Travel Leaders Franchise Group Puts Agent Profiler on Website
By Mimi Kmet
October 09, 2012 5:02 PM
Travel Leaders Franchise Group has launched Agent Profiler, a function that allows travelers to find travel agents whether employed by a Travel Leaders agency or working as independent contractors, at www.travelleaders.com. Agent Profiler, a proprietary program for Travel Leaders Franchise Group members and their independent contractors, is designed to match the traveling public with agents who best fit their criteria and needs.
Travelers can select agents based on biography, experience, destination knowledge, specializations, certifications, awards and even appearance. Prior to the launch of Agent Profiler, consumers found member agents on Travel Leaders’ website primarily by ZIP code.
“The more research we did, the more we determined that consumers want specialists,” said Roger Block, president of Travel Leaders Franchise Group. “Those consumers who are looking for specialist -- whether the focus is on a destination, destination weddings, or an activity like golf or mountain climbing -- want someone who is experienced and knows the ins and outs of that niche.”
Agent Profiler represents a change in thinking that takes into account the consumer’s point of view. “Agent Profiler is huge step forward,” Block said. “We’re no longer travel agents, we’re travel consultants, and consumers are now able to find a consultant who can help them most efficiently and effectively.”
More than 1,000 travel agents have already begun the process of filling out their profiles and submitting them to the program, according to Steve Loucks, Travel Leaders’ chief communications officer. In addition, since Travel Leaders has opened the program up to independent contractors that work with its agencies, up to 5,000 agents can potentially be represented. Each agent can specialize in more than one niche, so he or she may have multiple profiles.
Participating Travel Leaders agents can be found on Travelleaders.com’s “Why Use A Travel Agent” webpage, where the profiles are randomly rotated in the upper right-hand side. Travel Leaders also is getting the word out to the traveling public through advertising and public relations efforts nationwide, according to Loucks.
Agent Profiler was first announced at company’s the 2011 Travel Leaders National Meeting. Next month, Travel Leaders will announce a new tool for its website: a live chat function that allows a consumer to talk to an agent instantly, “because we’re in this instant gratification world, where an hour is too long,” Block said. Travel Leaders will provide additional details of that tool at its conference in Dallas in November.