This week our secret shopper was in Grantham, Lincolnshire to book a long autumn weekend for two in Abu Dhabi.
The mystery shopper visited two travel agencies in Grantham, Lincolnshire and requested a four-night trip in October for two adults to Abu Dhabi, with a budget of £2,500.
They then made two Google.co.uk searches using the term ‘Abu Dhabi four-night holiday’.
14 Guildhall Street
Mystery Shopper said: I was impressed that the store opened early and I was greeted as soon as I opened the door. The store was tidy and well laid out. A smartly dressed consultant asked how they could help me. They asked questions about the destination and dates I required as well as my preferred departure airport. They found flights quickly and made sure I was happy with the times before moving on to hotels. They checked what was important to me and showed me several options in a brochure. They found two options within budget and offered a free upgrade to half board. The best package was with Travel 2 flying with Etihad and staying at the Park Hyatt for £2,307. The consultant explained prices may change and said I could book that day with a deposit and pay the balance later. They also said they could book my airport parking. I felt I had received fantastic customer service.
How long in travel?
I started about eight years ago and I’ve been at Roma Travel for almost three years.
Do you sell a lot of the Middle East?
Yes, Abu Dhabi and Dubai especially. We use lots of different operators for a nice mix.
Any tips for selling Abu Dhabi?
It’s all about listening to the customer. There’s often a reason they are visiting, such as to see the Grand Prix.
What’s the last country you have visited and what for?
It was a girly break to Disneyland Paris.
What’s been your biggest booking?
A couple’s river cruises to Vietnam and Cambodia with APT, worth £25,000.
What would you be doing if you weren’t in travel?
Probably something to do with business, as that’s what I studied – until the course got dropped and I changed to travel.
TTG has teamed up with React Surveys to simulate a realistic booking process each week – that means a mystery shopper looking for the best deal from agents and operators on the high street, online, on TV or in newspapers. The Mystery Shopper research is carried out on behalf of TTG by React Surveys,and no further details or information can be disclosed. Researchers take into consideration first impression, sales process, product and budget match and extras offered before giving an unbiased opinion of which channel/company they would have booked with on that occasion. We do not claim that the winner is the best in an area or specialist sector, as we may report on competing travel firms in the future. Please note that the aim of Mystery Shopper is not to criticise individual agents or companies, but to promote good sales technique for the benefit of all in the travel trade.