Mystery Shopper: travel agents sell an Eilat spa break
Mystery shopper was looking for a relaxing break for her and her friend and had heard
Eilat in Israel is nice. They wanted to stay in a hotel with a spa and have a week of rest
and relaxation with some spa treatments, shopping and restaurants.
The budget was about £800 per person.
Going Places Score: 37%
Both the shop and the staff were really well presented and when I entered, they both
made eye contact and smiled and a consultant offered to help.
She was very friendly at all times whilst I was in the shop and quite enthusiastic.
When I said I wanted to go to Eilat, she searched her computer, but couldn't' find the
company 'Longwood' in her database. She did mention that there used to be another
operator, but she couldn't find them either. She looked on her computer at the tour
operators listed, and that was it.
She recommended trying the Co-operative Travel down the road, saying they may still
deal with them. Alternatively, she suggested looking online. I found it very odd that they
were happy to send me to another agency and did not think that the consultant went to
any great lengths to try to find the holiday I was as looking for.
The Co-operative Travel Score: 79%
When I walked in the consultant was on hold on the phone, but she put the phone on
loudspeaker, smiled, said hello and offered to help.
The on hold call was playing music and during the consultation the person on the other
end of the call came back on line. At this point she asked them to bear with her while she
finished dealing with me, although she didn't make me feel rushed.
She knew the tour operator straight away, got the appropriate brochure and phoned
Longwood Holidays to get prices. The hotel recommended was the King Solomon Hotel,
from £714 per person.
The consultant was friendly, welcoming and very helpful. She managed to get a good price
on the holiday that was at least £50 below budget for a better hotel than the ones that
were quoted at other agencies.
I was also given two date options and felt my requirements were matched well. She didn't
try and close the sale or add on extras such as airport car parking.
Sherbourne Travel Score: 82%
The details of my request and contact details were taken on a form. He said that the flight
would probably be from Gatwick or Luton as that's where flights departed to Israel.
He contacted an operator called West End, but found they were closed until Monday. He
then did a computer search and tried to find a price with Superstar Holidays, but they were
closed till Monday too. The agent then said he would call on Monday, which he did, quoting
£1,394 for two at the King Solomon Hotel.
He said if I wanted to call into the office he could give me more information about the
hotel and its facilities and we could perhaps look at booking the holiday.
I felt he tried his hardest to find a holiday to me, engaged well with me and was able to
recommend the hotel. He seemed animated and excited about the holiday and made me
feel like I had been given a personal service.
Thomas Cook Score: 97%
When I walked in all three members of staff looked up and smiled at me. The consultant
who served me was friendly and welcoming, putting me at ease straight away. She was
enthusiastic about Longwood Holidays, and was patient all the time.
The agent recommended the Royal Tulip Hotel with Longwood Holidays costing £815 per
person. It was only £15 over budget and the hotel facilities were pointed out at length.
She added that spa treatments weren't included in the price but said these could be
booked online prior to the holiday.
I was given a brochure to take away with me and the consultant stock a post-it on the
relevant page with the details of my specific holiday. She also asked about insurance and
tried to close the sale.
This shop gave the best service by far, with staff commenting on how much I would enjoy
the holiday and giving their own experiences of spa holidays.
Mystery Shopper scoring system
60% Advice and product knowledge
12% Customer service
8% External/internal appearance
6% Staff presentation