A good relationship with suppliers is a pretty important thing in travel agency business. Suppliers are one of the most important links in your travel business chain. To have a good and reliable supplier in every destination that you are working at or for any services you provide is priceless.
Your life will become a lot easier if you know you have a supplier you can fully count on to deliver on what your companies have agreed to. On the other hand, you do need to put in the effort and meet all the conditions of the contract from your side. If both your companies are capable of doing this, then there is no problem and you will have a long and prosperous business cooperation.
However, sometimes there might be some small conflicts arising between you and your suppliers which might make a successful business cooperation a lot more difficult than it needs to be. So here are some tips how to improve your relationship and cooperation with suppliers.
Meet in person
To communicate with your suppliers via mail is ok, especially in everyday business, but you need to make time and visit them in person. You will see that communication will be much better after meeting face to face. Some of your suppliers are located far away and it is not easy to visit them but you can always make an agreement to meet at some tourist fair that you attend.
Follow your suppliers via social media
These days everybody is online, everybody is trying to get their piece of the social media networking cake and follow trends, so be supportive. Give your suppliers likes, follow their blogs, tweet about them, be a part of their circles etc. They will surely appreciate this and share your content back.
This does not mean to get intimate or get involved in private lives of your suppliers. It means to pay attention to some personal data, information, events and holidays. It is always nice to send a Christmas card, some convenient present for New Year or a chocolate bunny for Easter. Of course, know who your suppliers are and whether they even celebrate these first!
Treat your suppliers individually
Each of your suppliers is different, the services they provide, location where they are situated, annual turnover that you do together etc. Regardless of the number of suppliers, and we all know that that number is large, you need to approach each of them individually.
Promote your suppliers
If you have any possibility to promote your suppliers, they will appreciate it very much. You can put them on your supplier list and mention them on your web site with a direct link to their web site. You can put them on your reference list and even write down a few nice words about good relationship and point out some projects you did together. Be sure that they will return the favour by promoting your company as well.
In conclusion, here are some ideas about what you will gain by maintaining a good cooperation with your suppliers:
- During price and contract negotiations you can get better prices, conditions and terms
- Your supplier will respond better and faster in risk situations like hotel overbookings, flight cancelations, transfer delays etc.
- To have a good relationship with your suppliers is a win-win situation for both sides because in the end the result is a happy and satisfied client who will come again and book the trip with you and your supplier.