Is Your Agency Delivering Mixed Messages?
Dean Horvath,Reinventing The Agent

Companies normally work very hard to differentiate themselves from the competition – a brand extends much further than the logo on the door. Every experience a customer has with a company adds together in their mind to form the impression of the brand.  But, how often does our marketing and advertising promise one thing but we actually deliver something else?  

Here’s my list of ten big mixed messages:

  1. “We care about our clients!”…

    Then make them sit on hold, put them through voicemail hell, take a long time to get back to them, don’t answer emails.
  2. “We are better than the Internet”… 
    Then add an online booking engine to our own website.
  3. “I’ve been selling travel for 30 years so I know everything”…
    Then discover a client has more information available at their own fingertips than we could possibly know.
  4. “Book through us instead of directly with suppliers”…
    Then link directly to suppliers on our own website.
  5. “Our service is valuable to our clients”
    Then give it away for free.
  6. “We are unique”…
    Then use a website template used by 100 other travel agencies.
  7. “You better book now, this is the last seat”…
    Then the client goes online and sees that it’s not true.
  8. “I specialize in XXXXX type of travel”…

    Then accept any type of booking that comes through the door.
  9. “We are a professional Agency”
    Then promote a website obviously designed by an amateur.
  10. “We utilize the best technology to book your travel”…
    Then print an invoice on a dot-matrix printer.

As a travel agent, you are your brand.  Everything you say and do will form the impression of a brand in your clients mind.  Make sure what you “say” matches what you “do” and the impression you create with your clients will be a strong one.

Can you think of any other “mixed-messages” in the travel industry?

Dean Horvath created the industry blog Reinventing The Agent and is the owner of Mason Horvath Inc., with offices in Vancouer, Calgary and Toronto.

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