In the digitalization era, we cannot imagine passing a single day sans technology. Automation of essential processes has reduced human errors, enhanced efficiency and productivity manifold, at the same time, altered the way we work, travel, play, eat and buy. And, courtesy Augmented and Virtual Reality, we can experience wonders of the world without physically visiting them. In short, technology has changed our perception of how we plan and arrange family vacations altogether or experience the world, differently. Gone are the days when our parents or grandparents relied on local agents to book holidays and made payment with cash or stand in long queues for hours to book train tickets. Today, just a mere touch of a few keyboard buttons and our vacation is planned with bookings confirmed and payment generated.
Such seamless travel booking experiences are offered by online travel agencies because such agencies have realized the importance of bringing automation into their business model. They had partnered with travel agency software development companies to ensure their end-users enjoy a travel booking experience akin to their expectations.
But, these travel software services can benefit agencies in more ways than one if implemented and utilized correctly. Besides offering easy planning and booking of itineraries, such software can aid employees with tools to deliver their roles quickly and efficiently.
In order to enjoy maximum benefits from such technology, travel companies and tour operators need to consider the following must-have elements before investing in software for travel agencies.
5 Must-have Elements of Travel Agency Software
Automation of back-office processes
Travel agency back-office application ensures automating bulk backend processes to reduce the burden on the human workforce and eliminate human errors greatly. Despite the fact that backend work is not given importance by most companies, in reality, they are the backbone of business operations. Handling employee and client databases with information that assists in tailoring market strategies, assimilating data from different departments for generating financial and other essential reports, tracking fleet movements, handling vendor relations and management of inventories are a few examples of backend team’s KRAs. The task is monotonous and leaves enough room for errors that can cost the company million-dollar businesses. Use of travel agent back-office system, much of their tasks are automated, thereby, giving the employees enough time to utilize their experiences in more value-added services.
Efficient inventory management
An efficient travel agency software takes care of inventory control and management on behalf of your agency. And, automating this process is better than relying on human efficiency if you wish to curtail loses due to human errors. To err is human. But, who is going to taste the brunt of overbooking or misquoting of room rates? So be proactive and confer the responsibility of inventory control and management on the sturdy shoulders of an automated back-office travel agency software.
Management of multiple sales channels
Who are your clients? As a tour operator or a travel agency, individual travellers or other small travel agents are end-users of your services, Right? You have clients visiting either your physical office or place booking orders over the phone, checking your website or booking itineraries via a B2B portal. In short, there are more than one sales channels to receive travel bookings from your clients. Manually managing bookings and payment received from multi-channels is humanely impossible or you need quite a team to take care of such bulk work. Now that calls for a high cost of operation for your agency, not to mention expenses incurred for managing bulk recruitments in the wake of increased employee turnovers.
Obviously, such situations are unpredictable but you can always save a few coffers of your agency by partnering with a travel agency software development company and automate the entire process using an efficient travel agency software.
Which option is more feasible for your travel business? You are the judge!
Handle bulk bookings and reservations
As mentioned in the previous point, handling bulk bookings is not easy, so also tracking reservations right from the beginning till the end. An efficient and user-friendly travel reservation system allows you to get a clear picture of your agency’s financial position at the end of the financial year. Such software is capable of tracking reservations, payments received against bookings or pending payments if any, identifying issues in invoices, quotations, or checking for anomalies in data-entry and addressing each and every issue single-handedly, minus human errors.
What else do you need?
The main task for agencies begins post reservations and payments received from travellers. But after-sales services are not easy and require errorless efforts from the agencies. Once bookings and payments are confirmed, the travel agency has to connect with its chain of vendors to arrange flights, hotel rooms and car transfers, as well as, assign drivers and communicate the vendors’ details with the customers. Miscommunications, mismanagement of vendor relations, and missing out booking confirmations of any customer can cost your agency a thousand dollars worth of business and damper your agency’s reputation once and for all.
But the whole catastrophic situation can be easily averted. If your travel agency partners with a travel agent software development firm and incorporate travel booking software to handle such tasks, your reputation as a top-notch travel agency will be retained and leave your customers always happy.