The role of travel advisor: more than ever to listen to the client
In September 2013, Olivier Glasberg moved over from Kuoni travel to Succès Voyage in Paris where he took on the role of associate director, and has since launched the brand “Au Fur et à Mesure”. We asked him to tell us more…
Au Fur et à Mesure was created in a strategy of differentiation, based on a concept of experiential luxury. Rather than selling destinations or “styles” of travel, we have an entirely different approach. You know, the life of a client is punctuated by various steps or stages, whether they be family-based, sentimental or social, and the desire travel is directly influenced by that “moment” of life. So more important than knowing where the client wants to go is the knowledge of why he or she wants to go, and with whom. Do they want to have “sharing” moments with their children? To “get away from it all”? To get closer to those they don’t see enough of during the year?
IF WE ARE ABLE TO MEET THE REAL NEEDS OF THE CLIENTS, WE WIN THE BET.
So it’s really a case of “adding value”…
Yes. Today, people don’t need our help to book a plane ticket or reserve a hotel; they need us when it’s a little more complicated than that. Add to this the fact that travel wants and needs change totally depending on the different periods of the year. For us, business is good, as we are catering for a precise need. If we are able to meet the real needs of the clients, we win the bet.
What’s the secret to being a great travel advisor?
It’s being able to adapt to the needs of the client. It’s being a veritable travel expert, not just in terms of destinations, but in terms of understanding the needs of a person at any one point in their life. If you are capable of finding the right combination, you are a very good agent. But that’s not all; the value-add also comes through optimising the price, so as to be similar to what the client might have found after several hours’ searching on the internet by themselves… but with our expertise as an added plus!