Unofficial figures state that around 25 million tourists from India currently travel abroad. And the UN World Tourism Organisation states that this number will rise to 50 million by 2020. This implies that the number of Indians traveling will double in the next two years!
Indian travelers are just half the story. According to Indian Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), the number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India increased from 849,000 in February 2016 to 1.05 million in February 2018.
That’s an increase of almost 25 percent in two years!
According to a 2018 impact report by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), India will add close to 10 million jobs in the tourism space by 2028.
All this spells wonderful news for tourism businesses in India. But it means nothing if a travel agency doesn’t prepare itself to capitalize on this growth.
Travel companies have to increasingly cater to an audience that has high expectations. It doesn’t matter if customers spend as low as ₹10,000 or as high as ₹10 lakhs. They want customization, the feeling of being treated as special, and services that work like clockwork.
If they feel satisfied with a travel agency, they’ll turn into patrons. But if they experience inconvenience, they won’t just give the company a piece of their mind. They’ll also let all their friends and social media circles know about it.
To live up to (and exceed) customer expectations, travel agents are quickly moving to embrace digital tools. One of these tools is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
How a CRM Benefits a Travel Agency?
In a nutshell, a good travel CRM helps your travel agency with:
Capturing customer data from various source and tagging it accordingly.
Increasing your team members’ efficiency in collecting customer data.
Highlighting patterns and trends in customer buying behavior,
Helping your agency customize offers according to current trends,
Helping you upsell to customers based on their preferences.
Enabling you to stay in touch with customers,
Sending messages about offers and promotions related to their preferences,
Designing loyalty programs and collecting referrals which turn into additional business for your company.
Each traveler today has her own aspirations and preferences. These range from food to destinations, mode of travel, and so on.
This means that your travel agency has to be on its toes, discovering new and unconventional locations, organizing travel plans, making bookings and more. In all this, the customer expects the agency to have a short response time.
If your agency tries to fulfill all these customer demands with the help of archaic documentation methods like a diary and MS Excel, it won’t take long to start losing business.
A Customer Relationship Management system captures customer data. But a good travel CRM system takes it to the next level. Here are 3 ways in which it can benefit your travel agency
A good CRM can collect customer data from various third party sources like social media, WhatsApp, and email. Thus it makes your team members’ life easier and at the same time, captures important data that will help you serve customers better.
Using this data, you can segregate customers based on preferences like budget, locations, food, time of travel, and more.
In today’s day and age, customization is the norm. Merely capturing data is no longer enough. Your travel agency should be able to analyze data collected to prepare tailored packages for your customers.
A good travel CRM takes care of such needs. It presents you with patterns and trends based on which you can offer add-on services to customers and delight them by going the extra mile. When your agency goes the extra mile, it appears thoughtful and caring to customers, and thus establishes a long-lasting relationship with them.
With the number of entertainment options vying for customers’ attention today, “out of sight, out of mind” has become a common phenomenon. Customers do not remember interactions with you because they instantly have something else to capture their attention.
Most travel agencies lose out here. Instead of keeping in touch with their customers, they wait for the latter to connect with them again. That either happens rarely, or never. As a result, agencies lose customers and business.
A travel CRM enables your agency stay in touch with your customers and prospects. You can send automated messages about new offers and promotions based on their preferences. These messages can be sent in form of SMS, email, and even WhatsApp.
These interactions allow you to stay in your customers’ mind. If you provide them with high quality service and quick response times, they’ll keep coming back to you. You can also design loyalty programs to incentivize customers to give you more business (and referrals).
Generating repeat business from existing customers is far more cost effective than onboarding new customers.