What to Do When Crisis Hits Your Client's Trip

Published on Tuesday, September 29, 2015
travel crisis cancelledHaving travel protection provides a bit of security to travelers, knowing if something goes wrong and that something is covered, things will turn out better for them. Still, travelers don’t want anything to go wrong. But, the mere fact that they bought travel protection in the first place can be a measure of how important it is to them that everything goes smoothly. It’s also a call to action of sorts for sellers of travel; this client needs a bit of handholding. How well agents hold that hand, especially when crisis hits their client’s trip, may very well determine the amount of future business that comes their way.

Before we get into good practices with clients when a crisis hits, let's back this up a bit. While it is not the first thing that comes to mind when selling travel protection, what to do when crisis hits should be in there somewhere. Begin with the process of crafting an appropriate insurance package, custom-designed for your client using a flexible third-party source. When that sale is made, be sure clients understand the claim process so the procedure is not entirely foreign when crisis hits and they are thrust into it.

Identify The Real Crisis

When crisis hits, clients naturally call their travel agent. That’s their first call, a knee-jerk reaction to an unexpected flight delay, medical issue, lost luggage, or some other travel disruption. Remember, as the agent who identified the need and sold the insurance, your client considers you the expert. If you did a good job of explaining the coverage they ended up with, there should be no surprises here. Still, identifying the nature of the crisis is the first step.

Consider The Coverage

Remember, the client is in the middle of the storm. Travel has been disrupted which throws them off anywhere from being mildly inconvenienced to totally disoriented. Once the crisis has been identified, aligned with what the client is covered for (or not)proceed with your best recommendation. Frankly, that best recommendation may be something the clients can best accomplish themselves. Canceled airline flights come to mind. The best advice might be “RUN to the customer service center, ahead of the crowd,and get on the next available flight.” That solves the problem with the least amount of inconvenience to the client…and that’s the name of the game.travel question

The Least Amount Of Inconvenience

Minimizing the disruption to travel caused by a crisis is the number one goal agents should have. Most often, that involves what we have discussed so far; identifying the crisis, consider the coverage and make an initial recommendation to the client on their next step. Taking advantage of services provided by insurance companies can go a long way here, providing help along the way to travelers. Still, they want this information from their agent: one stop shopping. Exploring this topic of what to do in a crisis from time to time as an ongoing effort, even in general terms, will give agents the confidence to deal with a client’s crisis, covered or not.

Reinforce Your Value Every Step Of The Way

Participating in the management of a client’s travel crisis is one of the single best ways to reinforce your value as a seller of travel. No client is going to click his way to an empathetic website that knows him well and has a personal interest in his well being and safety. While most of what happens to clients in crisis next will occur at the scene, your expert guidance can leverage their insurance coverage to its full potential benefit. They won’t forget that the next time they are planning travel.

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