We’ve all been there. As a travel advisor, you plan the perfect trip, triple-check the details, dot your i's and cross your t's – and still, something goes wrong.
Whether it’s an airline delay or a hotel hiccup, it’s disappointing and downright frustrating when something goes awry during a trip you’ve planned (especially if you had nothing to do with it). But hospitality experts, service industry vets and travel gurus will tell you: it’s all about how you handle the problem – and hopefully make up for it – that really matters.
So, we consulted our in-house experts to determine the best ways to handle issues during a client’s trip. Otherwise known as: what to do when something goes wrong (...insert ominous music here).
Oftentimes, there’s nothing you can do to mitigate an airplane mechanical issue or an overcrowded resort pool. But validating your client’s situation, expressing sympathy and emphasizing that you are “on their side” goes a long way. A simple note can make a world of difference: “That does sound frustrating. I'm sorry your trip is kicking off this way. Keep me posted on the situation and let me know if there is anything I can do to help.”
2. Get in touch with the hotel
Reach out to the hotel as soon as you can to alert them of the client’s situation. It’s in both of your best interests to make the client happy, so the hotel will appreciate a head’s up – whether the traveler has had a stressful journey, a guest is under the weather, a family needs a last-minute babysitter, etc. If the hotel knows what they’re doing (and they should), they'll turn up the charm with a warm welcome and hopefully throw in extra perks.
3. Request additional room amenities
You’ve likely scored your client welcome treats and in-room amenities (thanks to Virtuoso Travel or the hotel’s agency program), but hotels often have extra gifts on hand, like children’s toys, luxe beauty products or top-shelf wines. These thoughtful gifts can do wonders for a client as they arrive, often offsetting an otherwise negative experience. Ask the concierge or reservations desk to set it up for you – bonus points for a handwritten note. (Word to the wise: it’s especially smart to arrange these if you’re partially responsible for a client’s issue.)
4. Reach out to a community for support
Some travel issues require backup, as they can be far more complex than a canceled flight (trust us, we’ve seen it all). That’s where the Fora community can help. As a Fora Advisor, you get access to our HQ team and mentorship from industry experts, plus a support system through our network of fellow advisors. With thousands of trips collectively booked in our community, our network is here to steer you in the right direction.