How to get the best out of your email quote from an Indian travel agency

#1 Sep 26th, 2004, 19:26
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  • LuAnnandJawahar is offline
#1
1. State exactly when you arrive and exactly when you leave.
And that includes at what time. People often say they have, for example, 10 days, when really, since they arrive at midnight on day 1 and depart at 1 am on day 10, they have eight days. It matters when you are asking for a quote obviously. It also may matter what day of the week you arrive. You don't want to end up in Agra on a Friday if you only have one day for Agra. The month you arrive is important too... some hotels are more expensive in the winter than the summer. If the agency doesn't know when you are coming, they can't possibly give you their best quote.

2. State the number in your party.
"We" could mean anything from the "royal we" to a small group. The cost for transportation will be different depending on how many people there are. Some itineraries are quite elaborate and to have to refigure it when it is discovered that "we" is 5 people and not 2--well it wastes everybody's time.

3. Be as brief as possible.
You are probably not paying by the minute for your email connection. The agent you are corresponding with possibly is.........The same is true with hotels. People often wonder why the mid-range and budget hotels do not answer their emails. India is not to the point yet where everyone who is in business has a computer on their desk.

4. Don't get testy when you are asked for more information please.
People are usually in a hurry to get their quotes it seems. We when write back to get the information we need to do a proper job, the response is sometimes brusque. As in, "I just wanted a rough quote, I don't see why all these details are necessary." We have finally learned our lesson about sending off "rough" quotes as it ALWAYS comes back to haunt you. "But you said in your first email that it would cost $XXX, why are you trying to cheat me now? Do you think I am stupid?" (Not kidding--real response.)
Reject violence.
#2 Sep 27th, 2004, 09:11
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  • wonderwomanusa is offline
#2
5. And the other important thing for those arranging transport: give the agency more than a few hours to put it together for you!

I have heard stories of people who complained that the "airport pickup" they arranged wasn't made -- but then, they only sent the e-mail to arrange it just before they got on the plane for Delhi.... no time to wait around for a reply, it seems.
#3 Sep 27th, 2004, 14:09
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#3
6. Get someone else to read your e-mail before you send it, everything may be obvious to you, but the travel agent doesnít know anything about you or your likes/dislikes.

7. Give your age; an itinerary for a 20 year old would not be suitable for a 65 year old.

8. Remember that the travel agent is giving you their time & information free, you do not become a customer until you hand over the money.


Namaste India Tours

What percentage of people who make enquiries, actually turn into paying customers?

Is it percentage different for your airport pick-up service rather than your tours?

(If you donít want to say on a public forum, please send me a PM.)

Have you got any good examples of people not giving some much-needed information?

.
#4 Sep 27th, 2004, 14:35
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#4
Ah the woes of the Travel agent!!
I don't know if this will make any difference to you but your not alone!!
Whenever I visit a travel agent here in the Netherlands (usually to buy a ticket to India) I'm constantly amazed how many people have no clue as to what they want, they want a holiday yes where "eh don't know" Well which country "eh don't really know", beach or tour well "not really sure"
After the kind girls at the travel agents have got to the bottom of this then the real horse trading begins, "is it so expensive"??? "ok it's got a pool but so far away from the beach" "oh I don't want to arrive at night" "no I don't think I like Salou maybe a similar hotel on another Costa" "August would be better but not at that price"
I've honestly sat through this several times once for an hour an 30 minutes!! After which the couple decided they should take away the brochures and have a look before they made their decision
Yep tourists are a fickle bunch I don't envy you NIT, I have thought of trying to get a foothold working in India, as a tourist rep or something but to be honest it's the idea of pampering fickle tourists that puts me off.
I wish you all the best NIT!!!
#5 Oct 5th, 2004, 04:28
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  • LuAnnandJawahar is offline
#5

empathy--it feels soooo good

Quote:
Originally Posted by steven_ber What percentage of people who make enquiries, actually turn into paying customers?
Never really thought about it. Email inquiries--probably 30 percent. Interestingly, we have noticed this past year that the more emails are exchanged the LESS likely they are to actually book a service with us. Many people are just fishing, some are hoaxes, some are competitors, some are armchair travelers simply dreaming about a possible future trip, some people cut and paste another company's itinerary and then ask us for our quote.

Is it percentage different for your airport pick-up service rather than your tours?
It's probably better for our Delhi Airport Transfer Service as that is pretty much cut and dried. People don't usually contact us for that until they have been to our website and picked out exactly which option they need.

Have you got any good examples of people not giving some much-needed information?
Are you kidding? But some Indiamike patrons may recognize their writing so we don't want to offend anyone.
It is the exception and not the rule when people actually tell us WHEN they are coming in their first email to us. Also, people frequently send a list of cities they want to visit and ask us to price it for them without giving us any time frame--do you have 10 days or 10 weeks?????

But our most frequent frustration is possibly that people want to accomplish way more than is practical. Just because something is possible, doesn't mean it will make a good trip.

We aren't complaining, mind you...well maybe a little. We just though posting a reminder about including important details in your FIRST inquiry would help everybody.

P.S. A sure way to get your email deleted is to leave the Subject line blank. Blank equals spam as far as we are concerned and we get way to much of that to open it all!
#6 Apr 1st, 2005, 11:19
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  • TravellersCompanion is offline
#6
Namaste,
This incident can't be avoided, but you are right we are also facing similar problems.

TravellersCompanion
#7 Apr 16th, 2005, 08:22
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#7

This will go on....and on...

Travel and Outdoor Travel agency job is like this. I have seen our staff going through similar problems and sometimes very dramatic and dangerous situations.

Last year,we had British group who were all above 50 years. When communicating through emails and telehphone...they were very much sure that they are experienced enough to handle tough trail in Himalayas.

Although we described each and every step of trail but..they will not listen and used to say that they had trekked and climbed KILIMANZARO and in ALPS...

Imagine ! what would happen in KINNER KAILASH CIRCUIT-on old lady was going to be swept away in current-saved due to foresightness of guide,who had provided a line with sling & carabiner.

They reached half dead and badly tired....bruised and all APPLE RED !!
They blamed that we did not inform them properly-luckily our guide was able to show all corrospondance ( print outs ! ) and this was the moment they came to know that thier own friends had duped them not of correct information but also of good amount of money as the guy who was communicating with our team collected money much higher than our company quote kept the balanace...!!!!!
Last edited by himadventures; Apr 16th, 2005 at 08:25.. Reason: Little bit change-i was typing in dark
#8 Apr 21st, 2005, 11:26
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#8

Joke

This is my first mail to the forum, itís heartening to see fellow operators with similar experience. We are in the same boat brother.

Reminds me of a joke I heard recently

According to Hindu belief after death you are put in the court of God Yama who decides, on the basis of your activity in the material world, whether you should go to hell or haven. And the story goes like this ..........

In the court of Yama a person who died only recently was placed. Yama asks what he used to do. The assistant of the lord tells him the guy was a lawyer. Yama immediately sends him to Hell. A second person appears next and this time the person turns out to be a doctor, Yama shows no mercy and sends him to hell as well for overcharging patients. Next a travel agent appears and without a second thought lord Yama sends him to heaven.

The assistant of the lord gets really surprised and asks for an explanation. Pat comes the answer from lord Yama "The travel agent has already gone through hell while dealing with him customers. Its time he gets some break".

No offence intended, guests still remain the king for us, even if they sometimes make life hell for us.
#9 May 11th, 2005, 20:16
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  • himadventures is offline
#9

Suggestions required

Seems this thread stops here !

I think for a better professionalism-we should think about how best a client can be educated about Himalayas and what type of trail they are asking for.
But problem is that most agencies do not reveal the truth. There is gross difference between trekking in NEPAL and trekking in INDIA.
Rules and regulations to book a 6k peak in INDIA and NEPAL are also very very different. A aprox US$ 2900 for booking a 6K peak is too much for a team to support for ROYALTIES,PERMISSION FROM IMF.


A good example is some fake postings - but perhaps this is how word BUSINESS is all about. But this is certainly not a GOOD PRACTICE.
#10 May 22nd, 2005, 19:29
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  • LuAnnandJawahar is offline
#10
P.S. If your need is urgent, email is not the way to go! Remember, we are not all in the same time zone. So people who are requesting a response "some time today" might well be sound asleep by the time their email is even accessed by the travel company.
#11 Aug 3rd, 2005, 06:40
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#11
Yes- but still I think that we have to judge who is 'origional' and hwo is hoax.
With experience now our office people know but they treat them with same sincerity and post replies.

There is not fast technique in my view to judge but this is how work is.
#12 Dec 21st, 2005, 21:11
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#12
Please, please, please state what TIME you arrive and the DATE you arrive, and the time and date that you depart. It makes a difference!

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