As the travel business gradually returns to normal after the coronavirus pandemic, it will be even more crucial for travel businesses to adapt a CRM-centric IT strategy, to stay above the competition, and be as productive as possible, even with the limited amount of resources as you begin to resume. Customer Relationship Management (CRM), the system has a primary function of consolidating client data in a centralized easy to access platform. For your travel business, this could go a long way in helping you not only manage client data, but also better enable your travel agency, cope up with changing times, and increase demand for quality service in this highly competitive industry.
Whether you deal with tours, hotels and bookings, Destination marketing, or any other sector of the travel industry, a Travel CRM is what you’ll need to be more productive. Below we take a look at the importance of a CRM-centric IT strategy and the benefits it could offer your travel business even as you plan for resumption.
Why Is It So Obvious To Resume The Travel Business Operations?
A CRM-centric IT strategy is one that is aimed at enhancing the management of customer data through the use of a CRM, for customer interactions can be regarded as the driving force of many travel businesses. With customer data in a centrally accessible area, many of the other supporting functions also benefit and it becomes much easier for day to day operations to be carried out. A CRM-centric IT strategy also enables your travel business to gain an edge over competitors through the use of analytics and other features to reduce friction in your business process and at the same time offer excellent quality of service for your clients. Such an IT strategy will enable your travel business to synchronize all its functions, and as a result, achieve synergy which would have otherwise been impossible.
Let us look at some of the importance of adopting such a strategy below:
1. Offer Better Customer Service
Among the key importance of a travel CRM is that it will enable you to offer a better experience for your customers. The pandemic has introduced its limitations of movement and interaction whose effects will probably be around for a while. With this in consideration, many clients or potential clients will prioritize remote interaction as opposed to visiting your travel agency.
A travel CRM will help you to conveniently store, manage and access previous customer data such as emails and phone calls, which helps any of your agents better understand the needs of the client, even if they had never previously interacted with them. With this data available, they can easily pick up on conversations that may have been previously interrupted easily, complete pending transactions, or even conveniently access any other customer data such as bookings and reservations, among other benefits, that will greatly contribute towards streamlining the services offered to your clients.
In the long run, this saves both your client and your team time in accessing and managing customer data for every individual client, regardless of the size of your organization.
2. Personalize Travel Experiences
Apart from offering better customer service, a travel CRM could help you offer a tailored experience for your users which also contributes to better customer satisfaction. With all the client data stored and accessible from one centralized location, it will be much simpler for you and your team to customize tours and travels based on previous customer data. For example, you could easily select a car reservation service that they previously used on a similar trip without having to request all the details from them. This could also apply for booking plane tickets among other services your travel business may offer. With all the previous client data available, new experiences could automatically or be much easily customized to suit the client’s taste and preferences, as previous recurrent choices could be selected by default unless your customer states otherwise.
3. Empower Sales And Marketing
A Travel CRM has the potential of being one of the most powerful tools to help spearhead your sales and marketing campaigns. Previous client data can be analyzed and this can help you determine the right packages to offer. You could use this data to determine which offers are more suitable for which type of clients and use the appropriate channels to determine how best to communicate with each client, rather than sending random emails, for successful marketing campaigns.
Marketing could also be enhanced by keeping tabs on existing client activity. With a CRM it is much easier to assess client activity, whether they haven’t purchased a package in a long time, whether they are showing a lack of interest in specific packages, and much more. Being able to access such data could help you better market customized services to such clients as they could be directly contacted by your team which could try and enquire on why the clients have had a change in preference, to better determine which travel packages to offer to such clients
4. Lead Management
Marketing your products and services to leads is a much more delicate affair as compared to existing clients which has been highlighted previously. With a Travel CRM however, lead management is made much simpler as there are many CRM software that offers a leads and opportunities module that will enable you to carefully nurture leads through the marketing funnel until they eventually convert. Nurturing leads might usually take more time compared to existing clients, due to the major drawback of lack of sufficient data. Data on previous purchases is usually unavailable.
However, through the use of analytics software, you could easily determine the type of tour/travel packages or any other offers, your leads could be interested in. A CRM software linked to an analytics engine that could get data from your site, such as the webpages and packages viewed by your leads could easily pair up this data and make it conveniently accessible to your sales and marketing team, enabling them to take the necessary steps in approaching the leads, with the interest of the potential client in mind. This method greatly increases the chances of conversion and enables your business to potentially acquire new clients.
5. CRM Multichannel Marketing And Interaction
Obtaining a CRM for travel business will enable your team to conveniently use multiple channels for marketing. Many CRM software provides options for calling as well as e-mail interactions by default. However, some also provide additional features that enable you to integrate your business’ social media account to launch marketing campaigns. With all these avenues it makes it much more efficient to reach out to all your clients and leads regardless of which platform they are on and thus extending your customer reach. The benefit of using a CRM for this is that data obtained from the marketing campaigns are stored and accessible in a centralized manner quickly and easily, despite whichever medium the interaction occurred.
It is good to note that despite there being multiple channels, they should be used with much care. For instance, it would be appropriate to directly make a phone call to a lead to try and persuade them to purchase a travel offer, without going through the right process of nurturing them. For leads, e-mail would probably be appropriate in the early stages. Calls work better on existing frequent clients that are well familiar with your travel business and how it operates. Such factors should be considered when trying to select the right channel to use.
With much data on clients, analytics is the only means through which valuable insights could be derived from that data. As highlighted earlier, marketing analytics could help you easily determine which packages your clients or leads are potentially interested in, and with these days you could informatively launch your marketing campaigns with higher chances of success as you would be persuading clients to purchase tours or services they are interested in.
The sales process could also be accelerated by using previous data to obtain information such as demographics, tastes, and preferences, all from previous client interactions. One other major benefit of CRM analytics is that it enhances customer service operations, by easily identifying patterns in customer behaviour, which would have otherwise been difficult to perceive otherwise, especially when dealing with many clients. Purchase history and frequency of customer interaction can be easily tracked. This contributes greatly to customer retention.
Finally, analytics could also help you determine trends, which could help you shape your business model, and guide decision making. For example, people purchasing specific tours during a certain period could provide insight on how your travel business could customize its packages to appeal to demand during that season.
7. Account Management
Since all the data is stored and accessible by employees given certain access privileges, a CRM will make it much simpler for your business to synchronize both staff and information. If new employees are expected to perform tasks via the CRM, previous data such as recorded phone calls and messages could assist them to get quickly up and running with the new job. This makes your organization much more flexible in terms of managing client data. It could also empower a shift system that could make your business more profitable and enable you to easily provide 24/7 support.
Due to the nature of travel business that involves many stakeholders such as tour operators, hotel managers, travel agents, and many others, a CRM for your travel business would also empower synchronization of services among such parties. Provided each is given certain access privileges, this would prove extremely helpful towards managing customer data as the load in some instances could be lifted from our team and directly channelled towards the service involved when necessary or on request by the client.
The power of a travel CRM lies in its ability to be integrated with existing technologies, to provide a rich feature set that facilitates the management of customer data. Many CRM enables integration of third-party plugins such as Dropbox, Slack, Facebook, and several other software that integrate storage features, email, project management, and several other existing tools with your CRM. This facilitates synchronization of data between your CRM and other tools that you may already be relying on, enabling your team much more quickly pick up the use of a CRM in carrying out day to day operations.
Some CRM software also provides features for integrating third-party APIs, which enable you to link to your existing app or website, among other software.
A travel CRM is without a doubt the best and simplest way to scale your travel business. If your business is small, managing interactions with clients may not be that difficult, even though eventually problems could arise in terms of data management if you haven’t integrated a CRM solution into your business. As your business continues to grow and expand, it will be impossible to manage interaction without integrating a CRM as they will probably occur over multiple channels, making it much difficult to keep track of individual customer data.
A travel CRM will prove to be a great investment for your business in the long-run. To keep up with the demands that arise with scale, offer better customer support, personalize interactions with clients, and get detailed analytics that could steer your business’ decision-making process. Additionally, you can effectively manage workloads even if understaffed. Using a travel CRM all these and more benefits could be attained. It is crucial to ensure that your travel business stays competitive and a CRM will enable you to achieve just that. If you require a travel CRM solution, TutterflyCRM will prove to be a value-for-money deal and a great way to enable your business to stay ahead in this technology-driven industry. It provides a rich feature set that can help you meet the CRM needs of your business, and in the long run, you’ll be sure to enjoy great returns on your investment.