Readers' lives: Kevin Richardson

Readers' lives: Kevin Richardson

Kevin Richardson only started working from home for Hays Travel in Janaury, yet he is already the top personal travel consultant in its Travel Academy for industry newcomers.

Q: You joined Hays’ Travel Academy as a personal travel consultant in January. What attracted you to the industry?
I wanted to fufil my dream. I have always wanted to go into travel. This was a perfect opportunity as the academy is for anyone who has not worked in the industry. I worked in mobile communications for 22 years and when I was offered voluntary redundancy, I thought if I don’t do it now I never will. My only regret is I didn’t do it sooner.

Q: What worried you most about switching careers?
I didn’t have experience of the travel industry. I spent a day in head office, which gave me an overview of what is available to me for my business and what they would supply me with; that confirmed to me that I wanted to do it. The Travel Academy is a 12-month rolling programme so I have spent days at head office and I go to training events such as those held by Tipto to learn about the suppliers. I have been on three educationals since I started; I’ve thrown myself into it! I go to as many events as I can to improve my knowledge.

Q: Give an example of something different you do to generate bookings.
I do holiday ‘house parties’ that I advertise on Facebook. I go to people’s houses or workplace and so far I have a 100% success rate with bookings made during the party. I went to a beauty salon recently for a group of women and they made an evening of it. I just take my laptop and if it’s a social evening, a couple of bottles of wine, and business cards. I find out what they want and search for hotels and destinations; it’s much easier to do it while they are all there if it’s a group booking. I’ve never come away without a booking.

Q: What is it that you do that makes customers come back to you?
I really focus on my customer service and I send cards to customers to say thank you for booking. I sort out and send all their tickets. I also send text messages to say happy holiday, and welcome home postcards when clients return from their holidays. I even text them on their birthday.

Q: How do you juggle work and leisure time?
I used to work continuously with no days off but I burnt myself out. Now I make sure I have a couple of days off a week. I have three shih tzus and I take them to shows so they need a lot of maintenance. I bath them every four days and it takes five to six hours! I work my business around the dogs so my hobby and my job are both really rewarding.

Kevin’s CV

2016: personal travel consultant, Hays Travel (Travel Academy), Tyne & Wear

1993-2015: customer service roles, most recently service relationship manager, Airwave


This is a community-moderated forum.
All post are the individual views of the respective commenter and are not the expressed views of Travel Weekly.
By posting your comments you agree to accept our Terms & Conditions.

More in readers-lives