July 14, 2008
Letter writer can run from YTB, but he's running from business
I am not interested in apologizing for those two so-called YTB reps mentioned in Danny Borg's letter but I have to say that I am thankful that those types are few and far between. They missed the boat regarding customer relations, business ethics and business etiquette.
Trust me, Danny, even though they thought their intentions were honorable, their approach lacked finesse. I don't blame you for not wanting to do any business with them. However, I do believe that you should look at the business model that YTB Travel Network and YTB Travel and Cruises have to offer, because it is spectacular.
There are brick-and-mortar travel agencies that are associated with YTB Travel Network because they saw the possibility of increasing their bottom line without compromising their customer service. And they saw an opportunity to increase their customer base with people they were not reaching because of the convenience of the Internet.
Realize that you are missing out on the income-producing group of people who are comfortable with making their own plans and bookings on the Internet. They have sidestepped your store because they can accomplish this task from the convenience of their own home at whatever hour of the day suits them. They are either using a family or friend's YTB website or Expedia or Priceline, etc. But whichever e-company they are using, they are not coming into your store to see you.
Regardless of the cost of maintaining the website, which is a constant update of pricing and trip information, the monthly charge is no more than you pay for your cellphone or for an extra line for the fax machine. That is just the cost of doing business, and since it is tax-deductible, it is no cost in reality.
And isn't it great that if a customer of ours cannot get in touch with us, they can fall back on the YTB Corp. office hot line where they can talk to another travel professional equally qualified to answer all their questions? Who do your customers call when they cannot get in touch with you?
Rest assured that the comments you made in your letter will keep all YTB reps away from you and your business. But that only means you have lost out on some really great business friendships and networking relationships. I know I won't be contacting you to offer you a new way to get new money flowing to your business. And isn't what makes business grow relationships and networking?
YTB Travel & Cruises
YTB Travel Network
So, what is everyone's opinion on this? I know Rod and several YTB RTAs called Danny to express their displeasure and tried to "set him straight" as this letter writer did. A quick Google search yielded this from the St. Petersburg Times:
Hoyt can be reached at 277-7300 or via her Web site at www.travelkatz.com.