It's easy to talk about providing great client service. It's not always so easy to deliver. But this is where we aim to always exceed our clients' expectations as standard.
Here are some examples of customer service as we see it.
Inflight entertainment, Sir?
A client wanted to travel on Thai directly to Krabi. No other airline would do as he wanted the change of plane in Bangkok to be as quick as possible (Thai have by far the slickest transit times).
However, he was also adamant that he must have visual entertainment all the way. But, at that time, Thai did not have seat back TVs on all their routes/planes and unfortunately this was one.
Hhhhmmm, how to solve such a conundrum... Well, it's pretty easy really. Despite travelling economy, he was spending £8,000 - a very valuable customer. We told him not to worry, there would be entertainment on the plane and to trust us. He was skeptical, but trust us he did.
On receiving his tickets and other documentation, presented as usual in our personalised leather wallets, he was surprised at the size of the package. Even a super slim portable DVD player takes up a little space...
Sun loungers at Heathrow
Two families en route to Krabi over Christmas with four children were stranded at Heathrow because of snow. They had spent eight hours on the tarmac, with hourly promises of iminent take-off.
All planes were eventually grounded and they were taken off the flight, having depressingly spent all that time travelling no-where.
We had booked a nearby hotel for them, but they chose to stay with family, except the two fathers. They valiantly volunteered to camp at the check-in desk with all the luggage so when Thai were ready to fly again, they would be first in line.
We already had staff queuing for other clients with cancelled flights. We apologised for not being able to do the same for these clients, it felt like double standards. However, there was something we could do to ease their pain. While everyone else in T3 curled up on the freezing floor, our clients had the comfort of sun lounger beds which we shipped in from the local Argos store. Good thing we got them too - the flights did not resume for three days.
From Kent to Phuket ... via Stansted
During the same snow storm, another family had travelled from Kent looking forward to their two weeks in Phuket.
They arrived to the sad confirmation that their flight would definitely not travel. After much deliberation, they decided to stay at home that Christmas and claim the holiday on their insurance.
A few hours later though, we got a call saying that there was a problem. Due to a change in their insurance terms, given six weeks earlier, their claim would not stand up if the delay was due to snow. Wiley insurance companies had taken note of the long range weather forecasts and adjusted policies accordingly saving them millions over that particular weekend before Christmas 2010. The accommodation element of the holiday was c. £11,000 A huge loss to sustain.
Contrary to popular opinion, airlines are not obliged to cover the cost of lost accommodation or services. So what to do? With the UK covered in thick snow and most airports running only essential flights or completely closed, with the back log building up by the hour, we were left thinking up some pretty crazy ideas.
How about Eurostar to Paris and fly Paris to Phuket on Air France? Unfortunately Eurostar was also mostly suspended or fully booked and Paris Airports were almost as bad as Heathrow. But then, there was a glimmer of hope. Stansted opened. It's not known for its long haul flights, but we knew that a little known airline called Air Asia had started low cost long haul from there the year before. We got straight onto Air Asia and found four seats leaving in three days time. They would lose four nights but ten nights was better than nothing.
Or was it? A call to the hotel and some negotiation meant we took the first four nights and tagged them onto the end of the holiday at no extra cost. The clients were ecstatic, especially when we got the Thai flights refunded in full and paid less for the Air Asia ones. In the end, they actually saved money and got the same trip!
Ok - so we're awesome in a crisis. But what makes us better in a proactive way?
- We know the resorts we feature. We've visited almost all of them. This means you get the right holiday for you. All the resorts we feature are great. But not all will suit everyone's taste or objectives. We can tell you what we actually know about a resort, not what the promo material tells us to tell you.
- Consultations wherever suits you, including home visits from 7am - 10pm, seven days a week to suit YOUR schedule.
- Attention to small detail. What type of refreshment would you like on arrival or during your transfer? Which would you like to have - sunset or sunrise facing rooms?
- Partners in each country, whether it be hotels or ground suppliers, who also have our ethos. They understand that when a client needs something, whatever it is, the answer is "yes".
- We will ensure all your travel logistics, at every point, are taken care of. We will give you choice in how you get to your destination. Many of our resorts offer options to arrive by different, more convenient, means.
While on the road, you will have the contact details of the local partners you need, as well as our own 'out of hours' contact details. We encourage you to use freely if you have any questions or wish to make any changes, at any point.
So, now you know that we put client satisfaction first ... It's time to choose a Destination!