In business, there are a number of different business models a company can follow. I think of department stores for example. You have your discount department stores — stores that sell at everyday low prices. You don’t necessarily have to wait for a sale, the prices are most of the time lower than sale prices elsewhere. With this model, the focus is on giving the customer the lowest prices possible. The purchasers for the company choose brands to carry based on price only. In order for the company to make money, they have to sell large quantities. They may also have to offer lower wages to their employees.
On the flip side, you have department stores that are concerned with building their customer base, offering pretty much the same merchandise as the discount department stores, but they are more concerned with the quality of their products. You might be more likely to buy the store brand at this store because you know the quality is equal to the name brands at a lower cost.
Finally, you have to higher end department stores, some of which I wouldn’t even call department stores as they really don’t have everything. They are not a one-stop shop. They do pride themselves on offering top quality merchandise and top customer service. You will pay more at this store, but you won’t be disappointed with the service and merchandise you receive.
What I’m trying to say is when selecting businesses that you deal with, you need to figure out what they offer both in terms of product and service and decide what is important to you. In travel, the same is true. I hear a lot of stories about the great gift card offers that Costco and other warehouse stores offer for booking travel through them. However, if you want your reservation serviced, good luck! They can’t afford to have agents service the reservations as they are giving away nearly all of the commission! The same can be said about agencies that pay incredibly high onboard credits. What are they paying their agents? From past experience, I can say that if you don’t pay your agents what they are worth for the job they have to do, they won’t do it. If service is not important, by all means, search for the best offer and book it.
I have worked with clients who have traveled frequently, understand how to book their own, yet choose to use my services. When something goes wrong, they don’t panic, they call me and I take care of it. They understand they are not getting the highest onboard credit or other perks for booking with me, yet they still come back and still refer their friends and family to me. All of my agents can say the same thing. This is because service is still important to people.
One thing I will caution you on is agents who rely on the laurels of the agency to make themselves out to be experts. In one of the Facebook groups I belong to, someone asked a question about Disney Cruise Line and how something onboard would work. An agent that works for an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner was asked to answer the question. His answer was completely wrong, but he said it as an authority. The person asking felt there was no reason to wait for another answer as it was obviously correct, no doubt because he worked for an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.
Like my examples with the department stores, in travel there are various types of agencies and agents you will encounter. Since the travel is basically the same, you are looking for the best service and the knowledge of the travel product you are buying. Why settle for less? Our agents don’t just “know Disney”, they have experienced it, they study it and continually learn more about it so they can pass that knowledge on to you. They know the “fine tuning” that is needed for each individual client. This isn’t a cookie cutter, one size fits all business. Travel On A Dream is an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner and our agents working with Disney vacations are all graduates of the College of Disney Knowledge, have experienced Disney destinations many times and want to be your travel consultant.