Why It’s Important to Connect Winning Bidders with Experience Providers Directly

Your event is over and it’s time for your winning bidders to redeem their fun experiences. We at TravelPledge pride ourselves on our direct redemption model – we connect winning bidders directly with experience providers (e.g., the Caribbean beach resort). By contrast, some competitors offer a “white glove” service for certificate redemption, acting as a middleman between the winning bidder and their purchase, and often creating a barrier to winning bidder happiness in reality.

This post explains why direct certificate redemption is imperative to donor satisfaction and an important trait for your auction items.

Better Customer Service

Winning bidders have questions: “What airport should we fly into?”, “What is the room like?”, “Can I extend my stay?”. The reality is that no middleman will have all the answers to these questions. Auction package providers, like TravelPledge, work with hundreds of experience providers and being an expert on all of their policies and rates is not realistic, especially when things change from year-to-year.

The only people who are experts on these questions are the experience providers themselves. If a winning bidder requests an upgraded room for their beach vacation, the resort knows better than anyone what rooms they have available and the latest rates. Without direct redemption, a winning bidder would receive incomplete information or have to wait on a back-and-forth between the white glove service and the resort.

Aligned Incentives

The more companies involved in a certificate redemption process, the more each company’s agenda comes into play. A resort, for example, has a fairly straight-forward agenda during redemption: collect basic information about the traveler and deliver a great experience.

However, consider the potential motivations from a middleman. Sure, they want to collect information from the winning bidder to pass along to the experience provider. But, they also want the winning bidder’s contact information for the purpose of marketing additional products and services to them. Furthermore, they may attempt to redirect the winning bidder to a different vacation that is more profitable.

The more middlemen involved, the more misaligned incentives can become. This may result in unhappy donors who don’t bid at your auction next year.

Happier Experience Providers

Some of the biggest fans of our direct redemption model are the experience providers themselves. They know that when there is a middleman, their messaging can get misconstrued. This can damage their brand or set false customer expectations. Experience providers love connecting with winning bidders directly to build their “brand halo” and give the winning bidder a flawless first impression.

Why are happy experience providers important to you, the auction organizer? Happy experience providers mean you have a broader selection of fun experiences from which to choose for your auction.

Bigger Net Donations

Pardon our candidness, but providing a white glove concierge service to winning bidders isn’t free (we also think it’s an inferior model for the aforementioned reasons). The higher our costs are when providing fun experiences for your auction, the lower your net donation is at the end of the day. So, we choose to run an efficient operation with the sole focus of maximizing your donations.

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