Promoted at Virtuoso Travel Week in August, Virtuoso’s new vacation planning tool, Wanderlist, is already earning top reviews from advisors and their clients
Virtuoso Travel Week Opening Ceremony 2019 | Matthew D. Upchurch
Digging into the "why" of travel
If clients don’t know where they want to travel, you might be asking the wrong question. Enter, Wanderlist, an online tool available to Virtuoso advisors that leans into the "why" and "when" of travel, rather than just the "where." Each member of the family or party completes an extensive (but fun) questionnaire intended to reveal future travel interests and motivations while ensuring each traveller receives a democratic say in the travel decision. Results are compiled by the system and the recommendations Wanderlist produces provide both clients and their advisor a road map for planning travel in the next five years.
The most magical element to Wanderlist is the surprise so many clients receive when they learn of their family’s travel ambitions and desires. As one client reported: "...For my youngest daughter two top picks emerged: Disney and Thailand. My advisor asked me why I thought she chose Thailand. I had no idea. Then it dawned on me. We have a honeymoon picture of us with elephants hanging on our wall. I never knew this photo quietly impacted my daughter. Needless to say, we will be creating new memories with her in Thailand.”
How it works
Since launching in spring 2019, 200 advisors have completed the training and can now call themselves Wanderlist Specialists. Each time an advisor uses Wanderlist, Virtuoso collects a fee which is charged per family/group. The advisor can choose how much, if at all, to charge their client.
Just because a Virtuoso agency or advisor hasn’t undergone Wanderlist training, doesn’t mean their clients are excluded from the tool. The advisor can contract a Virtuoso Wanderlist Guide who will walk them through the process. Once the client receives the results, the advisor resumes regular consultation.
Because it plans for the next two to three years and includes an annual review, Wanderlist is an excellent customer loyalty and retention tool. The system will notify an advisor to proactively reach out to a client who, for example, said they wanted to take a safari to celebrate a milestone event (which Wanderlist asks users to record).
One happy client said, “Our advisor was sharing a calendar of future travel ideas when it hit me…we only had three trips left before my son went off to college. Where did all that time go? Fortunately, we were able to realize this before it was too late. So, in addition to our family vacations, we added special trips to share just with our son on his 16th, 18th and 21st birthdays. We can’t wait to create these special memories with our kids while we still can.”
What else do clients receive for taking part in Wanderlist? Access to a personalized online dashboard, an annual travel review and a gorgeous, custom-made coffee table book reflecting their travel ambitions with pages that can be substituted as they complete trips and aspire to take new ones.
Virtuoso has always viewed and encouraged advisors to think of themselves as providing a bespoke service akin to a financial planner, for example. Taking a consultative and long-term planning approach for multiple future trips is a sure way to form deeper relationships with clients, and to increase loyalty that leads to stronger forecasting of future sales. Currently, there are no other comparable competing consortia technologies. There are quizzes and surveys, to be sure, but Wanderlist’s three-to-five-year road map for aspirational travel gives Virtuoso advisors a huge leg up on the competition.
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