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.