Like Ripples in the River

Kenneth Shapiro I got a call the other day from one of my oldest friends, asking me if I knew of a good travel agent. (Now why would she think that?) My friend’s sister will be celebrating a milestone birthday and wanted to take her whole family husband and three teenagers to New York City for a week. Aft

By: Kenneth Shapiro

I got a call the other day from one of my oldest friends, asking me if I knew of a good travel agent. (Now why would she think that?) My friend’s sister will be celebrating a milestone birthday and wanted to take her whole family husband and three teenagers to New York City for a week. After a bit of consideration and honestly, with some trepidation, I gave her the name of an agent that could help.

The reason I felt nervous is that I didn’t want to let this friend down, and while I have complete confidence in this agent, my friend is unaccustomed to working with travel agents and I really hoped the experience would be a positive one.

Well, it turns out that my friend’s sister absolutely loves the agent, and the week is booked, the plans are made and the excitement is growing as the trip approaches. Because of her professionalism, this agent made not only her client happy, but also the client’s family, her sister and me. And you can bet her name will be offered again to potential clients with confidence.

I think sometimes agents can forget just how much is riding on this ripple effect and how many people are impacted by a job well done. This incident was on my mind as I read this issue’s cover story, “River Cruising Comes of Age” (page 24). This type of travel, with the decisions involved between cruise lines, itineraries, ships and more can be daunting to many consumers, which is why travel agents are clearly essential to the growth of this product. The better travel agents are at making customers happy with this kind of trip, the more successful the river cruising industry will be as a whole. It’s in the agents’ hands, plain and simple.

I think the river cruise company executives understand the importance of agents in this regard. I just hope agents always understand this power and responsibility as well.

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