Sugati Travel Customer Event

Last week saw our much-awaited Sugati Travel Technology Customer Event hosted at The Petersham, Richmond. We were delighted to see some of our existing and potential customers along with partners from the travel industry and potential investors come together to meet, learn, network and celebrate with Sugati.

Attendees not only witnessed Sugati’s major updates built on top of the Salesforce platform but also they are excited and equally assured by our ambition and constant investment in travel technology innovation.

7 ways to increase productivity with Sugati

 

Here are seven ways to prepare with Sugati to get ready for the post-COVID era:

  1. Task management. Assign follow-up tasks to relevant consultants. Easily monitor your team’s workload and productivity.
  2. Cancellation and changing dates made easy. With two to three clicks, work out the cancellation charges and deal with the cancellation process efficiently. Better yet, don’t cancel, change the travel dates with a click of a button.
  3. Sugati Travel Insights Dashboard. Know what’s working and what isn’t. All the way from Marketing and Sales to Finance. Use Sugati’s built-in reporting suite to understand more about your business.
  4. Know your customers and send those quotes out. Holiday enquiries are rare these days. Treat the ones that come in like gold dust. Showcase your product knowledge, inspire them with dream holidays and send out branded and beautiful quotes with a view to converting.
  5. Build stronger loyalties with your suppliers. We are all in this together. Suppliers ensure your clients have an amazing experience during their holiday. Know who to talk to at the right time. Provide necessary feedback to them. Arrange those FAM trips. Load the most recent rates and content into the system.
  6. Set up workflow rules to engage internally and externally. Thank you an email, balance notification email, upcoming trip email, welcome back email. Set rules up to engage internally and externally.
  7. Create reports and dashboards. If the Sugati Travel Insights Dashboards don’t satisfy your needs in measuring your business’s KPIs, build your own reports. We provide how-to guides so you can be self-sufficient. Gone are the days where you need to rely on IT experts to build up reports for you.

Get in touch with us to find out more about how we can onboard you in less than six weeks.

Sugati’s Pandemic Support for the Travel Sector

2020 was the year that ripped the travel industry apart.

Let 2021 be the year that brings your business, your customers and your suppliers together! With a strong technology platform in Sugati, you will be well equipped to bounce back and blaze through the pent up demands for travel.

If you are a cost-conscious, small- and medium-sized business, you can now use Sugati on Salesforce Professional Edition which means a saving of 50% on Salesforce license fee plus an additional 20% discount on Sugati license fee.

Built on Salesforce CRM, Sugati is the ultimate end-to-end travel management solution. With Sugati on Salesforce Professional Edition, your team can deal with client enquiries, produce quotes and beautiful itineraries for FIT bookings, manage your group tours, go through the booking process, and provide a connected customer experience throughout the pre and post-holiday journeys.

Schedule a demo to discover how you can get a strong foundation for an even stronger year with Sugati.

Top 13 reasons why you should be switching over to Sugati

Top 13 reasons why you should be switching over to Sugati

Are you taking steps to prepare and adapt for the post-COVID era? Are you looking for smarter ways to run your travel business? Here are 13 reasons to switch to Sugati – the ultimate end-to-end travel management solution, built on Salesforce.

  1. We have all the relevant luxury FIT and Tour features for you to start running your travel business after COVID. Sell those dream holidays to your well-deserved clients.
  2. No double entry. Nowhere in the system do you need to enter the same information twice. Gain that efficiency you have been wanting.
  3. Travel Insights Dashboard. Sugati dynamically captures over 500 data points, giving you timely and relevant KPIs for your business in real-time.
  4. Runs on Salesforce, the World’s No 1 Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform.
  5. Secure. You have full control over who sees what for each individual user or a group of users. You can also restrict the login for certain IP addresses. Set two-factor authentication so even if someone knows your password, they still need a security code from you.
  6. No software. No software. All that is needed is a browser and an internet connection and you are good to go. This means if you want your team to be selling holidays and planning trips from home or anywhere in the world, they can do that on Sugati.
  7. Not just a CRM. It is an end-to-end solution with rich functionalities. This means you can run your entire travel business on Sugati. Know where your potential customers are coming from, gain in-depth knowledge of your existing clients, your trips and have a great relationship with your suppliers.
  8. Extend Sugati. Connect with your website. Link to your mobile app. Give your clients connected experience throughout their holiday journey.
  9. Onboard the way you want to. We have over 200 articles and over 100 how-to videos available for you to quickly master Sugati.
  10. Don’t play catch up. Sugati gives you integrated, innovative and effective AI technology so that you can concentrate on growing your business and looking after your clients.
  11. Premium support. Whether you require friendly expert advice for the onboarding process for the first few months or ongoing additional virtual support use our optional premium support option. Premium support comes with better SLAs and allows you to have a weekly call with our onboarding team.
  12. Generate stunning and consistent looking quotations and itineraries from week one to sell those luxury holidays!
  13. Trusted worldwide. Join a global client family using Sugati. What are you waiting for?

Get in touch with us to find out more about how we can onboard you in less than six weeks.

Sugati reaches new heights of innovation and customer service

Salesforce regularly reviews its partners’ products on AppExchange to reward hard work and excellence. 

We’re delighted to announce that Sugati’s innovation and customer service have earned us ‘crest’ (gold) partnership status with Salesforce.

Salesforce places its partners on tiers, starting at ‘base’, then ‘ridge’ (silver), ‘crest’ (gold) and, finally, ‘summit’ (platinum).

Less than 10% of Salesforce partners get this far up the mountain! Being at the crest tier of partnership means recognition of our creativity and commitment to helping our clients, and gives us the opportunity to develop Sugati into an even more integrated solution on the Salesforce platform.

Check out what the team has produced in the past few months: more than 200 how-to articles and over 100 short instructional videos. You’ll find them on our support portal.

Latin Routes has signed up with Sugati Travel CRM

Latin Routes has signed up with Sugati Travel CRM

Built on the Salesforce platform, Sugati is the ultimate end-to-end travel management solution. From the back office to the front desk, every process happens in one app, instead of across multiple touch-points. Tour operators like Latin Routes are working with Sugati to get ready to thrive once more.

“Back in March 2020, we were just about to sign on the dotted line with Sugati, and then the coronavirus pandemic changed everything,” says Martin Johnson, CEO of Latin Routes.

We had to reassess our business on the spot and the Sugati team has been stellar in understanding our situation.

Latin Routes made the decision that if we needed Sugati prior to the COVID-19 outbreak then we’ll still need it to prepare for the end of the lockdown.

The Sugati team have been super-accommodating in the onboarding process and we’re now using the downtime to master the software and stay ahead of the competition.

Let us help you prepare for the end of the lockdown. Our team is ready to get you onboard with Sugati today.

Sugati at Travel Technology Europe 2020!

Sugati is going to be at Travel Technology Europe (TTE) 2020.

In 2020, Sugati returns to the Travel Technology Europe (TTE). Sugati has experienced an amazing growth exposure in 2019. We are going to maintain that momentum and accelerate our growth into 2020 and beyond. We are raring to showcase much improved Sugati to the potential clients, partners and suppliers at TTE 2020, happening on the 26th and 27th of February at the Olympia London.

Sugati Travel CRM is a really powerful travel agent software solution built on top of Salesforce CRM, a platform that we love, to provide key travel-centric features.

Our CEO, Tin Aung, our Head of Project Deliveries, Ian Fairhurst and our Business Development Manager, Amir Emami-Zadeh are going to be at our stand, T82. Come and talk to us to learn more about what Sugati has to offer.

Sugati at Travel Technology Europe

Our 5th year at Travel Technology Europe! Copy

We are celebrating our 5th year at Travel Technology Europe (TTE)!

Sugati is a native Salesforce Travel CRM designed for Tour Operators and Travel Agents. Our clients sell either bespoke holiday or group holidays. Once again, really proud to exhibit at TTE 2019 happening on the 20th and 21st of February at the Olympia London we are excited to see familiar faces and meet up with new ones to demonstrate our fantastic travel CRM solution!

At Sugati, we always innovate ways to solve challenges that tour operators and travel agents are facing on a daily basis. Last year we have released over 50 new features, and our engineers worked really hard to answer many of the practical challenges with technology!

TTE is always a great opportunity for us to showcase the latest version of our Travel CRM. This year is even more exciting because that will be the first year where Sugati will make a free trial available.

Sugati Travel CRM is a really powerful travel agent software solution built on top of Salesforce CRM to provide key travel-centric features. Our stand number is T09 and come by to witness the probably one of the best Travel CRM solutions in the world for travel agents.

Top 10 Travel CRM Features Every System Should Have

Top 10 Travel CRM Features Every System Should Have

Hot on the heels of our last blog: Four Reasons Why Travel Businesses Need a Travel CRM we’re following up with the top 10 travel CRM system features travel agents and tour operators should look for. If you’re evaluating your current system, or investigating whether to invest in new CRM travel technology, read on to find out the deal breakers and top tips from travel and technology experts around the world.

By Claire Matheson

Safety First

Customer data misappropriation, misuse, or outright hacking can destroy a travel company’s reputation. Coverhound Insurance has named data security breaches as one of the top three challenges travel agents face in the line of duty. Choosing a system with strong security is a must.

Larger CRM providers such as Salesforce have vast departments and mind boggling budgets dedicated to protecting your customers’ data. While smaller, independent providers competitively innovate in other areas, there is no bigger incentive to choose a travel CRM system supported by an industry giant.

Get Your Head in the Clouds

When you work in travel, you need to be able to log into your system from your phone or laptop in an airport lounge. Or access it from the backseat of a taxi. Or from any time zone, anywhere in the world.

A system that is available and accessible online, anywhere, anytime is something no travel agent or tour operator can compromise on. Adding on to the previous point, cloud hosted technologies usually provide stronger data security with more advanced authentication. According to SuperOffice, the top reasons businesses should choose a cloud hosted CRM are ease of use and accessibility, reliability, seamless integration and enhanced compatibility. Private hosting in travel has been relegated to the realm of floppy discs and cassette tapes.

Reliable travel technology brand loyalty

Consistently Reliable

If you want to see someone’s worst side, put them in a room with slow, failing or outdated technology. Making a big investment in new tech needs to be smooth sailing. Nobody has time for glitches, shutdowns or data loss.

Microsoft found reliability in technology is an essential elements needed to create trust between businesses and their customers. Over 90% of Americans said they would consider changing brands if they had to deal with unreliable or outdated technology (Source: Bizjournals). So how often does your system go down? Once is once too often.

Feeling Supported

On the off chance something is not working the way you want it to, you need to have access to good support. When investigating a new provider, conduct some research with their current clients. Is online support available? Do they respond quickly? Are regular updates and improvements provided? Is their support actually helpful? Can they get everything working again as soon as possible and keep you informed throughout the process?

Additionally, look for the availability of online training guides or tutorials. This way, you and your team can learn to use all the features, in your own way, at your own pace. Studies of education and training methods show self-paced learning tutorials can significantly improve proficiency. (Source: Brookings) This is why Sugati and technology giants Google, Microsoft, Adobe, Salesforce and Amazon all have libraries of online tutorials, training guides, and learning platforms. 

Is Your Tech Talking?

There’s nothing more frustrating than setting up your brand new technology, then finding out it doesn’t sync with your payment gateway. Or that information from your GDS has to be entered manually. Or your mobile app does not support your online bookings. A CRM with an open API can integrate with all of your other travel technology. This is a must have for anyone with a POS or ecommerce site (Source: Hospitality Tech). Because life is easier when everyone just gets along.

Beautiful Documents

Having a CRM that produces your itineraries quickly and easily is fantastic. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be pretty too. Your brand is your business’ identity. As such, your itineraries, invoices and quotes should be tailored to reflect your brand’s aesthetic. It also helps if they can be viewed online or downloaded so your customers do not have to worry about data roaming costs or wifi access while travelling.

For UK based businesses, your system needs to be able to automatically generate ATOL certification at the time a booking is confirmed. Giving peace of mind to everyone involved, this is one more thing you and your customers shouldn’t have to worry about.

B2B Supplier speed interactions pain points

Smooth Suppliers

Among B2B decision makers, lack of speed in interactions with their suppliers is the number one pain point, mentioned twice as often as price (Source: HelpScout). Travel agents and tour operators often deal with a large number of suppliers on a daily basis. Communication needs to be easy and frequent.

A CRM system that automates emails, invoices and documents such as manifests is a huge time saver. Look for other winning organisation features such as payment queueing and scheduling, timed reminders, and margins and commissions. Because nobody likes a double booking or having to chase an unpaid invoice.

Keep It Simple

It goes without saying but we’ll say it anyway, your CRM should link to your mobile booking platform. This link between your customers and users needs to be simple and easy to use for everyone involved. If sales processes are too difficult or complicated, 74% of people are more likely to switch brands (Source: HelpScout). The majority of travellers who book their holidays online do so because of convenience.

Sugati’s latest client to go live with their system secured their first online booking within minutes from a retired couple. A whopping 92% of baby boomers now choose to shop online, including for travel(Source: Miva). Regardless of how tech savvy your users and customers are, your system should be easy to use. Your CRM system should make the facilitation of excellent customer service easier. It should deliver agent attention where and when it is needed to help keep things simple, and running smoothly. 

Automation Transformation

With every job, there are fun tasks that you look forward to doing, and there are daily chores which are not so enjoyable. CRM automation can cut your housekeeping significantly when implemented well. Improved workflow rules may help you discover a better way of working, or allow you to cut a number of steps from your processes altogether. Overall, an automated CRM can also be one of the best tools for your team to do more with less.

Additionally, automated functions and communication don’t have to be wooden or robotic. The wonderful world of chatbots (which Sugati can integrate with) are proof that automation can be tailored to deliver welcoming, personalised and branded customer service. This is particularly important considering 53% of people are more likely to shop with businesses they can interact with (Source: Sprout Social).

Measure Twice, Market Once

When spending big on items like holidays, sometimes it takes many interactions before a customer makes the decision to book. Other times, connecting at the right time means capturing that impulse buy. At every point in a customer buying process, there is a moment when you win them over. So how do you tell which interactions are the most successful? You can find your ROI sweet spot by tracking and reporting all your campaign data. The results may surprise you.

Positive experience customer recommendation

Above all, your CRM technology should help you and your team go the extra mile. It should facilitate the smooth running of your business, and help you present a more polished feel to customers. Unquestionably, it must give your customers (and your staff) a positive experience. Because 77% of customers who have a positive experience with a company go on to recommend that company to others. (Source: HelpScout

Sugati ticks every one of the boxes in this list. If you have questions about whether a travel CRM is right for you call or email us. Or if you’d like to see the powerful Sugati system in action, click the Request a Demo button at the top of the page.

Four Reasons Why Travel Businesses need a Travel CRM

What exactly is a CRM, and does your travel business need one?

If you run a travel agency or tour operator group, do you need a CRM system? And should you be using a specialised travel CRM solution, or will any CRM software do? Here are four reasons you should consider updating the way you store your customer data.

By Claire Matheson

Do you go to the same coffee shop regularly? Walking into a familiar establishment, being greeted by name, your order made without you having to ask for it is more than a simple convenience. A barista who knows exactly how you like your coffee is a valuable asset.

This consumer relationship is special. There is a sense of camaraderie and belonging built on knowledge and trust. You can relax and have a chat knowing your coffee will be ready momentarily, exactly how you like it. This is why you come back, day after day.

The same can be said for any business transaction. When you know and anticipate your customer, the interaction becomes easier and more convenient for both parties. And this means you can focus your attention on building stronger, more personal relationships – the yellow brick road to loyal customers.

What Does This Mean for Travel Businesses?

For travel companies, a sale is much more complex than making a beautiful flat white. You need to understand your customers travel patterns and preferences. Then you have to know exactly the right point in time to strike up a conversation. Finally, you must spark their imagination and wanderlust. And you have to do all of this in a way that will make them book with you, rather than taking your ideas elsewhere, or doing it all themselves.

Enter Your CRM

According to IBM, companies using a dedicated CRM can:

      • Improve their relationships with their customers by up to 74% 
      • Boost their sales quotas by up to 65%
      • Double their productivity
      • Reduce their labour costs by up to 40%.

A CRM or Customer Relationship Management system is any database technology that stores information on your customer interactions. In other words, the aim of any CRM system is to grow sales. But a good travel CRM should do much more than this.

Industry crafted CRMs

A CRM system makes your pipeline visible, shows your sales cycle and processes, as well as the time and effort spent on converting each opportunity. But data storage and reporting is not enough. The best CRMs are those that are specifically tailored to the exact business needs of your industry. The more crafted, the better.

A travel CRM allows you to collect a wide range of information about your clients, from their travel preferences, to their booking habits. You can see and predict their needs from every angle. It lets you organise, analyse and report on this information for more targeted selling. But more importantly, it helps you to look after your customers. The travel sector is, after all, based on hospitality. To secure repeat bookings, outstanding and memorable service is a must. This is where a travel CRM differs from other more widely available CRM systems.

So how can a travel CRM help your travel agency or tour operator business?

Stronger Conversion Rates

A study by Harvard Business Review found companies connecting with a potential customer less than one hour after first receiving a query were “seven times more likely to have a meaningful conversation with a key decision maker” compared to those who waited over an hour. Companies who waited 24 hours or longer were 60 times less likely to qualify the lead.

Sugati sets up an immediate automated email response whenever a customer makes a holiday enquiry. The system assigns the lead to the next available agent, and prompts them to follow up. Within seconds of generating a query, your customers can be contacted by one of your sales team because of automated workflows. Your workflow rules also let your team know exactly where, when and how to concentrate their selling efforts. This means more conversions and fewer cold leads.

Precision Marketing and Sales

A UK survey found people begin looking for their next holiday only 17 days after their last holiday. The average Brit takes only 37 days to book a new trip after returning home. This leaves a window of just under three weeks for you to contact returning travellers, capture their imaginations, and convince them to book their next journey with you.

All good relationships stem from the right timing. Workarea found most online transactions occur between 8 and 9 p.m. with people buying more frequently on a Monday, closely followed by Sunday. If email is your primary point of contact, Hubspot found the vast majority of prospects worldwide prefer to open and read emails between 5 and 6 in the morning.

analyse existing clients

So when is the best time for you to contact new leads or potential repeat customers?

The ability to monitor and report on all aspects of customers’ enquiry and booking habits is vital to any travel business. Information is power, and there is no better way of understanding your target market than by analysing the patterns of behaviour of your existing clients. As a result, you can precisely target your marketing and sales efforts.

A Sugati system has unlimited reporting power. Cross-analyse any combination of data sets to understand the strengths and weaknesses of your sales and marketing processes. Which means you can automate your campaigns and contact methods using this information to make them more effective. In addition, you can also automate reminders and notifications for your team, giving everyone all the information they need to act with well timed precision.

Improved Customer Satisfaction

The most exciting reason for travel agencies and tour operators to implement a CRM is the opportunity to improve your customer experience. In a recent poll of CRM users by Capterra, 47% believed their CRM directly and significantly impacted on their customer satisfaction as well as their customer retention.

Having a travel technology system which can generate branded itineraries, quotes and invoices in real time as you input the holiday enquiry information is a game changer. Taking the fuss out of time consuming processes like these allows you to spend more time with your customers. And more time means more personalised service, with greater attention to detail.

When you have a system that easily organises your comprehensive data, it can make you look like you can read your customers’ minds. Anticipating what, when and how your customers prefer to spend their holidays gives you the ability to tempt them with romantic notions of their ideal dream vacation. Because making them feel seen and heard is how you win them over.

Increased Revenue

How many seats are left on that tour? Which supplier bookings are giving you the highest margins? How can you maximise your upselling opportunities in the lead up to a customer’s holiday?

Targeted selling in the right place at the right time is bound to increase your revenue. However sustainable growth relies on improving your productivity. Using a travel CRM you can make your complex back end processes run easier, faster and better. The most widely used CRM globally, Salesforce users can increase their sales by up to 29%, their productivity by up to 34% and their sales forecast accuracy by up to 42%.

Sugati increases revenue

If your team are feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day, or if you don’t have enough staff to deal with all your incoming enquiries, a CRM may be your best solution. For instance, Sugati clients on average are able to increase their revenue between 20-30% with no additional staffing or resources.

Making a Decision

Like everything in life, you get what you pay for. Research by Inc. shows the ROI on a properly integrated CRM system can range between US$2.50 to $5.60 for every dollar invested. The same amount as a fancy flat white. We’ll let you decide which is better – good coffee or great returns.

Even if you’re investing in a top shelf premium product with a bigger price tag, it’s likely to pay for itself over time. But success is not always guaranteed. Have a read of our next blog post: Ten Features Travel Businesses need in their CRM System? For a checklist on what you should look for in your new system.

If you have questions about whether a travel CRM is right for you, or if you’d like to see the powerful Sugati system in action, call or email us, or click the request a demo button at the top of the page.

How Can Travel Businesses Compete With OTAs?

How Automation and Personalisation in your Technology is the Answer if you want to Compete with OTAs.

By Claire Matheson

For traditional travel agents and tour operators, providing travellers with premium, personalised service remains the best way to compete with OTA large scale enterprises. But in this battle, exceptional service alone is no longer enough. Your greatest ally lies in digital transformation.

According to STR’s 2019 Traveller Panel survey the top reasons travellers choose to book through an OTA are convenience, access to discounts and promotions, and the ability to compare deals. Yet while price and convenience are driving factors in determining how travellers book a holiday, customer service experiences and word of mouth recommendations are where smaller competitors can win the war. And this is where technology can help travel agencies and tour operators stand out and compete with OTAs.

Online shopping outlets are putting many retailers out of business, regardless of industry. Thomas Cook’s closure is further evidence of the shifts in consumer behaviour in the travel industry. But this challenge presents a powerful opportunity to compete with OTAs. It is a chance to change, adapt and improve.

So how can travel agencies and tour operators compete with such large scale online companies? Ironically, the answer lies in online technologies.

Accessible anywhere, anytime, the right cloud based solution can add value, give you better insights into your business, and help you gain efficiencies. The right technology can not only help travel businesses compete with OTA big players, but also win the loyalty of their customers. With the right solution, you can build your brand, and grow your revenue.

Successfully automate

The Role of Automation

The key to a successful digital transformation is automation. And to successfully automate, your system needs to be able to insert the right information where and when needed. Which processes in your business are unnecessarily manual? Are they taking your attention away from your customers? Are there steps that could be done more quickly? Could you eliminate them altogether? And how can you insert personalised touches in your automation to make your customers feel valued and understood in a way that OTAs cannot? 

Make the Complex Simple

True automation which increases your productivity requires a sleek, all inclusive technology solution. Errors and glitches are more common with multiple data entry points or if your platforms have problems talking to each other. An end to end solution with built-in CRM capabilities is the best way to simplify your processes and cut out unnecessary actions. To compete with OTA giants, travel agencies and tour operators need more automation in all areas of their business. Your tech should help  to generate and assign leads, respond to enquiries, quickly build itineraries and handle customer bookings. It should also help you to manage your suppliers and inventory, organise your payments, and report everything back to your team. Above all, it should be easy to use.

Online and mobile

Link Your Online and Mobile Bookings

Criteo’s 2018 Summer Travel Report shows OTAs growing foothold over the market is in large part due to increases in mobile bookings. Mobile bookings make up 39% of OTA sales, compared with only 10% for other suppliers and agents. In fact, 80% of all last-minute bookings are made from a mobile. EMarketer predicts online travel sales will exceed $817 billion by 2020. And mobile sales will make up a big slice of the pie. If you’re not online and mobile, you’re not in the game.

To be effective and compete with OTAs, your CRM and backend systems should be linked to your online booking systems, mobile apps and marketing campaigns. This means greater convenience not only to your customer but also to you. If you can track your customers’ preferences and online spending habits, you can find better ways to engage them. Assigning leads to your team automatically means you can follow up before they go cold.

Maximise Personalised Engagement

Anticipation is king when it comes to customer service. Making your customer relationships stronger comes down to understanding what your customers really want. Information is power, and the more chances for meaningful, personalised interactions, the better. In an end to end system, automated communications can be sent not only during enquiry, quote and booking stages but also throughout the customer’s travel journey. More chances to connect means more chances to impress your customers. 

Automatically including individual customer information makes your interactions seem more heartfelt, tailored and authentic. Emails and mobile messages should not be limited to thank yous, notifications of received payments, and well wishes for a good trip. Additional advice on visas, vaccinations, packing lists or even weather forecasts can help turn their trip into a fantastic one. 

Checking in on your guests during and immediately after their travel is an effective way to tap into future repeat sales. British studies find most people begin looking for their next holiday only 17 days after returning from their last one. This is also a good time to promote loyalty offers with 25% of travellers choosing to book in part because of a loyalty or rewards scheme according to Hotel News Now.

The Magic Behind the Curtain

In the workflow of any business, there are repetitive tasks that are either unnecessary or time consuming. What grunt work is taking up too much of your time? Which tasks could be performed by your system instead? Queueing and scheduling payments, communicating with suppliers, updating inventory, and providing notifications are essential in cleaning up your back of house. Ideally, your technology should also allow you to automatically set KPIs, show dashboard insights and generate reports. However, the real time-saving efficiencies for travel agents and tour operators lie in creating itineraries. 

An automated itinerary builder can effortlessly keep track of your recommendations. This is a real advantage when competing with OTAs. Choosing accommodation, activities and add ons from your preferred suppliers can be done in seconds. All information can be inserted by the system into branded, personalised itineraries that can be accessed online, via mobile app, or downloaded so that your guests don’t need to worry about wifi. How much time would this task normally take you? How much time would you prefer it to take?

_Automation doesn't need to be robotic. It can ber personalised, customised and powerful._

An Automatic Advantage

Technology should be convenient. It should be clean, simple and make life easier. And not just for you, for your customers too. In STR’s 2019 survey, 48% of travellers cited convenience and ease of use as their number one reason for booking with an OTA. Travel businesses which “Allow customers to secure their accommodation with as few clicks, swipes and details entered as possible,” have the greatest advantage. 

Automation lies at the heart of improving your workflows. It can make all aspects of your business more convenient and accessible to your customers. But it doesn’t need to be robotic. It can be personalised, customised and powerful. When linked to a strong, specialised CRM system, automated technology can create individually tailored experiences for more engaged customers. Guests travelling with your company will feel valued. 

By spending less time on the tasks that can be automated, you can focus your efforts on delivering exceptional customer service. Without hiring additional staff, you can achieve the ultimate travel business goal – saving time and money while turning your customers into loyal ambassadors for your brand. And this is key if you want to compete with OTAs.

Do you have questions? Would like to see the powerful Sugati system in action? Call or email us, or click the request a demo button at the top of the page.

Data and Storage Resources – Salesforce

Salesforce listens and it is a win for all of us as clients, partners and the entire Salesforce ecosystem

The reason why we love Salesforce is mainly their fantastic technology platform which empowers SMEs to harness the technologies that used to be readily available for global companies.

For small to medium sized Tour Operators and Travel Agents, affordability of Salesforce is always a challenge. On the surface, Salesforce is expensive. Sugati encounters this problem on a daily basis as a niche ISV partner of Salesforce, that is specialised in Travel CRM technology solution, whenever we try to onboard a new client.

One thing we have been saying to Salesforce really is the cost of data storage. Based on the number of licenses you have signed up, Salesforce will offer 1GB of data storage as a base. For Tour Operators and Travel Agents that carry approximately 5,000 – 7,500 pax a year, 1GB will be sufficient for the first 1-2 years. After that, you really need an extra storage. That’s where the additional expense comes in. An additional 1GB of storage on Salesforce is equal to one enterprise license which is roughly about £1,000 annually. Imagine if you needed 10G of storage, you would be paying £10,000 annually just for the data storage!

Therefore storage on Salesforce is expensive. This is quite understandable because Salesforce not only needs to host the data but also monitor the changes to the data, take a back up, and most importantly ensure that it is secure. We are paying the top price as a result.

Back in the days, to overcome the data storage limit challenge that we have to perform routine tasks of deleting unnecessary records and archiving historical records onto a different server etc… A lot of businesses would rather focus on their core offering rather than doing this mundane task.

New storage facility

However! one good thing about Salesforce is they actually listen to their partners and customers. From the end of March 2019, among many other updates they have made to the core Salesforce platform, and storage facility too, have been updated. This really means Salesforce base level Data Storage offering has now been increased to 10GB from 1GB !!! This is a massive win for all the Salesforce clients and its ecosystem. I suspect this must have come as a result of their deep partnership with Amazon Cloud.

Salesforce must have been taken a huge hit on their revenue from the data storage income. But as and when the core platform that Sugati Travel CRM has built the solution on has made this sort of improvement, it just reaffirms our trust in Salesforce and our professional recommendation we have made for you to sign up with Sugati.

The 10GB storage is more than enough for most of the Sugati’ clients. To check this upgrade has been applied to you:

  1. Go to Set up, 
  2. In the Quick Find, type in Storage
  3. Click on Storage Usage and
  4. You will see the storage allocation for you.

Follow up tasks for you if you are one of those Sugati clients who has bought additional storage in the past, get in touch with your Salesforce AE to remove that from the next billing cycle. Chances are that you will no longer need that extra storage anymore. Otherwise, the contract will be auto-renewed.

Increase in the storage capacity doesn’t mean you should lose the good habit of tidying up your data. Keep your data nice and clean, use Sugati Travel Insight dashboard to understand the KPIs of your business.

Happy belated Easter everyone.

More information about the upgrade can be found here – https://help.salesforce.com/articleView?id=overview_storage.htm&type=5

In the meantime, if you want to learn from the best travel technology, Sugati Travel CRM, please get in touch. Our team will be delighted to talk to you and understand more about your current challenges and see how you can benefit from our travel software.