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Gavin Lapidus, Owner of eShores
eShores are a team of travel consultants who create tailor-made holidays for their clients in the UK. Owner Gavin Lapidus gives us a glimpse into the world of a modern travel consultancy who put second-to-none customer service at the top of their list of priorities.
It’s all about the experience
To really give the best customer experience, Gavin knows that there is another kind of experience that is paramount, and that’s industry experience. All his team has at least 3 years experience as travel consultants, with ten of his twelve staff have over 10 years experience each.
And it's not just experienced as being a consultant, it’s also about ‘knowing the world’. Between them, they have covered every continent and nearly every country in the world. This first-hand experience of products, destinations, excursions (and anything else that you can experience on a holiday) means that they can provide their customers with detailed information on where to go and what to expect.
The personal service that customers receive from eShores is more than end-to-end. It is a service that is available 24/7, even when customers are on holiday. Gavin realized that this is where he could differentiate. This full-service offering eliminates the complexity of researching, comparing, buying and booking all elements of a holiday. Gavin sees his team as travel consultants as opposed to travel agents.
“Our consultants share their knowledge of destinations, products, and experiences and make it all available to our customers. Each customer will only ever have one point of contact who is their personal consultant, and this consultant knows each customer inside out, what they like, what they don’t like, their birthdays, anniversaries, past bookings… everything.”
Building a brand to trust, not pushing offers
Gavin also knows that his customers don’t want to be continuously pushed offers. Instead of this, he shares valuable and interesting insights that his team builds up and then shares via Facebook and Twitter. This concept of brand-building and sharing of inspirational and engaging content via their blog is what keeps his customers loyal. Whether it’s ‘The best brunches around the world’ or ‘Planning a multi center holiday to Australia’, eShores shares content that draws people in and gets them excited about their travels, providing fresh ideas that they can start to put into their holiday plans.
The success of their business model is based on the flip-side of the internet boom. With so many options available on an endless number of travel websites, the modern-day traveler’s holiday planning and booking can become an arduous task. It can also become very difficult to know exactly who to listen to, as there are also an infinite number of reviews, comments and opinions available. By having a brand and a consultant who you can trust, a customer simply provides ‘the brief’ about their holiday and the consultant then goes and does the work for them. This trust and peace of mind is what has given eShores a solid place in the market and has allowed them to not only survive, but also thrive in the digital travel jungle.