The brief: A young couple who used to go on clubbing holidays to Ibiza would like to return to see a different side of the island – as well as to enjoy the nightlife. Their budget is about £1,500 for a week.
Mystery Shopper’s verdict: This shouldn’t have been a difficult request and all the agencies, apart from Burgess World Travel, were able to recommend a holiday, but Thomas Cook’s excellent score reflected the importance of personal knowledge and recommendations.
Burgess World Travel
28 The Kingsway
Although the consultant was friendly, I didn’t feel my enquiry was handled appropriately.
When I entered the shop the consultant immediately greeted me with a smile and encouraged me to take a seat.
However, she appeared disinterested in my enquiry. I was surprised to be asked which other agencies I had visited and which brochures I had already been given.
The agent searched briefly and I was given a Classic Collection brochure, with prices that were over my budget. The agent said Thomson and Thomas Cook could offer their own holidays at the best prices.
She had only basic knowledge of Ibiza, much of which she read from brochures. I was not made to feel like a valued customer and wouldn’t return to this agency.
The Travel House
26 Park Street
The service here was helpful but not outstanding. I was greeted with a ‘hello’ and an assumption that I would take a seat without being asked.
Initially, the consultant looked at only at one resort, Sirenis Cala Llonga. I had to ask if any others would be suitable and she suggested Fiesta Hotel Cala Nova in Es Cana, costing £519 per person, all-inclusive.
I was given very little information about Ibiza, only that I should avoid San Antonio. The consultant appeared to have good knowledge of operators serving Ibiza and the likely differences in cost flying from different airports.
I was shown photos of a suggested hotel, but the agent did not offer any personal insights about properties or the destination. I would have found it difficult to choose a hotel from the information given.
8 St Mary’s Arcade
Initially all staff members were busy, but one became available within three minutes.
The consultant was fairly friendly and patient, but she lacked enthusiasm and could have been a bit more thorough with her searches.
Although she took all the information I gave her into consideration and came up with appropriate options, she was not exceptionally helpful. I would also have liked her to offer her personal opinion of Ibiza’s attractions.
Quotes included £1,338 all-inclusive for two people at Fiesta Hotel Milord through Thomson.
The consultant spent a lot of time looking at flight options and comparing prices for night flights.
In-flight meals and extra baggage allowance was offered and insurance was automatically added, but the agent did not attempt to clinch a sale.
258 Oxford Street
This consultant was friendly and approachable and immediately made me feel comfortable.
She was very thorough in her searches and her attention to detail was superb. She did her utmost to find me a good price, checking against other operators to ensure she had the best deal.
She drew on her personal experience of the island and talked about good places to visit. She also had a good knowledge of the hotels and was able to make recommendations. The consultant considered lots of areas of Ibiza and was able to describe them to me.
She did a price comparison with Thomson and explained the agency’s price-match deal in case I was offered a better price elsewhere.
She quoted £1,399 full-board for two, with insurance, staying at the Sol Ibiza Santa Eulalia through Thomas Cook.
She also discussed car hire, parking, in-flight meals and a room upgrade. This was an outstanding service.
How Mystery Shopper is scored
- 50% Advice and product knowledge
- 25% Customer service
- 15% External/internal appearance
- 10% Overall experience
Any agency that keeps Mystery Shopper waiting for 15 minutes or longer without acknowledgement will fail to score.
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