As hospitality professionals, we know service delivery must be flawlessly executed on every conceivable level — for both clients and travel advisor partners. It is undeniably the most important aspect of our business. We might get caught up in the countless elements of managing and marketing our hotels, but a recent survey my company conducted about luxury travel agency amenity programs served as an important reminder that customer satisfaction levels — and, thus, a hotel brand’s profitability — rises and falls with service implementation and delivery.
In the survey, we interviewed 24 luxury travel agency owners about what distinguishes one amenity program from another, what benefits matter most to them and their clients, and how these programs can be utilized to strengthen the agency owner/travel advisor/supplier relationship. Key insights included:
- Travel agency amenity programs must be reliable, well thought through, and impeccably executed at the brand level — for both the advisor/agency and on-property for clients. Fulfilling the promise of this delivery is the single most important aspect of an amenity program for advisors and consumers.
- Luxury travel advisors overwhelmingly stated the client experience on property (which must be extraordinary, faultless and exceeding expectations) is the top reason they book an amenity program.
- Benefits for clients should be meaningful and relevant as well as incorporate impactful client recognition by staff on property. Benefits to the advisor and agency itself are seen as secondary considerations, whether through financial incentives or educational components.
- With the plethora of amenity programs in the luxury space, advisors can seek out other brands if they (and their clients) are dissatisfied. Booking a hotel stay can take months of advice-dispensing and planning by a travel consultant, but consumer satisfaction on property can be shattered in an instant — and then advisors move on to another brand.
- Advisors want supplier partners to be responsive to their needs — such as providing vital sales support and opportunities for enhanced education (including occasions to visit a property and dedicated websites with access to online tools that allow advisors to more effectively sell a hotel).
What do you think about these insights? Please let me know.