What are the Benefits of a Travel CRM Software for Travel Agencies and Tour Operators?
Tourism is among the fastest-growing industries in the world, particularly in emerging economies. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has put the brakes on travel, it’s only temporary and travel will restart once things get better.
Travel providers need to get ready for the resurrection of travel demand with more efficient tools to keep up with customer expectations in the new normal.
One tool that’s going to become essential tool for travel agencies and tour operators going forward is a Travel CRM.
As remote working is expected to become a norm in the industry, you need to invest in the latest online tools to efficiently manage your back-office operations, bookings and customer relationships remotely.
Let’s look at how you can benefit from a Travel CRM:
Key Customer Insights at your Fingertips
If you have a lot of clients, it can get difficult to manage all of them using archaic methods such as spreadsheets or worse, physical files and folders!
You need to have every customer’s personal details, preferences, itineraries and booking history at your fingertips to ensure smooth and efficient customer management.
With a Travel CRM, your staff can enter an inquiry into the system the moment it comes in, look up customer details there and then, and follow up with the appropriate action.
In the absence of a Travel CRM, key data is scattered across different files and folders and there are bound to be delays and mistakes, especially if your staff to client ratio is low.
Moreover, with a cloud-based Travel CRM, your team can access all the customer data from any device, anywhere and anytime they want. This is really useful as teams are working remotely now.
Ability to provide a Personalized Customer Experience
Travel is a high involvement purchase for most people. People put a lot of thought and money into travel, particularly if it’s a leisure trip.
The biggest reason so many people still prefer to use travel agencies is their personal care and attention. So naturally, your clients expect a highly personalized customer experience every time they come to you.
In order to be able to deliver them an experience tailored to their preferences, you need to know everything about them and their preferences.
You need to know when they like to travel, for how long, with whom, where do they like to stay, what do they like to do at a destination, their meal preferences (veg, non-veg, halal, jain) etc.
All this is data is critical for any travel agent, and it builds slowly as you get more and more clients.
Established travel agencies need to be able to access this data easily to design highly curated vacations for them.
Personalization is not limited to leisure travel. Agencies handling corporate accounts also need to know the travel preferences of their corporate clients, mainly in terms of flight and accommodation. They also need to have ready access to travel policies for employees so that they book within the policy framework.
All this information can be stored in the CRM so that it’s available easily at the time of booking.
Ease of Creating Itineraries and Quotes
This is another area where most travel agents and tour operators rely heavily on spreadsheets, despite their myriad limitations, and that’s proposals.
Creating personalized quotes and trip itineraries is one of the most critical areas for your business.
Your customers are getting increasingly demanding, in large part due to the internet. They expect the information they need quickly.
You need a solution that allows you to build professional-looking quotes in minutes, not hours or days. A good Travel CRM has in-built itinerary and quotation management capabilities that make the task of designing and managing proposals easier.
Clients would typically ask you to change the flight or hotel in the proposal you send, and you need to be able to quickly look up other options and add them to the proposal. With a Travel CRM, you can go back to your stored itinerary/quote in the system, make changes and send them the revised proposal from the system.
It can integrate with your third-party suppliers via API to fetch live rates and availabilities for flights, hotels, sightseeing and transportation. This makes it easy to get all the travel content in one place and build proposals using the same, rather than logging into multiple supplier systems for content.
It can also connect with third-party booking platforms to import booking data. This helps you track bookings against the itineraries and quotes you send out to clients, and also reconcile supplier and client payments.
The itinerary documents are automatically generated by the Itinerary Builder with your branding, thus enhancing your brand awareness, and creating a great impression.
Running Marketing Campaigns
It’s more important than ever to keep your prospects and clients engaged with relevant offers and news through outbound marketing campaigns. Whether you want to run campaigns through email, SMS or social media, you need to have relevant customer data in one place that you can feed into the marketing software you use.
A Travel CRM makes this really easy, by storing client data centrally, which can be exported into an Excel file to be used for marketing. Even if you don’t use marketing software, and you just want to send emails through Outlook, Gmail or another email client, you can leverage this data to run personalized campaigns. Top Travel CRMs have marketing capabilities built-in, which makes it even easier.
Keeping Track of Productivity and Business Performance
As the owner/manager of a travel business, it’s important for you to monitor the productivity and performance of your staff. With a large majority of your staff working remotely now, this has become more challenging. A Travel CRM can make this easier by allowing providing you with reports on various important aspects of your business.
It has a business dashboard that allows you to track how many inquiries you have received over a given period of time, how many quotes/itineraries have been prepared and sent to the clients based on the same, how many proposals have been accepted and booked, how many invoices have been sent etc.
A Travel CRM allows you to assign security roles to your employees based on their seniority and role in the organization. This would determine what parts of the system each employee can see and edit. As an admin user, you can monitor the performance of each of your employees for the above metrics, regardless of where they are located. As you get an inquiry, you can assign it to an employee, and track its progress on web and mobile, and make interventions if necessary.
So, with a cloud-based Travel CRM, you can easily keep tabs on your business from anywhere, thus facilitating easy remote working and monitoring.
As you can see, a Travel CRM provides a range of benefits to make your life easier, and deliver a stellar customer experience. So if you’re still using Excel sheets to run your business, it’s time to seriously consider switching to a Travel CRM if you want to take your business to the next level.
Originally published at TravelCarmaBlog “What are the Benefits of a Travel CRM Software for Travel Agencies and Tour Operators?”