According to the WTTC, the global travel and tourism sector is thriving very well, and it has outstripped the growth of worldwide GDP in past year. The report from the WTTC also says that travel and tourism increased by 3.9% in recent year, which is more than the worldwide GDP increase of 3.2%. This growth contributed to a record $8.8 trillion to the world economy. Furthermore, it is also stated in the report that this industry generated 10.4% of all worldwide economic activity .
After reading this fact, you must have known how fast this industry is broadening its horizon. So, the faster it grows, the more competition it has, thus the more challenges will be for you to deal with if you want to run and sustain your travel business in such a competitive situation crowded with competitors.
Here, we have made a list of 10 key challenges faced by travel agencies with appropriate solutions.
1.Building and Maintaining the Credibility of Online Presence
One of the biggest concerns for a travel agent is to establish and maintain a reliable online presence. Only having your own website is not sufficient to help you be visible in such an abject and demanding competitive era.
Everybody knows that your website shows your online presence, however, without a responsive website equipped to deal with bookings and answer your clients’ questions efficiently, you mustn’t even dream of success. Don’t be hopeless, keep reading further to convert your dreams into reality.
Just follow the given pieces of advice below:
- You should develop a responsive website having a user-friendly interface and traveler-centric features.
- Make more investment in organic SEO and content marketing.
- Have a partnership with a famous taxi aggregator having a powerful web presence and a successful mobile app.
2. Maintaining own Service Standard
In this competitive era, where everybody is ready to steal your customers, you must maintain an indubitable standard of your travel business to retain your customers.
You must leave the travelers who took your services amazed and pleased with your excellent services. Although seeming simple, it’s a very complicated and demanding task. It is because having a flood of taxi drivers and cabs under one’s management becomes problematic, especially when it comes to maintaining the cab quality and regulating customer experience. Take a deep breath, keep the three points in mind given below for memorable customer experience:
- You need to have a structured training schedule for all drivers.
- You must ensure that your cab condition is appropriate by having a periodic check and creating a checklist for better evaluation.
- Hire experienced drivers and train them as per their individual problems.
3. Make Booking Procedure more Convenient
You must be thinking that calling and booking your services is easy, however, your customers may not feel the same. This mobile era is very convenient but competitive, where people use smartphones for almost everything. You must throw away the tedious and complicated old booking process. You’d better move to an upgraded booking process and simultaneously, you need to have an insightful booking dashboard to handle everything. Apart from that, follow the tips below.
Tips for better booking process:
- Have a partnership with those service providers giving online booking facilities by means of apps or websites. You can also get your customized Travel agency invoice software as per your agency needs which can be integrated in your booking portals.
- Keep multiple options available for customers to choose one as per their convenience.
4. Dealing with Duplicate Data Entries
As a travel business, you must be receiving a great deal of data from different sources like website, call center, social media, resellers and so on. And, it makes you create double entries, which means to create twice the same buyer persona.
Although it’s not hard for you to tackle different lead sources by getting rid of duplicated data, it will consume a great deal of time of yours. Moreover, you will need excellent communication within your team and even between multiple agencies if necessary.
As we all know that it’s unwise to shoot an advertisement at the same prospect twice. Get rid of this problem by following the tips given below:
- Have an advanced system that can indicate duplicated data immediately on detection.
- Your system must be advanced enough to let know when you are about to send an advertisement to a single prospect twice to prevent you from doing so.
5. Providing Services as per Specific Requirements
When you provide your customers with services as per their expectations and demands, they feel special.
Some tips are given below to delight your customers as per their preference:
- Don’t underestimate the power of clients’ feedback and reviews to improve your services, and always learn from them.
- Fill your mind with users’ preferences and demands when they make a booking.
- Win their hearts with the convenience of providing them with multiple payment options and online booking facility.
6. Expense Management
It’s not easy to be aware of every single penny spent if you are managing your expenses manually. Travel businesses, like others, have to spend a lot on advertising, purchasing new technology-powered tools, customer service, and so on. Moreover, it’s wise to have some financial backup for the future. But, how can manage your business expenses properly?
You should use a cutting-edge expense management software . A single convenient dashboard of expense software can help you with keeping a track of all your accounts payable and reports. It will be much easier for you to maintain a record of expenses happening regularly, and you can conveniently import expense files on the dashboard. Apart from that, you can create searchable categories and analyze reports country wise.
7. Tedious Operational Management
Your daily operations can create a huge problem for you if you don’t manage them efficiently and properly. This is why most travel business owners find it stressful to handle bookings, customer requests, and so on. It’s wise to improve the operational management for delightful and standard services. But, how?
Read the tips below to do so:
- Assign trivial tasks to third-parties or service providers.
- Pay attention to set up an effectual business management system.
- Make your service operations improved by means of the digital transformation of existing processes.
8. Knowing Clients’ Requirements
To what extent, you know your customers matters a lot in a business. It is because the more you know them, the better you know their expectations and demands, thus gearing up to fulfil their specific and individual needs much better.
As a travel business owner, you know this fact but don’t know how to do so. Calm your nerves, and read the tips below:
- Use social media platforms to send blogs, advice, suggestions, and so on to make them feel special. By doing so, you will be able to know their interests very well.
- Make a list of the questions asked by a particular client, as their questions indicate their demands and concerns.
- Don’t forget to ask for their advice, suggestions, feedback, complaints and the like to know them like the back of your hand.
9. Maintaining Cash Flow
A healthy cash flow means that you are receiving payments on time and paying your vendors, bills etc on time. Any issue in the cash flow indicates that either we are receiving payments late or paying our bills late. In travel agencies or any business, cash is the best companion to run and sustain it.
The following tips can help you with maintaining an ideal cash flow:
- Many traveler billing software comes with effectual features like accounts payable and receivable, which will help you better manage your cash flow.
- You must use a hi-tech traveler billing system to remind your customers/clients of the payments to be paid, thus making them pay at the right time. Having so, you will get payments on time, thus having a healthy cash flow.
10. Coping with a Flood of Enquiries
The demand in the travel industry is increasing day by day, which leave travel agencies helpless, especially when it comes to dealing with a flood of enquiries. It tends to happen that enquiries come from different places at the same time, which makes it almost impossible for you to organize your workflow without missing anything.
From personal information, the room type required, to the payment methods, all of them create a sensation and stressful environment among your staff employees and in your workplace respectively. Furthermore, you must be having a large number of suppliers to deal with, which increases the size of the problem. To ward off this issue, follow the words of advice below:
- Bank on artificial intelligence-powered chatbots to deal with uncountable enquiries at the same time.
- Don’t forget to teach your employees that they must talk to customers like human beings, and while talking they must show it. They can use some jokes if required, and talk in an energetic and changing tone, not like a robot speech, which sounds monotonous.
This blog will become fruitful if you understand how to overcome these challenges faced by travel agencies. Like every business, the travel business is highly dependent on cash, so the travel agency invoice system you use must be efficient enough to leave your business with a healthy cash flow.
Your travel agency invoice software must come with some advanced features like accounts payable and receivable management, expense management, more payment gateways, and the like to help you run and sustain your travel business efficiently.