Relationships are Key to Your Travel Business Success

March 16, 2022

Relationships are an investment. And like any investment, with consistent care they’ll compound over time. Cultivating client relationships helps you retain their business and earn referrals as well. But building a healthy pipeline of business isn’t just about attracting new clients. Nurturing a well-rounded network of suppliers and service providers is important too.

Today’s travel climate requires us to think 4-5 steps ahead. But great customer service (responding politely to a phone call, for example) is different from a great customer experience (an added amenity or upgrade upon arrival). Clients have more power and choices than ever before. And as their travel advisor, you’re responsible for understanding and acknowledging their needs.

Research by American Express found that 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience. And by providing that improved experience, you’re strengthening your relationships and creating loyal fans. When you’ve taken time to build healthy relationships with industry suppliers, providing an elevated customer experience is easy.

“Customer experience is your customers’ perception of how your company treats them. These perceptions affect their behaviors, and build memories and feelings to drive their loyalty. In other words – if they like you and continue to like you, they are going to do business with you for a long time and recommend you to others.”

- Kulbytė, Toma. “KEY CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE STATISTICS YOU NEED TO KNOW.” SuperOffice, 24 June 2021, Accessed 15 Mar. 2022.

With all relationships, it’s important to maintain transparency. Don’t make promises about suppliers and their services that you’re not able to keep (provide terms & conditions to your clients). If an issue arises, don’t wait until the last minute to communicate. Stay on top of the conversation with the supplier, and if necessary, your client. Provide up-to-date information to the best of your knowledge, and help your clients find the best value, based on their wants, needs, and budget.

So how do we build healthy business relationships that continue to bring repeat business for years to come? Well, there are the obvious ways such as:

  1. Communicating promptly, thoroughly, and professionally.
  2. Keeping your word, and in the event you’re not able to, taking ownership and telling your contacts why.
  3. Doing your very best to make it right when things go wrong.

But what about the not so obvious ways?

  1. Joining a strong host agency network with established supplier relationships you can continue to build upon,
  2. Connecting with or commenting on a BDM’s LinkedIn post,
  3. Joining and actively participating in a private Facebook group for a supplier or destination,
  4. Sending an email introducing yourself to supplier BDMs specific to your area or host agency,
  5. Or calling a supplier’s BDM to tell them about a great experience your clients had with their product.
“You want to be customer obsessed, not competitor obsessed. Forget the competition, think customer first.”

– Ted Schadler, Co-author of Mobile Mind Shift, Forrester VP & Principal Analyst (Source: Twitter)

Taking time to build and strengthen your supplier connections will exponentially benefit your business. Reach out to them, sing their praises to your fellow agents, and give credit where it’s often due. Extra steps you take make your clients feel valued, and your supplier network will help you deliver, if they know you! Your suppliers can help make you look like a rock star to your clients. And your success is a win-win for everyone!

About Uniglobe Travel Center

UNIGLOBE Travel Center (UTC) offers a variety of programs to support your independent travel business, all of which provide top-tier commissions and assistance with the development of sales and marketing plans. Each comprehensive home based travel agent program is geared to your level of experience in the industry and helps you grow to the next level.

With 200 years of combined travel experience, our dedicated host agency staff are fully equipped to help you reach your goals. We focus on support, business development and coaching, and will give you the right balance you require of each element to become the best home based travel agent you can be.

The UNIGLOBE brand is an internationally trusted and respected name in the travel industry, celebrating 20 years of working and growing together. Since 1996, UTC has been a leading host agency helping travel agents build their businesses and realize their dreams.

What We’ve Achieved

  1. Globus Family of Brands - Premium Agency Member
  2. Viking River Cruises - Platinum Circle Plus Agency
  3. FunJet - 500 Club Platinum Partner
  4. Apple Vacations - Crystal Apple Agency
  5. Travel Impressions - Best of the Best Agency Partner

Recognition from our Supplier Partners

  1. Delta Vacations Diamond Agency
  2. Oceania Connoisseur Club
  3. Holland America Elite Pinnacle
  4. Viking Platinum Agency
  5. Celebrity Host Agency of the Year 2018

Professional Affiliations

uniglobe affiliations