Mystery shopper: Online, a trip to see the Northern Lights

Mystery shopper: Online, a trip to see the Northern Lights

Location: Online
Wanted: A couple want to see the Northern Lights in Scandinavia next January. They also want recommendations for activities on the week-long trip.
Budget: £3,500

Stewarttravel.co.uk
90%
The agent answered the phone politely and sounded enthusiastic. She asked a range of questions before suggesting a 10-night cruise with Hurtigruten on a Trollfjord sailing from Bergen, flying from Glasgow on January 12, for £3,600. This was over budget and for longer than I’d asked but the agent provided lots of detail to suggest it was the best way to see the Northern Lights. She said land based excursions could be booked on board and said we could alternatively opt to do our own thing in port. The follow up email provided comprehensive details about the things we had discussed on the phone. The information this agent provided was of a high quality and her knowledge would have made me feel confident about booking.

Glentravel.co.uk
74%
This agent was enthusiastic. I was initially offered a shorter cruise but was told I was less likely to see the Northern Lights, while a land-based tour was dismissed. The agent recommended a 12-day Hurtigruten sailing on its Astronomy Voyage, staying in an inside cabin, departing from Bergen on January 12, for £2,910, excluding flights from Glasgow. The phone conversation was decent, but the follow-up information was poor as the quote I’d been promised was not provided. This agent lacked the knowledge of this week’s winner.

Horizon-direct.co.uk
40%
This agent did not appear interested in my enquiry. They asked a few basic questions and rushed through details. I was told a cruise might be a better option for my request than a land-based holiday. I was promised a follow-up email with a detailed and tailor-made series of options; however, I didn’t receive anything, and was not called back either. The phone call did not feel customer focused, with the agent appearing uninterested and distracted.


Winning agent

Debbie Greer, manager

“I am absolutely delighted to have won – when I first heard I thought it was a joke! Customer service is our main focus, so to know we are doing it well is excellent.”


Verdict

The winner demonstrated a good depth of knowledge as well as a dedication to finding a trip that optimised Mystery Shopper’s chances of seeing the Northern Lights.


Elite resorts caribbean

Top-scoring agent each month will win use of a car for 10 days.

The winning agent must be at least 25, for insurance reasons. Winners under 25 will win a week’s all-inclusive holiday at an Elite Islands Resorts property. The prize is non-transferable and the car must be driven only by the winning agent. The winner must not have any serious driving convictions. Elite Island Resorts will endeavour to supply the car to the agency but reserves the right to request the winning agent to collect and return the car from Essex or a central location

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