• A day in the life of a travel counselor

    Janet Wheatley
    Have you ever wondered what was happening on the other side of the phone when you are making a travel reservation? What technology does the travel counselor use? What are their daily challenges?

    Carlson Wagonlit Travel decided to have its leaders find out what it’s like to be a travel counselor by taking live phone calls and “walking in their shoes” for a day. Over a couple month period, 15 leaders took the plunge and volunteered to take calls from our clients (with their permission). The leaders came from operations, program management, human resources, and workforce management. Quite a varied group!  I will quickly add that the travel counselor did the actual “booking” to make sure everything was accurate.

    Eleven offices participated in this fun initiative (Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, L.A., Minneapolis, Ottawa, Phoenix, Rochester, St. Louis, and Toronto).  Here is a quote from our Denver office:

    “I just had to send a quick note to let you know how Kris did as he filled some travel counselor shoes in Denver yesterday. He was fabulous!! Calm, cool, and collected… even when faced with difficult international reservations!!! The counselors were supremely talented and enjoyed working with him – all had a great day. His talk time was rather high, which he was coached on by his “managers.”

    My favorite thing he said as he was about to take his first call was that he felt like “Katniss” from the “Hunger Games” movie, as she was waiting to get shot up the tube into the “arena.” Pure fear!!!”

    We filmed the leaders as they took calls and created fun video overviews of their days so that everyone could enjoy the experiences with them. Below is a peek at my own experience taking a call.

    Next … the front line is going to spend a day with their leaders.  More to come!

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