any field might have come across questions which might be quiet elementary to them but still extremely complicated to the clients. To address these questions is what we get paid for but sometimes you are at loss of words to explain the reasons behind your suggestions.
I am sure I might have asked a few stupid questions to my carpenter or web developer, at the end, it all depends on how good a professional you have hired. The understanding of your client and his aspirations are the key. It is also essential to have a little understanding of the cultural, social and economic background. No school or course trains you for this, it is very instinctive and most of these profiles are established subconsciously. Most importantly it is also how much you are willing to trust your vendor or expertise. Some previous experiences & pre conceived notions may sometimes influence your decisions which may save you from a bad experience or may even create one for you.
The challenges in the travel trade are that many a times we have to communicate to the end user though a coordinator or administrator. In such a case we completely relay on the understanding & efficiency of the coordinator for the end result. Tourism like the film industry is one of such products where you buy the product without physically seeing or experiencing it firsthand. It is imperative that the product and the sequence of events be explained elaborately.
We had the opportunity to organize an offsite event for one of Indias leading IT brands. The brief given to us was very simple, the team wanted to go for a one night off beat experience and this they wanted it to be part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) basically they wanted to go to some place where they could do some team building activity, have some fun as well as take part in some social concern. This is something we had never done before, it was challenging yet within our domain of expertise. As it was huge corporate entity they had very strict processes and protocols which did not allow us to do a presentation about the whole experience to the whole team, instead we had to communicate the same through emails to the administrator who was not even going to be traveling with the team.
The end result, a group of frustrated IT professionals who thought that they were finally going to have some free luxurious get away from the company, you could guess how the evening might have been for all of us when the question by one of the team members was “I hope there is a good spa in the resort we are staying tonight”?
This is just one scenario; unfortunately there is nothing much we can do about it. The measures we generally take to counter such anticipation and aspiration is to communicate in such way that we help draw very murky picture in the clients mind and then deliver a product which is above his expectations with plenty of surprises and pampering but for this also we need to communicate with the end user.