After losing a large corporate client last year, Kenneth Macleod Travel has confidently embarked on a new era in its history.
Reinventing a business that celebrated its 40th anniversary last year is no mean feat, but KM Travel has all the assets needed to transition to a boutique travel agency model, starting with plans for a new, more open-plan office.
Set on the first floor of Glasgow’s Hope Street, where the agency moved to in 2008, its only presence at street level is a sturdy golden plaque.
However, with 90-95% client retention, walk-ins are relatively rare. KM Travel is a business that knows how to maintain and reward existing customers while maximising word-of-mouth referrals.
A new logo, website and marketing plan based around guiding loyal and prospective clients to its various digital channels is bringing results.
Managing director Julian Stark has undertaken social media training, as have other members of the team, with a focus on growing engagement across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
The KM Travel blog, meanwhile, features authoritative, aspirational travel pieces, including write-ups of staff educational trips (they all get away around once a year), as well as a comprehensive cruise guide and a focus on personal travel experiences.
Staff average 19 years’ travel experience each, complemented by regular supplier training with luxury cruise lines and high-end tour operators, online training and courses offered by the Advantage Travel Partnership.
Partner events with suppliers have proved fruitful – an event with four cruise lines attracted 84 people and generated 11 bookings, while another with Regent generated four bookings.
The team has a checklist they adhere to meticulously for every holiday. Online check-in and welcome home calls, for instance, are standard. Clients even get a KM Travel tea towel, complete with a poem, and other gifts such as gin miniatures, bookmarks and fridge magnets.
Personal relationships with hotels and suppliers, meanwhile, often allow KM Travel to secure exclusive extras for clients such as balcony rooms in sought-after hotels, all as part of its boutique service.
KM Travel clearly has all the qualities and expertise required to pivot. The next 12 months will be an exciting journey for its experienced team, one that will undoubtedly benefit existing customers while driving new business.