Location: Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire
Shopping for: A value summer holiday for a family of four to Spain or Spanish islands
17 The Bell Centre, Nottingham Street
The consultant at this professional-looking agency immediately greeted me and we sat down to discuss the request.
The agent entered the details onto the system and offered me an option, but I said I didn’t think it offered enough children’s activities. She then mentioned the Interclub Atlantic in San Augustin and the Costa Caleta hotel in Costa Caleta.
She mentioned another hotel that had a kids club and children’s pool, but was half board. She printed out all three quotes, inserting them against the relevant hotel in the brochure and gave me these with her card. She highlighted extra costs such as in-flight meals.
The consultant was knowledgeable about packages in general, however slightly lost out as I thought she didn’t encourage me to finalise the sale.
6-7 Market Place
The consultant asked me plenty of questions to get a full understanding of my enquiry. She suggested a couple of resorts and encouraged me to read brochure details.
She highlighted places that were good for families, the pros and cons and gave me quotations on prices within my budget. She also asked about travel insurance and said they could arrange car hire, providing quotations. Packages offered included seven nights at Paradise Island, flying to Lanzarote, costing £1,382.
The agent offered me a 10% discount on car hire to close the sale. She had good general knowledge, attention to detail and was professional and friendly but I felt she lacked passion.
4 South Parade
Although I wasn’t sure of the exact place I wanted to go, the consultant said she had the right place for me. She showed me a brochure of one of its Holiday Villages in Playa Blanca, saying it offered lots of children’s activities.
She showed me a video of the villages in general, then one of the village at Playa Blanca. She quoted me £1,660 for seven nights, adding I needed to book quickly because the villages are so popular.
The consultant offered me her phone to consult my husband. This was good service, and the package was suitable and within my budget, but I wasn’t offered any alternatives.
1 High Street
The consultant at this smart agency listened clearly to my requirements, understood my needs and was able to use her knowledge to provide me with a great holiday package that met my expectations and budget.
She showed me brochures, gave me flight times, asked if I wanted in-flight meals and car hire and provided tips on travelling with children. She also mentioned a free child offer.
The quotes included seven nights at Paraiso Floral in Tenerife on an all-inclusive basis for £1,476, including car hire.
Her attitude was friendly, courteous and professional at all times. I received good customer service not only from this particular member of staff, but also from others, who provided input and helped me to picture the destinations.
Tip 1: Mystery shopper was concerned about prices with the Euro so agents were right to offer all-inclusive options, particularly with young children who can snack and drink as much as they like without the bills totting up.
Tip 2: Spain’s theme parks are well-known, including PortAventura at the Costa Daurada coast and Siam Park in Tenerife. Earn more commission by selling these family-friendly add-ons.
Tip 3: Visit the Spanish Tourist Board’s website and under the ‘What to do?’ heading there is a section on family activities, with great ideas such as wildlife parks and museums. It also lists child-friendly activities by region, which will help a vague customer narrow down their search.
Tip 4: Budget-conscious Mystery Shopper was impressed by the discounts on offer to close the sale, such as a free child place or discounts on car rental.
Tip 5: For a thorough run down of resorts and hotels in Turkey visit Gazetteers.com, as well as photos of resorts and hotel reviews from fellow travel agents.
Mystery Shopper prizes
Each month’s highest scoring travel agent gets the chance to drive a Porsche Boxster S courtesy of Elite Island Resorts. More at www.travelweekly.co.uk/elite
Mystery Shopper scoring system
- 60% Advice and product knowledge
- 12% Customer service
- 8% External/internal appearance
- 7% Welcome
- 7% Farewell
- 6% Staff presentation
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