We wish we could always communicate good news to our customers. While in a perfect world that would be the case, it is not uncommon to have to share not such great news from time to time. Difficult situations are not easy or fun to manage. Perhaps the property they are booked ends up being sold before their trip and goes into major construction that is sure to be a problem for their vacation plans. Maybe the ship they are confirmed to sail on suddenly undergoes a fire and is out of commission for their cruise. Airlines change schedules, aircraft and might even go out of business. None of these things makes your job easy when it comes to communicating bad news.
The goal is to strengthen your relationships with your customers as that of being a caring and concerned travel consultant and a company who is compassionate and focused on solutions. Following are some thoughts for making these situations a bit easier to handle.
I hope that some of these points might be of some assistance when dealing with communicating in difficult conversations. Being a good listener is, without a doubt, one of the most important techniques a travel professional should master. That skill combined with being an A + Communicator will enhance your customer relationships and keep them customers for life.
Joanie Ogg is a 40+-year travel industry executive that has been recognized by all facets of the travel industry. She and her husband, Tom Ogg and son, Andy Ogg own and operate a plethora of websites supporting Travel Professionals with resources and tools to grow their respective businesses. As co-author of a variety of books and publications she has inspired tens of thousands of travel agents attending her presentations and keynotes at trade events, cruise seminars, international trade gatherings and numerous local educational venues throughout the United States. Joanie is a Master Cruise Counselor (MCC) and a Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) as well as a recipient of numerous awards and recognitions within the travel industry.