TravelManagers treats every single Personal Travel Manager (PTM) as an individual, a winning trait they believe helped them score Best Mobile Travel Advisor Network at the National Travel Industry Awards (NTIA’s).
When we spoke to TravelManagers’ Chief Operating Officer Grant Campbell following the win, he said TravelManagers avoids the “cookie-cutter approach”.
Instead, they encourage each PTM to look after their wellbeing and to combine their love of travel with whatever interests they have outside of their professional lives.
After all, happy and fulfilled staff are productive staff who genuinely care for their clients. You can read more about the company’s winning approach below.
What does being recognised by the industry in this way mean to you?
The NTIA judging panel is made up of 13 experts who represent a vast wealth of experience in every area of the travel industry.
It is therefore very gratifying for TravelManagers to be acknowledged by members of this group of peers.
Having two finalists in the advisor category is a huge achievement as well, and we believe our success in both categories demonstrates that we have a winning formula at both company level and at individual personal travel manager (PTM) level.
We have a collection of smart, passionate, fun-loving people who care about the success of the company as a whole, and their colleagues, clients and suppliers individually.
Winning ‘Best Mobile Travel Advisor Network’ is the outcome of a lot of hard work and dedication from the entire network – all 570+ PTMs and 60 members of the National Partnership Office (NPO) support crew.
We are looking forward to getting together and celebrating our success at our annual National Conference which is due to take place in Perth in August.
What are some little or big touches you and the team make to ensure you leave a positive impression on agents/clients?
Everything we do is driven by the desire to deliver the best possible experience for our clients.
Being available 24/7, 365, means not only can clients be in touch with their PTM from anywhere in the world at any time, but it also means PTMs have the support that provides them with the freedom and flexibility to achieve a work-life balance that’s not possible under the traditional travel agent model.
We are a family, and ‘personal’ is conspicuous in all that we do.
Each personal travel manager is viewed as an individual and is free, in partnership with TravelManagers, to operate their business in their own unique way.
We treat all our PTMs as individuals, and we don’t have a cookie-cutter approach.
We continually ask ourselves, ‘how can we add value?’ This is applied to every decision we make with respect to our network needs, whether it’s investing in technology, systems or resourcing, and our goal is to be the best partner in travel.
We actively seek feedback from PTMs and their clients. Many companies claim to be interested in feedback, but we genuinely crave it.
Getting honest feedback, including constructive criticism, is essential if we are to continuously improve.
What are some changes the brand has made over the last year that would have contributed to your success this year?
We have been focusing on Best Business Practice in every area of the business.
We place a strong focus on the health and well-being of our PTMs.
Last year we launched our Network Assistance Program, which offers every PTM up to six free sessions with a registered mental health practitioner.
We have also rolled out walking meetings nationally, giving PTMs the ability to share ideas and network with fellow PTMs and their Business Partnership Manager while walking together in a healthy and revitalising environment.
What would you recommend to other brands hoping to win in future years?
Focus on what you do best. TravelManagers’ sole business is the operation of a home-based travel advisor network that looks after each client as an individual by offering personalised service.
Everything we do comes back to one simple objective: to deliver the best possible experience to our clients. Follow that course and, award or no award, you’re bound for success.
Be genuine: you can’t be consistently successful if you’re feigning a type of behaviour, so be sure to practice what you purport.
How important is your organisation to the industry?
We are passionate advocates for consumer protection – all customer funds are placed in a dedicated Client Trust Account which is audited every 3 months by an external chartered accounting firm, with the results published on TravelManagers website.
This transparency in processing client funds is further supported by a Trust Account Fidelity Risk insurance policy.
To our knowledge, we are the only travel intermediary in the world to regularly publish an audit of the company’s Client Trust Account funds.
We have been the pioneers in many areas of the mobile consulting model over the last 14 years setting the benchmark for this sector.
We believe we make a worthwhile contribution to the industry in that we assist travel professionals to make positive changes in their lives by offering an alternative to the daily office grind along with supporting them in becoming the best they can be.
Our approach makes it possible for PTMs to successfully combine a love of travel with whatever interests they have outside of their professional lives.
What do you think the future holds for the travel industry?
We believe the future is bright, with lots of opportunities for those who can differentiate themselves and focus on ‘personalisation’ verses ‘commoditisation’.
It is TravelManagers’ view that commoditisation is a race to the bottom whereas personalisation has immense potential.
More clients will become increasingly time-poor, causing them to seek personalised and customised travel experiences that result in greater demand for the services of PTMs.
What do you love about the industry?
What is there not to love about being able to add value – whether it’s to the client, our suppliers or most importantly to our PTMs.
We are fortunate to be involved in converting dreams into reality and helping our clients travel to places they may have only dreamt about.
We love sending our PTMs on dedicated famils so they can indulge their own love of travel while seeing for themselves the latest developments, returning home to tailor-make unique travel experiences with confidence.
What’s your advice for people thinking of joining the industry?
The success of our PTMs, including this year’s ‘Best Mobile Travel Advisor’ winner, Kathy Millett, is due in large part to their utter dedication to building great relationships – with clients, with suppliers and with their TravelManagers colleagues.
Most people come into the travel industry because they themselves love to travel – if they can harness that enthusiasm and use it to deliver the best possible experience to their clients, they’re bound to go far.
We say, ‘do it now!’ The travel industry offers a dynamic career option with awesome perks – and who doesn’t want to travel the globe while they work?
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