4 Questions to ask in travel
Struggling to get answers? Are you asking the right questions?
At the end of every year I sit down and review what happened, why, success and failures. Sometimes on a park bench, sometimes beating the crap out of a punching bag , downloading a stack of books, online courses and restructuring and planning or the year ahead.
One of the most challenging parts of being human is dealing with change. Proactive change takes courage. But change only comes with knowledge, and knowledge often only comes if we ask questions.
Ergo – you need to be brave enough to ask the right questions of customers and suppliers.
Who makes the decisions?
If it’s a customer, are you speaking to the decision-maker or someone who is just kicking the tires of the itinerary you lovingly produced. If it’s a supplier and you have a problem, who makes the decision and takes ownership of resolution. Also consider why are they coming to the decisions they are?
Got accreditation – or can I really trust you?
Accreditation isn’t for everybody, but if you’re dealing with someone who doesn’t have it, it’s important to ask why.
Some people thought roomsXML/Stuba overdoing it when we went for assessment by Standard and Poor’s internationally recognised “hi credit worthiness rating” means that we’ve opened our books and they are definitely not cooked. With travel companies going bust, does it make you feel more comfortable?
If someone is not accredited, ask why.
Champagne on a beer budget?
If you’re dealing with a customer who is balking at spending an extra $50 here and there on a $5000 itinerary, you could well be wasting your time. If your suppliers are running fancy events, driving fancy cars whilst having a reputation for failing to try their best for you on a refund or resolution, are they the right one for you?
Is it somewhere you’d like to work?
A high staff churn rate is like a crystal ball looking at a company’s long-term prospects. If the staff are coming and going at a rate of knots , corporate knowledge is not being retained and improved, so its harder for a company to improve. If the staff are publishing criticisms online, in droves, you have to wonder.
It can also be a measure of the relationship between managers and staff – if the staff aren’t staying, you have to ask why not and what does that mean on how you do business with them!