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Why are regular travel CRM releases essential to your travel CRM software? 

There is always a debate over whether it is better to invest in an ‘off the shelf’ solution or have a bespoke system built for your business. There is no right or wrong answer to this dilemma. We would recommend that whichever option you choose, that you make sure the travel software (bespoke or off the shelf) is regularly updated without any additional cost.

It doesn’t make any sense to opt for a travel technology solution that does not allow you to use a certain section of the system without additional charges. In the process of finding the best travel CRM, make sure you will always benefit from a fully updated travel solution. Whether you want to invest more or not. Whether you have paid a setup fee or you are on a subscription, that element is really important to consider.

Ideally, the travel CRM should be built on top of a technology platform rather than at the back of your website (for example, WordPress). Otherwise, you are missing out on a whole bunch of technology innovation that technology disruptors and your immediate competitors are going to adapt quicker than you think.

Say no to old school system

It’s about time you stop wasting money!

A system that’s not updated regularly is a travel CRM solution that is losing efficiency and value. This means that, slowly, you will use only a small part of your travel CRM software. Therefore you’ll lose the advantage to your nearest competitors. Using only certain components of your travel technology is like using an old-school travel system. If you opt for a ‘true travel CRM‘, in other words – a powerful technology, what is the point of only using part of it? 

On the flip side, if you are on a system that gets updated regularly, you don’t need to worry about changes. Your ATOL certificate, GDPR preparation, and changes in security certificate updates will be updated automatically. The vendor will ideally take care of everything for you, and come up with efficiency gain features on a continuous basis.

A great travel CRM is a flexible solution

One of the key features that a buyer should be looking for a travel technology solution is flexibility. For example, as you start using the travel CRM system, you may come to realise that it would be great to be able to adjust certain components or elements on the travel system, in order to make it more user-friendly. Having such flexibility would definitely be a great bonus. 

What does user-friendly mean? 

Gone are the days where you need a specific programing language to make changes to the system. If you are speaking to a potential vendor who requires you to invest your time and money in for the below updates, we recommend you seek alternatives. It shouldn’t cost you a body part to be able to do simple things such as:

  1. Create a new field
  2. Change the page layout
  3. Create workflow rules
  4. Build reports  
  5. Create a dashboard

You will say that this approach seems difficult if you are a sales manager, marketing specialist or a financial director. I understand that. Actually, you shouldn’t need to approach developers to do all of these things, and the system should be flexible enough for you to be able to make the necessary changes.

Consider a user-friendly travel CRM solution, and make sure you are able to change everything you need, when you need to change it and how you need to change it. What makes the difference is really how easy you feel the system is to use. 

Struggling to find the best travel CRM solution

What about the back office functionality?

In terms of back office functionalities, a great travel CRM software enables you to create simple things that simplify your daily tasks, such as reminders, system-wide prompts, and task management (monitoring the workload and assigning tasks to an individual). These must be out of the box features.

Once again, these things have to be simple for you to change and automate. When choosing your travel CRM technology, ask for the training program. Make sure you are not buying a travel system that you will not be able to use. Your travel technology provider will have to provide either video training or in-person training, to help you start using your dream solution. My advice would be to opt for a technology vendor that provides in-person training. Talking with the technical team face to face and asking questions directly is always beneficial to your understanding.

At Sugati Travel CRM we always ensure we help you to use your travel CRM solution. Since Sugati Travel CRM is based on top of Salesforce, we do provide in-person or remote Salesforce training as well as documentation, and full access to training videos. We look after you before, during and after Sugati setup installation. We help you to become a Sugati expert and make sure you are able to use the system and change things on a daily basis if needed.

Is your travel CRM software’s API connections friendly?

From experience, one of the main problems that our current clients face is the connectivity between the different platforms. 

The travel system must be able to connect to various GDSs such as Multicom, Expedia, Saber, Amadeus and payment gateway providers, for example, Stripe. The travel agency software must also be able to communicate to the accounting system, your map system and the telephony system in place. However, these integrations don’t come at a cheap price and that is what needs to be taken into consideration. 

We actually recommend that you look for a travel CRM that has an ecosystem of partner technology solutions providers, such as the AppExchange by Salesforce. For example, let’s think of your iPhone and various Apps you can purchase or download from the App Store. All that is required from you is to download a new app and start using it. Applications available on AppExchange are similar, in the sense that in a few clicks you will be able to add new features to your travel CRM system. 

Integrate your travel CRM with other technology solutions

But what kind of API shall I consider?

A solution that is designed to be implemented in different business environments is a travel CRM solution that is able to connect to your different business entity. The right solution has to fit your business needs, and you are the only one who knows what kind of integrations you need. However, the following here is a list of basic travel API connexion you would eventually require :

  • GDS APIs
  • Flights data 
  • Car rental
  • Public transportation
  • Cruises
  • Railway
  • Channel managers
  • Restaurant or Things to do platforms
  • OTAs

As the travel industry is changing rapidly and progressively, the API connexions are not obviously used by the current clients of your travel technology provider. However, if you make sure that your new travel CRM software is API connexion friendly, you won’t have any troubles.

Sugati Travel CRM is a fully integrated solution with many technology solution suppliers. Because with are partners with some of them, we always introduce you to the right person in order to help your setup installation. Find out more about our partners and many integrations Sugati Travel CRM offers. 

How can a great reporting tool benefit your travel agency or tour operator?

Now that you have a 360-degree view of your customers, and have set up various automation processes along the customer journey, you should ensure that the system you are onboarding has a booking engine, and that it does not only have a set of prebuilt reports but is also able to generate reports as and when you want them. More importantly, the numbers on the report should be reliable and accurate.

What should your new travel CRM system take care of?

In our experience, we have come across so many user-friendly lightweight systems, where because you just can’t rely on their numbers, you must spot them and try to avoid them manually. On the other hand, there are systems where reports and dashboards can be scheduled to be sent to you or the relevant members of the team. You should be able to produce CAA reports and all other relevant financial and legal reports, along with marketing and sales reports with a few clicks of a button.

Being able to manage your reporting tool yourself and personalise the report figures is indispensable. Various departments and individuals will require different types of reports, including information relevant to their own role. Therefore, it is important for individuals to be able to generate meaningful reports that are both easy to generate and understand. Actually, you will be surprised to hear that a lot of travel businesses are not using, measuring, or analysing their insights. That common mistake is due to a lack of time and efficiency. 

Success with travel technology

What will these insights help with?

These insights will also be beneficial in helping you to negotiate with your different suppliers. Use your reporting tool to create accurate reports. Show your suppliers the number of travellers you brought to one particular supplier, how much did they spent, how many times a year you are using their services, etc… All these pieces of information will allow you to negotiate as much as you want with your contract terms, payment terms and so on. 

It will also enable you to measure client behaviour, likes and dislikes. Check to see who is going on holidays, what is the best period for you for promoting certain destinations, depending on the age, sex, situation, etc. Gone are the days when you were not paying attention to insights! Basically, you can do pretty much everything: hotel bookings summary, air ticket booking summary, air companies used reporting, etc.

When you start using a great reporting tool your business overview and perspective will become clear and logical immediately. When you start looking for a new travel CRM system ask for a bespoke demo. Ask to see the different values, figures, periods in the reporting tool – things relevant to your travel business. Make sure you can create, measure and send a report with a click of a button.

Make things possible with travel technology 

Without this knowledge about travellers and destinations trends, you could potentially miss some sales opportunities. As explained in this article, one of the things you can now do is deal with the future. Now, with travel technology, it’s possible to predict your sales on your Travel CRM solution. 

Sugati Travel CRM uses a really powerful reporting tool and it is easy to use. We will be pleased to show you a demo of our travel CRM solution if it’s of interest. The team at Sugati is getting ready to help your travel business understand your needs. Request a demo to what our fantastic Salesforce solution for travel agents has to offer.

What is a true understanding of your customers?

Most tour operators and travel agents have gone through the experience of using four or five systems.

The challenge with having a silo system that is you never have a 360-degree view of your customer. This means you will never have a true understanding of your customers. Being able to define a customer profile, categorise and engage with them in a personalised way will not be possible if your website does not talk to your enquiry system. Which in turn does not talk to your booking system, inventory management system, payment system and your supplier management system and so on.

Why is the 360-degree view so important?

Marketing and customer success are really difficult to measure. Even though your team is allocating a lot of time dealing with your clients, making sure they are satisfied with your services and your quality of answers, you cannot beat technology. A great travel designer will follow every step of the sales process and always be curious and try to understand the client better. However, that approach is only practical if you have a small travel agency or tour operator. What about the big agencies? The ones that receive one thousand inquiries a day. How do you deal with managing customer relationships here?

Along the customer journey, you will engage with your client from the inquiry stage, all the way to the post-holiday stage. Traditionally, most of this information is gathered and stored in various systems. Thus, individuals at the company are unable to have a 360-degree view of their clients, creating complications and difficulties operating the business successfully. Having all details and information gathered under one system will allow you to have a 360-degree view of your customers, which in turn will result in an overall enhancement of each stage in the customer journey. Subsequently, implementing an end-to-end travel technology solution that provides a 360-degree view of your customers will enable your business to offer exceptional customer service and client experience.

Understand your customer and offer an exceptional experience

What’s the result of obtaining a comprehensive understanding of your customer?

  • As a result of from great customer data management, your client will enjoy a personalised experience with your travel advisor. With a complete travel CRM solution, your agents will be able to manage the client’s expectation effectively and easily.
  • Better organisation? Of course, and gain efficiency with all the information gathered and stored in one place. A new starter coming? No need to ask every single one of your travel advisors. Look at the prospect/client detailed information and take it from there.
  • If you are running marketing campaigns or trying to promote some of your itineraries or tours, knowing your clients will become a real advantage. Send personalised marketing messages and different types of special offers to your clients depending on their purchases, profile and interest.
  • Analyse your customers’ behaviour and predict travel interest as well as your turnover. Thanks to all the communication and different interactions with your client you can create a scoring system and segment your portfolio. That will help you to target your clients perfectly. 

Is that it?

Of course not. We could talk about 360-degree view benefits for a while… Sugati Travel CRM is the best travel crm solution for the travel trade and we are using our customer insights to help our clients gain efficiency and enhance overall business performance. If you are keen to know more about the different aspects of the travel CRM features and functionality, please feel free to request a first call today

The key features of a complete travel CRM

From pure spreadsheets to reservation systems and online booking systems, every travel technology system in the world has its core strengths and weaknesses. There are so many travel systems out there too.

So how do you choose which one is right for your business?

Our Chief Technology Officer talks about eight key pieces of functionality that you will definitely need in your travel agent software.

“From my experience in the travel sector and technology in general, I firmly believe the aspects detailed below are the characteristics of a complete travel CRM.”

Use a platform instead of a product

First of all, your solution has to be web-based. But how do you know that a cloud-based travel CRM system is valuable for your travel agency or tour operators? Click here, for the answer.

A 360° customer view is essential to your sales performance

Secondly, make sure you will benefit from a single customer view. Stop using ten different technology solutions and duplicating the same information everywhere. It’s the time for you to consider the 360° view. Let’s talk about this right here.

Automate your sales process easily

Something else. The automation process will be the way the most effective way for you to gain rapidity and efficiency. But what is a true automated CRM software and how does it contribute to your success?

Measure your figures

What about the reporting tool? Measuring your performance and ensuring that the health of your travel business is great is essential! Our marketing team will explain our own experience on a truly user-friendly travel platform. 

Connect your indispensable solutions to your travel CRM

Are you using your campaign manager tool, your telephony solution, your accounting system or a marketing solution? Are you struggling with all these leads sources? Make sure your travel CRM system is using API connexion. In this article, we aim to demonstrate all the connectivity possibilities available with Sugati Travel CRM.

You new travel software has to look like this

Flexibility helps your team to be efficient

One of the key features that a buyer should be looking out for in a travel technology solution is flexibility. Flexibility and back office features are essential to your new travel system and we will explain why here.

Artificial Intelligence isn’t for the others, it’s also for travel businesses

One of the last things, I know that Artificial Intelligence sounds futuristic sometimes, but that is what makes the major difference between the different travel technology vendors. Learn how AI is used in travel technology solutions.

There are other versions after the 1.0. Benefit from it!

And, finally, make sure your travel CRM system is updated regularly. And, of course, that you don’t pay for every release! Here is the last blog article you would like to read. Be sure to make the right decision for your travel agency or your tour operator.

I hope my experience and expertise will help your travel business to succeed with travel technology. This storytelling is really important if you are looking to change your current travel software or opt for a travel technology solution. If you are interested in knowing a bit more about Sugati Travel CRM. Request the first call now by clicking here.