I’d like to broaden the discussion from pure ethics to the meeting of CUSTOMER EXPECTATIONS of which ethics and ethical behavior is a part, albeit an important part. All customers expect their suppliers to be ethical, but they also have other expectations.
Meeting all or most customer expectations differentiates a good business from a poor one.
I believe that in the travel business, whether it be a broker, a travel agency or Expedia, where all or most bookings and customer interaction is done on-line, there are different customer expectations from say, Walmart or the corner drugstore.
Heres’s what I believe our customers expect from us
This, in my view, is being ethical and I believe that business ethics are inextricably linked to meeting customer expectations, which, in turn, is the key to a successful business and repeat customers.
I do not believe that today’s on-line travel customers expect to know or even care about where a broker or travel agent is located, or whether there is a physical presence of someone in a specific office somewhere. Few or none of us have walk-in traffic. Many of us work from home-offices, many of us work on the road when we travel or go to shows. We just need to be easily found and responsive.
I don’t think that CYBA should be preoccupied with search engine terms or relevancy, these are the marketing elements that differentiate us from each other. If your site is not relevant, the Search Engines won’t rank it well.
If the content of the site does not meet expectations, is untruthful or misrepresents the reality, or is not easy to navigate, the customer will not contact you or if he does, you will not get repeat business. Simple as that.
There is a whole different side of the ethics issue that deals with a charter broker’s relationships with their suppliers like clearing houses and the boats themselves. Most of the breaches of ethics that we have encountered as a company, involve this latter relationship. Nevertheless this is perhaps for another time and place.