What is Service?

When people I meet find out I don’t have any children, yet go to Disney World or on a Disney Cruise, they ask me why.  My answer is always “it’s the service”.  While walking around Universal Studios years ago, I recall myself saying “this is nice, but it’s no Disney World”.

I carry this over into all aspects of my life.  Repeatedly we find ourselves comparing different experiences and companies to Disney.  I have come to the realization that even though money doesn’t grow on trees, I would rather buy a product/service/etc. that has a great track record with quality and service than to save a few bucks.  Is it really worth it to get a 2-5% discount only to be frustrated with the lack of service or quality that I get?  For me, the answer is no.

I mention quality as well as service because I have come across companies who have great service records, but they build a low quality product.  If my car is constantly in the shop for a different problem, but the company is nice to me and gives me great service every time, I’m not going to be happy.  I not only want great service, but I don’t want to have to need the service more than I expect to.

This belief has carried over into my business as well.  There are many travel suppliers in this world that we can book through.  We can even book your vacations through Orbitz and Expedia.  This gives you our quality service while we also get you the best price possible.  We have found out that it’s best to be selective here as well.  We’ve listened to our clients and learned from our own experience to conclude that most of the time, using an online service like this is not the best choice.  Making changes for our clients has been difficult.  Luckily we take the brunt of the frustration for our clients, but it’s still sometimes not the best outcome for clients.

This was clear last week with Hurricane Irene.  I heard stories of people who had booked their cruises through an online agency like this only to have no customer service when they needed it and their sailing was changing.

We also saw the difference between good customer service and bad customer service with some of the cruise lines.  Carnival Cruise Line went the extra mile to make sure that their guests sailing out of Puerto Rico were taken care of when the ship was forced to leave port earlier than expected.  The put guests up at a hotel and then flew them to the first port of call to meet up with the ship.  This I would have to say is exceptional considering that cruise contracts don’t make any guarantees to take care of you in this situation.  I’m not saying that the cruise lines should be required to take these steps, but I do appreciate it when they do.

I also encourage all of my agents to always give our clients and potential clients the best possible service that they can give.  Finding you the best possible price is important, but not at the expense of service.  We might not always have the best onboard credit offer, but we strive to always give you the best service.  If you ever feel you are not getting the service you deserve, I welcome your email or phone call.  I can be reached by email at tracy@travelonadream.com or by phone at 888-681-1240 (option 1).

Service is important to you and it is equally important to us.

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