Whether you are an experienced travel agent, or new to the profession, dealing with elderly and/or less able clients can sometimes feel uncomfortable. Asking those awkward questions, answers to which are needed to ascertain their exact requirements, can be difficult – and even embarrassing.
However, demand from this sector is growing, and so a few travel agents now specialise in providing solutions for this sector of the market.
It is vital that elderly / less able clients are offered a full range of services – and almost a wrap-around approach. Confidence and knowledge is key. Once a client has a positive cruise experience they will come back – and often book their next cruise within a few weeks of returning home.
For the more traditional agents servicing a larger ageing client base, general business practices may need to be adjusted to allow more time for each client. Research into this less familiar style of holiday will be required; this will affect the productivity of the agent. By contrast, it has been demonstrated that agents using the services of Mobility At Sea have retained and extended their client base, as the whole booking process is more efficient for all concerned.
Servicing all the major cruise lines operating from the Ports of Southampton, London Cruise Terminal, Dover and others, the friendly and approachable team at Mobility At Sea understand the policies and operational needs of the cruise providers and offer solutions that ensure your clients cruise with confidence and safety.
The products and equipment available to hire have been thoroughly tried and tested so in practice this process enriches the cruise experience. Most of the products are available to view at mobilityatsea.co.uk but a verbal assessment of the client’s needs is always essential to ensure that the correct product is assigned, delivered and installed into the cabin. The complete range of equipment is diverse – from incontinence products and wheelchairs through to adjustable beds and power chairs. In some instances our team will make recommendations and offer equipment that may suit the client better; prices are not published as some clients may be influenced by price rather than the correct equipment. Mobility At Sea has accrued a wealth of experience over the past five years, so every client benefits from the best advice.
An example may be the provision of a basic toilet seat raiser for someone with a lack of balance who could find this more hazardous than helpful. After a quick chat with our team it might be recommended that a framed one is used. It’s all in the detail; what seems a simple solution could cause major problems if the wrong product is booked for the wrong cabin or client.
Certain equipment can even make regular cabins more accessible. This means the client doesn’t have to wait for an accessible cabin or compromise on their chosen cruise.
The services of Mobility at Sea are paid for, in most instances, by the client, but can be arranged through the agent if required.
Mobility At Sea can provide mobility solutions for all cabins, so agents have fewer restrictions – subject to availability, circumstances and so on. Travel agents retain, and can fully service, loyal existing clients – opening up new horizons and opportunities.
Mobility At Sea is always striving to extend the services available – including the provision of carers for lone travellers and some overseas coverage. New products are sourced globally to meet demand and the team is always willing to assist with enquiries, offering specialised training if requested.
So what does all of this mean in real terms? The size of the cruise market has increased considerably. Elderly and less able clients are a part of that growth. If they are happy they will book more holidays more frequently. The provision of mobility equipment means they feel more confident – you could almost say more at home.