Jen Cron, ACC
Owner, Dream Vacations
Describe your career as a travel agent. How long have you been in the business? What attracted you to it?
I had taken some time off to stay home with my daughter and when it came time to go back to work, I was looking for something legitimate that I could do from home and my husband found CruiseOne. We had already fallen in love with cruising, but I was one of those people who didn’t even realize that travel agents were still a thing. Now that I know and understand the value that agents provide, one of my favorite things is educating people about the value that we add.
What is your approach to serving clients?
I treat clients how I would want to be treated. I am honest and always put their needs, desires and preferences ahead of any personal benefit. I also respond as quickly as possible, even if it is just to let the client know that it will take me some time to get whatever they need, I never just leave someone hanging.
What are some of your best practices in selling cruise travel?
As soon as a client books, I set calendar reminders for all of the touch points between booking and traveling, so that no one ever falls through the cracks or gets forgotten. I also add clients as “friends” on Facebook. Not only do I want them to see my travels and get inspired, but I want to see pictures while they are traveling so that I can “like” and comment.
What is your biggest challenge when selling cruises and how do you overcome it?
My biggest challenge is overcoming preconceived notions that some people have about cruising. I try to educate them about the facts, and it works for some people, but others are unwilling to come around.
What has been a career highlight, thus far?
I recently helped a 21-year-old plan a very last-minute trip to Chile. He communicated with me while he was traveling, and I helped him solve a couple small problems that he encountered. He was so grateful, and I know that I created a lifelong client!
Are you CLIA Certified? If so, what at what level and how has that certification impacted your career?
I have my ACC and am currently enrolled in the MCC program. Just registering for the certifications encourages me to attend events like Cruise360 and take courses that I may have skipped if I didn’t have a “reason” to go. In addition, having a certification has made me feel more “legitimate” and accomplished. It is just one more way to invest in myself and my business.
How has your CLIA membership and/or professional development helped you in your career?
I am a huge proponent of continuing education, no matter what field you are in and the CLIA training opportunities were so helpful, especially when I was brand new to the industry.
What is your fondest personal cruise memory?
Our first cruises were taken as reward by my boss for meeting our goals. Our whole office staff traveled together with our families and it brought us all so close and helped us to connect and create bonds that remain even though none of us work together any more.