Some high-end customers may have a tendency to whine, but they pay for your own tipple, says David.
One of my favourite clients – and biggest spenders – doesn’t really have any concept of money except when comparing the costs of champagne around the world.
“Oh, we like it there – Veuve is really reasonable,” she says. Or: “I’m not going there again, it was £367 for a bottle of Cloudy Bay.”
She’s the type who will always want a room upgrade and who, when asking what the difference between the rooms is, will be satisfied to hear that “no one else will be staying in a better room”.
I recently arranged a twin-centre for her, to Mauritius and Dubai. When booking her seats, I reminded her to reserve the shower on board, as they were flying on an Emirates A380. “Darling,” she said. “I don’t spend two hours having a blow dry before the chauffeur picks us up to have it ruined at 30,000 feet.”
While booking her family’s helicopter transfers, we needed to know their weights. She said: “If I add a stone on for John and James and take two off mine, would that be fine?” I responsed: “Provided you’re prepared for a ‘she’s piled it on’ look from the pilot when you get in the helicopter, then that’s fine!”
One morning, while she was away on the holiday, I woke to the following WhatsApp message: “Hi David, thanks so much for the Cloudy Bay. My fave. You know me so well! We are now here at the second hotel. A little underwhelmed. Lovely room but not a patch on the last one. No guest bathroom, no dining table. Also, as it is a lot more expensive here, I suppose I expected it to be better than the last one.“
I responded by advising her that next time she booked a twin‑centre, we would do it the other way around.
The following day, while she was still staying at the same hotel, I had another message: “David, this hotel is just stunning!! Service, food, ambience just superb. Very quiet and upmarket. Think it’s one of the best hotels we have stayed in. xx”
Sometimes, a property just takes a while to work its magic.
We all say we bend over backwards for our clients, but we do so more for some than others. This client has spent in excess of £250,000 with me over the five years I have been in business – not to mention the people she sends my way who also book high‑value trips. All of them are very demanding and many contact me at all hours to ask what can seem crazy questions but are crucial to them.
We all have clients who make us roll our eyes whenever they get in contact. Yet, at the same time, we smile because we know that no matter how much time we spend on them, they remain loyal to us, spend their money with us and encourage others to do the same.
So, next time you roll your eyes at a demanding client’s question, remember their custom allows you to enjoy your tipple of choice. Now, where’s my bottle of Cloudy Bay?
You want what? Questions from demanding customers
Some clients ask demanding questions. Here are a few recent examples I’ve had:
- Why can’t we fly to the Caribbean on Emirates from Manchester?
- We want to come back on Wednesday – why isn’t there a flight?
- Can you get us to Necker Island tomorrow – about eight of us?
- Why can they not operate a flight in the afternoon?
It’s these questions that make the eyes roll and need a delicate answer. But if these clients all did exactly as we proposed to them, it would be a very boring world.
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