Thanks For Your Trust in Us!
By Hank Schrader, USMA ’71, Europe Destination & Europe River Cruise Expert
If you have ever received an email from us, it usually ends with “Thanks for your trust in us!”
So, why do we do this? I think it is simple—we never want to forget that our business relationship is based on trust—we have to earn yours, and we must deliver.
Our goal has always been to be your trusted travel advisor. As a retired military officer, retired football coach and currently a professional travel advisor, I realized quickly how important trust and integrity is, and how fast it can be lost. In all these professions, making those whom you work with into believers, always produces the best results. Every action has to be our best, and we can’t rely on what we did in the past—we are only as good as our next promise, trip plan or interaction with you.
So, how can you judge if we have the right stuff, so you can trust us? I think there are 4 characteristics of a good travel advisors. They are ability, reliability, integrity and security. We feel if we excel in these 4 areas, we will earn your trust.
So, let’s see how we are doing!
Do we have the ability to help you get a great trip?
I don’t think there is any question we are knowledgeable—our certifications, extensive writings about travel, our guides and first-hand experience are unique in the industry (just read my summary bio at the end of this blog if you doubt me), but that has little meaning if we can’t use it get you the best possible trip. For us, it means guiding you to make the correct decisions, among options, with our insights and personal experience in what matters to you. For example, trying to do too much or too little are common problems on a vacation that we help you overcome. We help you find value—not always the least expensive trip but getting the best value for your money. We help with pain points, easing you through difficult decisions, with solutions that work to enhance your travels.
Perhaps the best example of our ability to plan and conduct trips is our upcoming 75th Anniversary of D Day trip we will lead in June of 2019. 33 people are trusting our ability to plan and execute a trip of a lifetime. It will be fun, educational and emotional. We are the only 2 person travel agency planning and leading a trip like this—quite an achievement in our industry.
Is it clear to you, after reading this, we have the ability to be your trusted travel advisor?
Are we reliable?
Here is what I wrote in another blog—it is a good summary of what to expect when working with us. This is our list of service expectations to each client—we want to deliver outrageously good customer service:
We will follow up 100% on our promises—we will return calls and emails as promised.
We will send a hand-written note to each person who books with us before and after the trip.
We will be in contact during the whole process before, and during the trip to resolve any problems or questions that arise during the planning and booking process, or during the trip.
We will contact each customer after each trip for feedback and follow up on these results.
We will offer special group amenities to increase the value of our group travel.
We will make the whole process fun and hassle free.
For me, this is a very good summary of reliability! Maybe the best example of our reliability is the reviews of us on google, our website and the better business bureau—many cite what I have written here. We even have a Traveler Hall of Fame on our website and will add you if you decide to use our services—here is the link: https://www.dreamdestinations.com/traveler-hall-of-fame/
Do you now think we are reliable?—I certainly hope so!
Do we use high standards of professionalism with all?
I like to say, we don’t have clients—we have friends who like to use our advice for their travel excursions and you treat friends like family. We have a strong belief in high standards that doesn’t waiver. Our word is our bond. We have empathy for your concerns, we treat you with respect, and we understand when you struggle with decisions. When you tell us about possible obstacles or items that may require confidentiality, we respect that confidence except for people who need to know. We are truthful and sincere. We work for your best interests, not ours. We do what is right when no one is looking.
Not only do we treat you with integrity, we also treat our vendors the same. We scrutinize them for you—we won’t let you use a suspect vendor. Our vendors know we trust them and, after passing our standards, we sing their praises.
Here is a good example—I recently booked 4 folks on an AmaWaterways Bordeaux cruise. Since I had purchased future cruise credits from AmaWaterways, I could offer them a 5% discount and a reduced deposit (we still have 10 left if you are interested in this discount). The only problem was I couldn’t provide these folks with a written offer sheet showing the credit—if I included it on the offer sheet, the money we had invested was lost if they changed their mind. They had to trust me and I had to trust them that they would book. They booked, we delivered and everyone was happy—they got the reduced rate--that’s trust!
Need I say more—do we sound like someone you can trust?
In a world with a lot of possible travel issues, do we relieve stress, anxiety and avoid potential problems?
We tackle obstacles head on, with sound solutions. We can advise when to avoid some travel spots or situations, we are proactive—we try to anticipate problems before they arise and fix them. Travel planning is often a hassle—we remember the details so you won’t have to worry about the trip—just relax and enjoy!
Here is another common example—we handle credit cards, or checks and/or wire transfers for most clients. We have to protect this sensitive information, so it cannot be compromised—our clients must trust us to protect their financial information and we always do—the only acceptable standard is 100% and we have never failed yet.
In short, you can trust us with security issues—would you agree with me?
My Final Thoughts
Do we have the ability, reliability, integrity and security traits to be your trusted travel advisor? Have we earned your trust?—many clients return for repeat trips using our services—this is a strong statement of a trusting relationship! We hope you will join them by using our services.
Thanks for your trust in us!
Time and money issues are complex—we all want the best at the least possible price. We help you solve those complex issues, saving you hassles, time and worry. We are travel experts, ocean and river cruise experts, and Europe destination experts. We have first-hand knowledge of almost anywhere you want to visit in Europe. We know our products and the vendors who sell them to you. We have designed special tours for dozens of clients, led several and will continue to find just the right vacation that will exceed your expectations.
When you are spending your hard-earned money for a vacation, you want an advisor who can match you with the right trip. You want someone who will understand your expectations and fuel your anticipation (or excitement) to get you the best possible trip experience. And, you want someone who can help you with the decision making process. We think we have all these qualities.
Whatever your Dream Destinations are, we are here to help you get the best possible vacation based on what is important to you! We will provide you high quality, expertly planned travel. Please give me a call 713-397-0188 (Hank) or email me at email@example.com. We want to help you: Savor life…make memories…Visit Dream Destinations! Your journey begins here!
HANK is a certified Western European Destination Specialist (DS) who has been traveling to Europe for 45 years. He is also an Accredited Cruise Counselor (ACC), conferred by the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA). This recognized expert in cruise and leisure travel is a retired Army Officer, and taught World Geography for 8 years. He is a `71 graduate of West Point and has earned 2 master’s degrees. His other Certifications:
AmaWaterways River Cruise Specialist
Viking River Cruise Specialist
Scenic River Cruise Specialist
Emerald Waterways Specialist