First off, not all travel agents are unreliable, but
- The good agents only handle calls from new prospects after they are done serving their existing client base. If they’re really good, that might be a long time.
- The bad agents… Well, that’s self-explanatory.
As far as the unreliable agents, I can definitely tell you why you’re not getting calls back in a timely fashion. 9 out of 10 times, here’s is the typical interaction travel agents have to deal with when dealing with new customers.
- Customer has their sights set on [Insert City Here] (Breaking JGOOT rule #1)
- Customer needs to go on a specific dates and has little to no flexibility on those dates (Breaking JGOOT rule #2)
- Customer searches online and is shocked that they can’t find flights for less than $600. (Breaking JGOOT rule #3)
- Customer calls travel agent thinking agent can find better
- Agent spends significant time finding $550 fares (because they’re good, but they’re not miracle workers)
- Customer decides $550 is too expensive so they decide not to go and don’t return the agent’s call ever again
When that happens 9 out of 10 times, travel agents are forced to deal with the most realistic callers first, and everyone else later (if ever). It’s not the best system, but considering the high volumes of people who only call agents because they’re only finding expensive trips due to the restrictive nature of their itinerary – I can’t say I blame them.
By the way – I’m not a travel agent, and you can book all trips I share directly online without the use of a travel agent.
If you’re uncomfortable booking trips online, I recommend researching on Google or Yelp to find a reputable agent near you. Any good agent should be able to book any trip you find on my website for you if you simply give them the appropriate details. (Be aware that most agents are free to use for international flights, but they might charge a small retainer fee for domestic flights.)
Questions? Please feel free to comment below.