After nine years in business, The getaway travel agency in Des Moines, Iowa, is feeling the pinch of competition. During the past 14 months, the owners Marsha, Henry, and Connie Gomez have seen their profits begin to dwindle by 18%Neither Marsha or Connie can figure out what has happened. Although travel reservationists have had to deal with airline fee gaps, customers making more reservations on the internet, and the fact that many industry travel providers are cutting back, competing agencies do not seem to suffering as much as Get Away is. The problem is especially worrisome because Connie and Marsha have recently taken out a second mortgage on their office building so they could put more money into promotion and customer acquisition efforts. The more efforts that they make at gaining exposure, the more customers they lose. Lately they lost a major corporate client that accounted for over 100,000.00 in business a year. Out of desperation they have decided to hire you, a second travel agency manager, to try to stop their descent and turn the operation around.
As the new manager at Get Away, you have been given the authority to do what ever is necessary to salvage the agency. By agreement with Marsha and Connie, They are delaying the announcing of hiring the other agency employees. Your objective is to objectively assess the operation by acting as a customer.
Your first contact with the agency came on Thursday, when you placed a phone call to the office, posing as a customer. The phone rang 12 times and was curtly answered with hello and please hold. After nearly 5 minutes an agent, sue, came on the line and stated, sorry for the wait we're swamped. Can I get your name and number and call you right back? Two and a half hours latter you get a call from Tom. He stated that Sue had gone home for the day and that he was doing her call backs. Sue would follow up when she came in the next day. You asked a friend to make a similar call on Wednesday and she met with similar results. On Thursday you stopped by the office at 2:55pm. Of the three agents that should have been there only one was present, Claudia. Apparently Tom and sue where still at lunch. Two customers where waiting when you arrived. Claudia greeted you with a small smile and asked you to take a number and have a seat. You looked around the office and saw desk piled high with materials, an overflowing trash can, and an empty coffee pot in the waiting area bearing a sign " please have a cup on us:. In talking to your fellow customers, you learn that one had been there for over 45 minutes. Both where irritated at having to wait, and eventually one left. You then left after 30 minutes and passed Tom and Sue, who came in laughing. You though that you detected an odor of alcohol on Tom. Neither one acknowledged you. From the office you proceeded to a meeting with Marsha and Connie.
Ok my questions are. based on opinion of the situation from you veiw as a new manager and a potential customer.
1.What would your impression of the agency have been after the intial phone call?
2.How did the office visit effect you?
3. What would you tell Marsha and Connie about employee professionalism?
4. What customer needs do you see that are being overlooked in this situation?
5. In what ways can this situation be improved?
I know the scenario is quite long but the questions are only an opinion and a couple or few sentences are all that is needed and no references are required as this is a search for different opinions on the same scenario. Thanks