Affluent clients to 'spent more' with 'helpful and consistent brands'

Affluent consumers will “come back and spend more” with brands that maintained “consistent, authentic and genuinely helpful” communication during the pandemic. 

Travel companies that “helped” rather than “sold” to clients would have engendered brand loyalty, according to Jo Causon of the Institute of Customer Service. 

Speaking on a panel discussion about trust and service at Aspire's Leaders of Luxury conference, the institute’s chief executive said: “Those people who have been on hand with genuine advice and who have serviced a client rather than sold will have really stood out during the crisis. I don’t want to be sold to; I want to be helped.” 

She highlighted that travel had “taken quite a big hit” in customer satisfaction levels, despite being a sector that “traditionally drives hard on service”. 

“Where organisations have been genuinely engaging and helpful, you’re going to get massive brand loyalty; but where organisations have not done that, then frankly people won’t rebook,” she said. “Companies need to make sure they do the right thing in an ethical and transparent way – that’s very important to customers now.” 

Helen Brocklebank, chief executive of British luxury trade body Walpole, agreed. She said: “If you’ve continued to talk to your customer, create a relationship with them, put your people and your business on show, and if you’ve keep your clients’ dreams alive, then the customer is going to come back and they’re going to spend more.”
She insisted that the bank balances of the affluent were “still very robust”, adding: “You’ve got an economically resilient customer who is sitting on quite a lot of money. They’ve been spending their time wishing to be in another place, so any travel brand that has been focusing on unlocking those dreams will have chimed a chord with the wealthy.” 

Carrier managing director Mark Duguid agreed that customers would “choose to travel increasingly with the people and companies who served them well”. 

He praised agents on the frontline for being “available and flexible” for clients “while also fighting for [their clients] and showing empathy”, adding “there’s an increased need for humans in travel retailing”. 

Duguid said it was “absolutely scandalous” that refunds were still causing problems for some agents, adding that when air corridors opened in July, 50% of Carrier’s trade business had come from agents who wouldn’t usually book with the operator. He attributed this to the company’s policy of refunding within 14 days and positive referrals. 

Related Articles

ITC looks to offer bespoke travel curb guides to agents

Jacobs Media Group brands to support Ukraine relief effort

Trailfinders on recruitment drive as new store announced