Travel Portals are big business and a successful way for travel agencies to maintain profitability in uncertain economic conditions. The U.S. travel association estimates over $240 billion is spent on traveling a year. The travel industry is not only growing but changing as well. Statistics show that people are definitely traveling more and in today’s technological environment the travel agent has changed from that brick and mortar storefront agency to online agencies and websites. With this dynamic in place, the senior management of a travel agency needs a clear and functional way to monitor their businesses activities.
Customer are now booking flights, making hotel reservations, renting cars or planning vacation adventures around the clock through web enabled devices. Travelers are heading to the internet to plan their next trip and make careful comparisons between prices, offers and freebies from myriad travel portals. Often, just a user-friendly interface for booking tickets or cash on delivery option make a critical difference in customer experience.
Here are just a few examples of how CRM solutions will allow travel agencies to enhance the customer experience they offer and gain a better competitive advantage -
1. Holistic customer view - According to 'Traveler’s Use of Internet', out of 90 million Americans planning a trip, 76% used the Internet. With a CRM solution, travel companies can capture each one of these transactions along with details of related queries, complaints and feedback for each customer on a single application. These details can be viewed and updated securely through integration with external systems to ensure up-to-date information is readily available for logged-in users. In addition, a holistic customer view will enable call center agents to quickly build rapport and cross-sell/ up-sell with ease.
2. Future proof strategies - CRM software can collate customer responses for online surveys about their experience with their online agent, opinion on cost of the trip, whether or not they would use the travel agency again (with specific reasons), what their next travel destination might be, etc. These customer details can be sliced-and-diced to create reports and dashboards which will help optimize future marketing strategies and improve travel packages and services. For example, the CRM solution can help identify the most popular destination for teenagers during the Christmas break and their average expenditure. Using this actionable intelligence, new campaigns can be designed for this specific age category and published on select media channels.
3. Real-time dashboards - Customer Relationship Management tools can provide clear advantages for travel agencies. Monitoring how many customers are utilizing the website, analyzing how long their interaction takes as well as providing data on completed sales and the types of services that generate the most interaction online. Dashboards display real-time information to analyze data such as the number of individuals that are booking tickets, the number of resolved and open complaints, campaign ROI and various other key metrics.
4. SCRM and multi-channel campaigns - Social CRM (SCRM) facilitates not only monitoring social network user activity by capturing comments related to a company or brand but also allows travel agencies to improve customer perception by responding to queries and ensuring efficient follow-ups for new leads or complaints. With CRM solutions, marketing teams can create mobile, social media and website campaigns, which they can continually improve using customer feedback. Responses can be captured through the CRM software and automated personalized responses can be generated to increase lead conversions and promote customer advocacy.
CRM software will assist today’s travel agencies in determining whether of not they are providing the proper tools to their employees to design the specific analysis criteria that is pertinent. A successful CRM implementation can provide the necessary analysis for today’s travel agencies to progressively improve their e-commerce portals and online campaigns while simultaneously ensuring customer services teams can match customer expectations.