Yes, you spend much of your day talking to customers and booking fabulous holidays but there is so much more that goes on behind the scenes. Who better to ask all about what is involved in this role than Escape Travel consultant and Travel Academy graduate Corey!
Setting Up for the Day
The first thing I do each day is is reconcile the previous days’ transactions and the much hated vacuuming. Then, at 8:30am every morning, the whole team get together to get ready for the coming day.
Meetings always start with recognition of yesterday’s achievements. Everyone knows that travel agents have sales targets, but the biggest wins are when our customers come home and tell us about their amazing holidays.
After setting the motivation for the day, we discuss what we can do to make this kind of customer experience happen again today. Our aim is to let customers know their holiday is as important to us as it is to them.
Hot tip: Keep a diary!
Some people might think "Setting up a diary – what is there to set up?" Where do I start?! It could be anything from reminders for bon voyage or welcome home calls to my customers, to a promised quote on flights you spoke to an eager customer about months ago before the dates were released by the airlines.
Every Day is Different
It’s almost impossible to put a day as a travel agent into words. Every day is different; there’s not one day can you put a structured plan on paper and say "This is what I am going to do from 9am to 5.30pm."
One day, five people might be standing at the front door waiting for us to open. Others, we might not see a customer the whole morning. One customer wants to go to Hawaii; another to Madagascar; and then the next to some incredible place that we’ve never heard of!
That’s the excitement of being a travel agent – you never know what challenges you’ll face that day, and every one of us have something new to learn. A travel agent career is pretty much as far from monotonous as you can get.
Hot tip: Be prepared for the lunchtime rush!
It’s lunchtime and the rush starts. Our customers only have a small amount of time on their break, yet they have big dreams to fulfill. Have you ever tried to find, book and pay for the most suitable flight in 60 minutes on your own?!
Now imagine us as travel agents trying to find the best flight to suit each person, plus plan a two-week independent itinerary through South America with accommodation, transfers and day tours, all in that 60-minute window and with two other customers waiting to do something totally different.
After the lunch rush, the mad dash to book our customers’ accommodation and flights begins. Before the ticketing time limit expire, we have to book it all in, pay our suppliers and double checking everything like correct dates and names.
Most often the afternoon is filled with phone calls to suppliers and lots of quoting to finish off the day, with good intentions to walk into work the next morning ready for anything.
There’s always a rush to get to the bank before it closes and the post office before the mail is picked up for the day too.
Hot tip: Get ready for the next day!
At the end of each day, we make the final follow up calls for the day and set up our diaries for tomorrow - a little preparation makes life so much easier when you arrive the next day.
Finally the doors close, the night service voicemail gets switched on, and we get ready for our afternoon meeting before we go home. The afternoon meeting is much more relaxed than the morning meeting; we celebrate our wins and reflect on missed opportunities.
I can guarantee everyone working in tourism or travel will tell you something different about their day-to-day. No day is ever the same, no one ever knows who’s going to walk through that door, and no one truly knows how hard we work to send our customers on their dream holidays.
It’s all about the customers’ journey – not just their destination.
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