The mystery shopper visited two agencies in Ely, Cambridgeshire and requested an 8 to 12-day safari for two adults in Botswana, on a budget of £15,000 including flights.
They then made two Google.co.uk searches for ‘Botswana safari’.
Sainsbury's, Lisle Lane
Mystery Shopper said: The agency was located in a supermarket. It was well signed and easy to find. There was a wide access area, which made browsing easy while encouraging passers-by to come in. The interior was laid back and relaxing. The sole agent was busy but made time to come over to apologise and ask me to wait for a few minutes. I thought this professional and friendly. The consultant was knowledgeable about the area despite never having been to Botswana. They recommended parks and add-ons and produced a detailed 12-night itinerary; I was even shown a video of the destination. The agent suggested a few nights after the safari to relax, which was a good recommendation. The holiday was under budget at £9,124 and they encouraged me to think about an upgrade. There was no pressure to seal the deal there and then but they did ask whether I was ready to book and I was given a number for further enquires.
retail sales consultant
How long in travel?
About two and a half years – before that I was in retail.
Is Africa a popular enquiry?
It can be, but we tend to get more enquiries for Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa.
Who’s a typical client for Botswana?
Perhaps slightly older, more disposable income. The youngsters tend to want Kenya first.
Where would you like to go in Africa?
I want to do the Kruger – it’s massive so you can escape the crowds.
If you could be any safari animal, what would you be?
A white rhino.
Any holidays planned?
I have a few booked – Florida, Dubai, Bulgaria for skiing and a Royal Caribbean cruise. I like to have them planned in advance!
Florida, for the theme parks, the weather, the beaches.
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.