When one looks at the daily operations of a typical travel agency, it is observed that a majority of the time is spent on managing the enquiries falling from multiple sales channels. A lot of time is wasted in maintaining detailed records manually through excels, tracking the enquiries, replying them on time and carrying out the follow-ups. From the point of view travel agency’s operations these inquiries have to be handled carefully as they are the source of generating new business.
In addition to spending an excessive amount of time in managing these leads and enquiries, often consumers overlook the fact, that due to a lack of an automated process, they are prone to human oversights and errors. A lack of timely follow up results in a loss of revenue and can make a big difference in an agencies growth plan.
With high level of competition in industry the travel enterprises are shifting focus on satisfying the customer needs and that is the reason they are adapting to new technologies to bring in efficiencies. Today customers have access to abundant information on the web and often research and plan for their travel before reaching out to an agency
It is therefore prudent to invest and automate the inquiry procedure allowing for a speedy response time and efficiently managing the booking flow from the time the enquiry is generated till the time of fulfillment.
What are some of the features that one should look for before implementing an Enquiry Management System?
- Ability to manage multiple sales channels including your B2C, B2B, Mobile interface etc.
- Captures complete details of clients and products enquired by them.
- Geography wise segregation of the inquiries.
- Ability to track both the new as well as existing enquiries.
- Monitor the enquiries generated through reports.
- Measures the performance of your agents and sub agents.
- Enables a quick response time and reminds for timely follow ups.
- Automatic assigning of enquiries ; emails.
- An easy export feature is helpful for easy analysis and porting of data.
- Direct marketing through SMS or Emails to improve communication.
Most of the travel websites have a page where travel enquiries can be filled out by the client; the page displays all the information about an inquiry, including the customer information, requested dates of arrival and departure, information about travelers, the source of the inquiry and the inquiry status. If the inquiry results in a booking, the information can be accessed with just a click. The details can be stored in a database the agents can pull up records for the repeat customers. This helps in serving the customers better and encourages the customer loyalty.
The technological changes are steadily affecting every part of the travel enterprises big and small– and there’s no going back. It has made travel smoother and easier, and this trend is likely to continue its meteoric incline.