Having trouble keeping on top of all your clients’ travel plans? Sounds like you need to try CRM software for travel agencies.
So many travel agents see their job as a simple numbers game, where selling trips is the only objective. Others have accepted that travel agency CRM software will keep them organized, but they’re not using it to its full potential.Far more than just a customer database, you can improve all areas of your business with workflow automation, measurable lead pipelines, more personalized customer relationships, and marketing and sales insights. And that’s exactly what we’re going to cover in our 7 advantages of using CRM software for travel agencies.
Whether you’re working in business travel or tourism, efficiency behind the scenes is paramount. Between last-minute changes and the massive traffic you receive around peak travel times, you need to be on the ball to offer the best service.
So how can CRM software for travel agencies boost your productivity?
Well, in isolation, not a great amount. But CRMs like Bitrix24 that come with native project management tools are an ideal way to organize and enhance your internal efforts.
Workflow templates for every department help your teams standardize processes, removing all the guesswork while staying compliant by covering every process you need. As an example, at the peak time just before summer, you can equip your team with a workflow of tasks ready to deploy at the click of a button. You can check for extra availability, get in touch with all the relevant parties, and confirm all payments and reservations without missing a beat.
Automations work in tandem with your workflows. Rather than running around the office checking if one task is done before assigning the next, you can use dependencies. In practice, one team member confirms completion, which triggers your travel agency CRM software to assign the next step automatically.
This allows you to step back from stressful micromanagement, and instead track progress and only follow up when you detect an issue. And that detection couldn’t be simpler. You can configure project management software to send a notification when a task is reaching its deadline. With all the time saved through your workflows and automations, you can react in real time to intervene and plug any gaps before issues snowball and turn into lost deals.
Remote teams get the same dashboard, the same information, the same notifications… you get the picture. This gives you the freedom for all kinds of working formats. So whether you want a multinational team scattered all over the world, or simply to improve staff retention by offering hybrid work, you need to get that info on the cloud.
Synced in real time, you’ll never need to rely on manual data entry in multiple locations, which speeds up your entire operation. What’s more, travel agencies have a unique need for simultaneous updates to avoid unintended double bookings.
It’s secure too. The best CRM software for travel agencies comes with multiple levels of security. With data backups, two-step authorization, and malicious software blockers, data protection is as close to foolproof as possible. All your team needs is access to the internet and a suitable device. CRM software is often equally suited to desktops, browsers, or mobile. This allows your team to receive updates, reply to requests, and sign off on reports from the palm of your hand.
But how does all this relate to you and your customers?
Being able to dip into a specialist CRM for travel agents means that your team can pull up all the information they need on any customer — all at a moment’s notice. Rather than relying on your memory for your client information, you get a record of all their interactions and preferences, so you’re always ready to respond.
With hard-hitting CRM software for travel agencies, you can segment all your clients into custom-made categories. This is great for targeted sales efforts, rather than pushing a blanket, one-size-fits-all approach.
As we mentioned earlier, automations are a key part of improving productivity, and it’s no different when it comes to sales funnels. From lead generation to recurring sales, you can implement automations to help you target your customer journey.
Take customizable lead generation forms. With fields that allow users to choose their top travel destinations, or choosing preferences for family, gay-friendly, or adventure holidays, your new leads will be sorted automatically into the ideal category before you can blink.
The next step is to customize automated email drip marketing to nudge your leads toward a sale. A professional CRM system for travel agencies means you can combine mass marketing with a personal touch, customizing each communication with the information originally submitted through their first contact form.
In terms of your email content, you can speak to your business travel contact lists in a more professional voice, while inspiring holidaymakers with aspirational language. And you don’t just have to assume what will chime with your customers. Try A/B testing to refine your strategy over time, and track clicks, reading time, and deals to measure your progress.
Once you’re up and running as a travel agent, one of the best resources for understanding your clients is… your clients! Creating a feedback form takes literally a few minutes, and can help you pack a CRM software for travel agencies with valuable data that can tell you where to look for new clients and get a much better ROI on your marketing efforts.
Got a new signup? Ping them a feedback form to see who they are, where they found you, and what they want from you. Customers just got back from holiday? Ask them what they liked about it and how you could improve your service. These simple forms have a native integration with your CRM for travel agencies, and automatically populate them as your customers fill them in.
Once you’ve got a workable amount of feedback, pull out filtered reports cross referencing demographics with what they’re happy with or looking for, and shape your marketing campaigns around these.
Not only will you target a great amount of your budget to trends you know will work, you save a lot of stress for your creative teams. Rather than giving a vague brief, you can pinpoint your target’s pain points so your team can shape their efforts around actionable data.
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The time will come when you need to provide one-to-one assistance with your sales. For example, toward the end of your sales pipeline, you’ve often got to clear up any questions and transmit confidence into your clients to secure a deal. This is a potential make-or-break situation, where professionalism and a friendly attitude will play an important role.
Of course, CRM software for travel agencies are really on your side here. With full details logged on every past discussion, you can refer back to previous conversations to make your customer feel truly valued. They don’t need to know you’ve just done a quick search for their name and pulled up their records!
Looking forward, a year is a long time to go without contact, and it’s not unlikely that your customers forget about you and head back to Google when booking their next trip. However, by making customer success a key tenet of your business, you can provide an excellent experience in the short term, and follow up throughout the year to create a long-lasting relationship.
Many companies use a CRM for travel agents to create a loyalty club, with special offers or a points system to incentivize future sales. The double effect of a loyalty club is that you earn repeat business from your current clients, while creating a sense of FOMO among future leads. Take to social media to create hype in the off-season and secure some early bird deals from your most loyal customers.
Customer service is a crucial aspect of travel agencies, and failure to organize yourself properly will lead to much more than unhappy customers. If your travellers feel abandoned, you can kiss goodbye to any repeat business and say hello to some terrible online reviews.
Your customer service starts before the sale. When it comes to a discussion about what your client wants, pull up all their past reservations and interactions to get an idea of the ballpark you’re playing in. Then make sure to deliver crystal clear information and a user-friendly itinerary so they know the what, where, and when of their journey.
However, it’s during the trip when a CRM software for travel agencies really comes into its own. Set up your communications channels so customers can reach you whenever and wherever they are. Ideally, you need a 24-hour contact center available in multiple languages to take care of any difficulties in the most convenient way possible.
To make it easier for your team, you can screen calls and instant messages, redirecting to the right agent to deal with them. This lowers the burden on your staff, and helps your customers get right to the point, without repeating their story and being transferred from department to department. With all of your client’s details on the cloud, whoever deals with their query or complaint can provide a personalized experience that can salvage the situation — and your reputation.
Any company that knows how to leverage analytics already has a distinct advantage over their competitors. By casting a data-driven eye over your customer journey, you can use analytics in CRM software for travel agencies to identify where you excel, and which stages you need to refine.
Analytics help you make confident, informed decisions on how to improve everything from your advertising click-through rate and customer churn to your lead conversion and return on investment. All of these minor adjustments add up to all-round excellence that works wonders for your reputation.
For best results, consider what you want to measure before you set up your analytics. This way, you can gather consistent data over the longest possible period of time. Any professional standard CRMs will come with predictable metrics, such as time to deal and a percentage of sales completed.
However, with the best CRM software for travel agencies, you can customize analytics fields to suit those specific benefits you want for your team. For example, track travel add-ons that your agents have been able to upsell. You can also filter by travel agent and assess each individual on their deals completed, time spent on each task, where they lose most leads, and much more.
As a result, rather than relying on your instinct for how to improve performance, you can download a report at the click of a button and offer praise and extra training where necessary. Compare performance month on month, quarter on quarter, and year on year, and see your teams progress.
We’re sure our seven advantages of using CRM software for travel agencies has given you a lot of food for thought. But where can you find a platform that takes care of your customer database, communication channels, sales pipelines, and analytics all in one place?
Easy. Bitrix24 gives you all you need to get all these moving parts in one place. Available on desktop and mobile, it’s an incredibly versatile tool that will leave you wondering how you ever survived without it.
If that sounds like something your travel agency needs, sign up for Bitrix24 for free and see what we mean.