I’ll preface this by saying that I truly appreciate ALL of my clients – past, present and future! Booking holidays for a living is one of the greatest careers on the planet and Travel Agents wouldn’t exist without customers.
That doesn’t mean we can’t poke a little bit of fun at them every now and then does it?
So here’s my list of common types of clients that we just love to death.
1. The Pricebeater
This person will happily spend days of his or her own time ‘shopping around’ for the best deal. Another dollar off the $10,000 holiday is a win for the Pricebeater and they have no shame in admitting it.
Eventually it may even turn into a sick game of Travel Agent vs Travel Agent as the customer waits for the victor to gut his opponent like a Roman gladiator.
2. The Helicopter Parent
After putting together the perfect holiday or perhaps Schoolies trip for a young traveller the Helicopter Parent will swoop in and drag all your good work through the mud.
They’ll turn their noses up at the level of accommodation you’ve suggested (because they’d rather spend their money on other things) and shake their heads in disbelief that you’ve suggested they fly with carry-on baggage only for a five day trip to Bali.
The real fun starts when Mum and child have a full-on argument in the middle of the shop complete with feet stamping and the obligatory “we’ll see what your Father says” before storming out.
3. The Itinerary Guy
This dude will book his river cruise seven years in advance just to make sure he gets the starboard, north facing, blessed by a Byzantine monk cabin.
Within three hours of slapping down his $200 deposit he’ll be chasing up his e-tickets, itinerary, visa advice, seat selection and whether or not it will be raining in Budapest on the last day of the trip.
He’ll attend all of the tour companies ‘info nights’ with a three inch thick laminated stack of research just waiting for one of the reps to provide a sliver of contradicting information – just so he can come back to you for ‘clarification’ on what brand of bus is used for the airport transfers.
4. The Poker Face
It’ll be easier to put socks on an octopus than to get any qualifying information out of The Poker Face.
They’ll sit down and give you answers in nods and grunts while you try and find the best airfare for them.
Frustratingly silent while you scan your crystal ball for the right answer. They’ll eventually thank you for your time and walk away with a business card which they scribbled a price on the back of. When they come in the next day to actually book you feel as if you’ve won the lottery.
5. The Dreamer
You’ve probably consulted with this person more times than Shane Warne has swiped right on Tinder. Sometimes you spot them making a beeline from the food court, duck into the back just in time and chuckle when they get saddled up with the newie. They’ve got three hundred quotes in the system but have never actually booked anything.
You lament the first day of the month when the new window marketing goes up as they’ll most likely ‘be in the neighborhood’ and notice that fantastic deal to Borneo to chew your ear about until lunchtime.
6. The Special One
These guys want the best seat on the flight for free simply because they asked, I mean they’re almost six feet tall, so surely they should be upgraded to premium economy, right? The Special One will also brag about all the times they were bumped into Business Class for free because they dress so well – so please put a note in the system for the check staff, just in case they miss it.
They’ll also be demanding an upgrade to First Class in the case that their flight is delayed by 35 minutes even though they’ve already slated the airline; it’s staff and the entire Australian travel industry on Facebook – so you better do something about it.
7. The Peasant in Royal Attire
This lady will beg for a student discount on her annual family trip to the Ritz Carlton in Paris while clinking her gold and diamonds on the desk. Her kids sit quietly behind her in their private school uniforms while she slides her black American Express across the table along with one last plea for a better price before swiping her card.
Daddy is waiting outside in the Range Rover and shoots her a look to make sure she’s winning the game and has successfully busted your commission down to a 0.75% margin on the entire trip. Make sure they get the nice leather luggage tags and ticket wallets though – as they’re very rich and very important don’t you know?
What’s your ‘favourite’ type of client to deal with?
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