This weeks article attempts to describe in a little more detail how the J5 Team works, and why you should always trust us to be working in your absolute best interest when it comes to all things travel. We know that we have lost just a couple of trip planning opportunities because a potential client received an out-of-office email or saw on social media that either myself or some of the team were traveling, and I want to address that.
With the background of going from effectively zero sales in 2020 due to Covid to over $4 million in sales in 2022, you can imagine that there was the need for a lot of scaling and adjustments. Over the last month we have hired 2 more full time employees, taking the team to 8 in total, and we have also revamped our initial contact communication, so that no inbound email remains untouched for much longer than 24 hours, even if that is just to reassure clients that progress is being made. Crucially, this remains the same even when any of the team are traveling. We are nearly always working, sometimes for many hours a day even when we are "on location".
Bear in mind that there is not a well-regarded luxury travel advisor in the business who isn't extremely busy currently, and of course that is the same for hotels, cruise lines, tour operators and more. This means realistic timelines for effectively nailing down your itinerary and bookings are much longer than pre-Covid. Patience will pay dividends, and every trip we continue to close this year is turning out as our clients wanted.
Top 5 - Reasons to Trust J5Travel
There are 2 team members who work on every single client itinerary. This was implemented so that no matter who was out of office for any reason (yes, usually traveling), that nothing slipped through the cracks and that itinerary planning will continue to move forward on schedule.
So we are definitely HERE for you, even when we are not HERE.
Here are our current main roles, which continue to develop.
John - that's me. Owner of J5, flights and points guru. UK specialist (I'm a Londoner), solid on Europe, and in love with SE Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Africa. Over 60 countries now visited.
Kendall - Incredible expertise in Hawaii and Italy and also our Ireland and Netherlands specialist. You'll see highlights from her most recent trip in next weeks ezine.
Shanna - A broken arm sustained in Costa Rica has not deterred Shanna from being our Adventure expert along with domestic USA travel, France, Portugal and Spain. and not forgetting an amazing knowledge of the Caribbean.
Kanise - your luxury cruise specialist with immaculate knowledge of all cruise lines, their ships, their cabin categories and more. Also runs our sister company worldcruiseadvisors.com
Morgan - our newest recruit and assisting Kanise with all things cruising. She has made a flying start and we welcome her on board!
Kristin - recently transitioned from an Independent Contractor to full time employee. Kristin brings us even greater depth in European travel expertise and also now manages areas of our client care processes.
Sarah - website, social media and advertising genius, we could not do without her. We hope to have some news on Sarah's developing role later this year.
Tori - Caribbean expert and helps with business development and Wanderlist (more on that soon).
2. Processes (above)
Following a 2-day team meeting in late January to work purely on our processes we continue to improve our productivity with an increased focus on technology. The more trips we have on the books, the more important it is to ensure that no detail gets missed. We've committed now to Asana for our many templates that we use depending on the type of trip we are planning.Average number of tasks per trip = 34
Add in Travefy for the actual itinerary presentations and TravelJoy for invoicing and some CRM capability and I suspect we are a lot more tech-oriented than you imagined.
3. Partners (above)
As J5Travel becomes a more recognized name in the luxury travel space, both with our growing client list and our suppliers, it means we have ever increasingly important relationships that we must maintain and develop. This can be at the level of an owner of a quaint B&B in Galway, Ireland to the Chief Sales Officer of a major cruise line and everything in between. Our team travels help with this more than anything, as there is nothing better than sitting down in person to enhance our connections.
Just one personal favorite...Sandy Salle, owner of Hills of Africa (photo below on a Namibian beach), who we partner with to create the ultimate personal journeys throughout Africa. I am lucky enough to have traveled with her to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda, Botswana and Namibia and will remain forever in her debt for introducing me to this continent.
4. Virtuoso & GTN (above)
As a de facto member of Virtuoso through our host agency, Gifted Travel Network, these really are the 2 most important partners we have, enabling us to elevate every luxury itinerary.
It bears repeating...the amenities are wonderful, but it is the connection to those who matter in destinations all over the world that sets these relationships apart and ensures our clients are constantly delivered superior service.
Perhaps Virtuoso themselves describe it best:"When it comes to experiencing the best of the best in travel, it’s all about who you know.
Virtuoso is the leading global network of luxury travel advisors, who work with top destinations and a vetted portfolio of the best travel brands globally. Travelers who have a Virtuoso Advisor tap into a world of in-the-know expertise, unbelievable travel perks, support throughout their travels, and – most importantly – warmer welcomes, deeper connections, and superior experiences in the places they visit."
5. We Care
The whole team here truly cares about every single itinerary we create.
It's that simple.
It really matters to us that we strive every single time to give you the best version of what you have in mind. It can be a weekend away in New Orleans or a 3-week epic Antarctic expedition, it doesn't matter. We give them all our best effort and this continues while you're traveling. Just as an example, for anyone traveling with us who has had a flight issue in the last year, and there are a lot of you, I think you would attest to how much work and care we put in to making the airlines mess our issue and resolving it as quickly and efficiently as possible with the result that the disruption is usually minimized.
If you're ready to start planning a seamless and stressfree trip let us know by clicking the button below.
I love travel and I love travel planning just as much and I am proud to be building a team as passionate about exploring the world as myself. It took me a very long time to align my career with my undeniable passion for exploring, but now I and the team are here for you. Your personal travel tailors - award reservation and luxury custom itinerary experts. We provide a bespoke service, imagining and creating itineraries for independent minded families and groups.
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