Providing great, personal service creates happy clients, and happy clients very often become repeat clients who return over and over again to the same personal travel manager (PTM), confident that their travel needs and wants will be understood, met, and even exceeded.
TravelManagers’ Tanya Barker, who is representative for Narre Warren South VIC, has worked within the travel industry for 25 years, and her focus has always been on providing the best possible service to her clients. The personal attention and care that she brings to every individual itinerary has provided what Barker considers one of the best perks of the job: clients who she now calls friends.
“When I meet a client for the first time, I like to take the time to learn about them: their travel experiences and their expectations of the holiday they are planning,” Barker explains. “I think this is really important in order to get to know your client and start building a relationship.”
For Barker, that means being available round-the-clock to provide whatever support they may need, and taking the worry out of planning a trip. No job is considered too big or too small, and clients have responded to her attention to detail by returning again and again, and providing referrals.
One such client first dealt with Barker more than eight years ago, when the two worked together to plan a three-month dream trip to Italy. They bonded over a shared love of travel, and continued to collaborate on subsequent trips, culminating in this year’s trip to the Arctic Circle, for which Barker was invited to join her client.
Barker’s client says it was her extremely professional manner and her care and personal attention to detail over her many travels around the world that made her feel she would go back to book future travel with Barker.
“But little did I know that this was the beginning of an enduring friendship,” adds Barker’s client. “The trust and confidence I had in Tanya has grown and matured into a fantastic friendship that has allowed me to tick off so many places/activities from my bucket list, and to share this memorable adventure with her.”
TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager, Michael Gazal, says that although it is not uncommon for PTMs and clients to become friends over the course of their professional relationship as Barker and her client have done, it is a ringing endorsement of Barker’s attention to the smallest details and her determination to provide the best possible travel experience to her clients.
“This story really demonstrates the importance of PTM/client relationships,” says Gazal. “Between the home-based business model Barker employs and the tools and support provided by TravelManagers’ National Partnership Office (NPO), our PTMs are well set up to cultivate such relationships – possibly more so than with a traditional bricks and mortar business environment.”
Highlights of the pair’s trip, which took them to Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Russia, included reindeer sledding, dog sledding and snowmobile riding and a five-night tour of Iceland. They also spent a two-night stopover in Dubai, where they enjoyed a Seawings Seaplane Tour over Dubai.
“As we worked together to put this holiday together, I found that my client’s bucket list was fast becoming my own!” says Barker.
Gazal says that TravelManagers place much importance on building a business that’s based on long-term repeat business and referrals, but that this can only be done by PTMs taking a genuine interest in their clients and maintaining their involvement throughout the trip and beyond.
“Our clients know that their PTM will be available to them whenever they need them,” explains Gazal, “so that if they strike any difficulties, or just change their plans, they only need to pick up the phone or send an email and it will be taken care of. That sort of personal service generates the sort of goodwill and loyalty that money can’t buy.”
Barker’s client returned from their holiday full of praise for Barker’s organisational ability.
“Tanya is a unique person who can take your dream and make it come true. She works on your plan promptly and efficiently, researching new ideas and using her product knowledge to create lifetime experiences,” she says. “Our itinerary was very involved, from staying in the Ice Hotel in Kiruna Sweden to igloos in Ivalo, Finland but everything went seamlessly, and her experience and infectious enthusiasm takes all the stress out of a holiday booking.”
Barker says that being a personal travel manager means she has the perfect opportunity to make her clients feel special so they know that she cares about them and their travel needs.
“I am living the dream!” she concludes.
1 – Personal travel manager, Tanya Barker, and her client tick off another bucket list item, dogsledding in the Arctic
2 – Sweden’s eerily beautiful Ice Hotel in Kiruna was an overnight stop for PTM Tanya Barker and her client.
3 – Personal travel manager, Tanya Barker, and her client dress appropriately for sailing Norway’s stunningly beautiful Fjords
4 – Great service and a shared love of travel has led to a close friendship for TravelManagers’ Tanya Barker and her client seen here in Stockholm.