Win or lose?
That’s the biggest question I am contemplating after a customer contacted me with a recent travel request. Travel Itineraries exists mainly to sell bespoke itineraries to persons who have little to no time in pulling together interesting attractions/activities of places they are about to visit. TI appeals to the business person, timid traveler, first-time traveler, solo traveler, budget traveler and anyone who does not want to deal with the stress of researching, picking and choosing attractions, sites and adventures. A prolific travel site, TI is capable of planning from soup to nuts an itinerary that will give lasting memories for vacationers. In a nutshell, this is what I say on the Itinerary Request Page to introduce my travel planning skills to potential customers, “Do you like to travel, or better yet, travel often but can’t find the time to build a detailed itinerary that will be engaging and enjoyable? If that description sounds like you, don’t worry or stress. I can plan a bespoke itinerary that will ensure you cover all the basics of a great trip: things to do, places to go and sites to see. Interested? Fill in the form below to get started. Just do it.” Also, it is a place where you can read a blog of my adventures on foreign and local soil, tips, recommendations, ideas and news related to travel.
Last week I received my first sale of the year from a new visitor to my website and was excited to start the year off with the request. As I read the customer’s specifics, I quickly realized the buyer did not understand what Travel Itineraries was all about. They already had their plan and wanted me to map it so they could save time and gas. At first, I considered plotting the route but eventually decided against it because that is not what TI is all about. Obviously, their lack of clarity surrounding my services was no fault of their own, and I regretfully made an apology, offered a refund and referred them to a travel website that could better support their particular need.
Why then do I ask win or lose? I could look at the situation as just another experience. But in my humble opinion, there are three invaluable lessons I can definitely learn from dealing with the shopper.
- AWARENESS – While the prospect may have had some misunderstanding concerning TI’s services, it reminds me that more work can and should be done to bring about awareness, clarity, highlight services and skills. TI should grasp every opportunity to enlighten its readers/viewers of its capabilities in its many forms and formats via technology.
- NEW IDEAS – Innovation will keep TI fresh and relevant. If customers are asking for certain services, then I should consider how I can possibly accommodate and market to them by tweaking and improving offerings as needed. Who knows, a bright idea may lead to other avenues, though not originally a part of the plan, but one that will broaden TI’s perspectives and scope.
- REFERRALS – While I would like to meet the needs of all potential clients, there are times when I will have to say no. However, the rejection should not be given without offering a recommendation of help. To suggest another travel related company to the client as an option is just a way to say I network with other travel businesses, and I am familiar with the industry players. There are other travel partners in whom I take delight in recommending their services especially if I have used or know of them personally.
Community Peeps, overall I would say it was a win-win. I was happy to refund the money and to redirect the client. They are referred to as client because of their response to my actions. I believe I have won their respect and I hope in the future they will consider TI for their tailored travel itinerary. Do you think so too, or do you think I lost? I am interested in knowing. Please comment in the box below.
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