Michael Londregan, Virtuoso; with Joel Katz, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) during the virtual forum Michael Londregan, Virtuoso; with Joel Katz, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) during the virtual forum

Prioritising loyal clients key to revival with reduced staff levels

Travel advisors should plan to prioritise loyal customers when people are able to travel again, a presenter at the CLIA Cruise Forum webinars said last week.

Michael Londregan, senior vice-president global operations of Virtuoso, was one of many speakers who noted that overseas experience indicated a rush to travel advisors when borders opened. Ironically this could cause problems considering the huge reduction in staff that travel businesses now have.

He says North American advisors have told him that in some cases they have been kept busy by new clients, driven to agents by the new complexities of travel. While new business is welcome it doesn’t always give the returns of dealing with an established customer base.

‘There is no easy answer to replacing the talent we have lost, we’re not going to fix it with the click of a switch. It has taken time to lose them, so it will take time to get them back,’ adds Londregan.

‘With the resources you do have, you need to make sure you can service your best customers first. Put some thought into targeting exclusive mail addresses. They have been the base of your business.

‘A whole new group will be coming to you looking for help – make sure they don’t get in the way of servicing your most loyal customers.’

 

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