We no longer shop in a world where we walk into a brick-and-mortar store and are greeted by real people. Well, at least the numbers suggest that a growing majority of people are leaning towards the online option to fulfill their desires. This evolving trend to shop online is nowhere as apparent as in the world of travel and tourism.
According to a Google India-BCG report the total Indian travel market is projected to reach $48 Bn by 2020 and a staggering 50% of total transactions are expected to come from OTA’s (Online Travel Agencies).
The above report and others like it definitely suggest that it’s a great time to be an online travel agency since greater growth implies that every player will get a bigger piece of the pie. While it is true that more people are opting to select an OTA for their travel plans, it is also evident that people are spoiled for choice owing to the growing number of travel options available online.
A Travel CRM can Give you the Tools to Stand Out
In an industry where everyone is fighting for the attention of customers, having the capacity to satisfy customers is the crucial ingredient that wins loyalty and translates into renewed success. This is where a Travel CRM is not only beneficial but critical to staying competitive in an oversaturated digital world.
Customers have unlimited and constant access to a variety of information and packages from competitors. According to the above Google-India BCG report, “customers spend on average 49 minutes spread over 46 days, visiting as many as 17 different online touch points to plan, research, and make a booking”. So, in order to make your promotions stand apart, you have to be able to pick up on the clues that prospects provide through their behavior and then leverage this data to craft the services that will retain their business every time. .
Here are 5 Benefits of Using a Travel CRM
1. Provides a robust customer base
In spite of the availability of CRM technology, more than half of travel agencies still opt to use one-dimensional tools such as Excel and Microsoft Office. While this isn’t a knock on the suite of tools offered by Microsoft Office, they’re simply not in the same dimension as CRM when it comes to keeping a record of all important information related to your customers.
The database that a robust CRM tool provides is not a static repository of data but an evolving storehouse of customer information. The database not only houses client information but allows you to track all relevant customer interactions with your business across the length and breadth of your sales cycle.
This centralized databank is accessible to all authorized personnel and enables your business to craft personalized communications based on real and relevant behaviors that are displayed by customers across your platform.
2. Enables tracking prospects at every step of the sales journey
Besides tracking and recording customer information, a top Travel CRM will ensure that you avoid following up on redundant prospects and focus your energy on promising leads instead. The system enables you to prioritize promising leads by helping you qualify them by assigning lead scores, or via segmentation through lists or by activity.
These lead insights available at a glance can help you tailor relevant communications to your leads and guide them through the various stages of your sales cycle. In addition to offering the ability to focus on quality leads, a CRM also offers lead analytics that displays the winning avenues of lead acquisition.
3. Send personalised communications
How can you ever hope to satisfy your customers when you don’t know what they want? While a CRM can’t magically peer into the heads of your customers and show you what they’re thinking, it comes pretty close to it.
Imagine a situation where a lead ‘X’ visits your website and navigates to the ‘Homestay page’ to enquire about the best ‘homestay’ options available in Goa for the next couple days. He or she then spends a few moments considering options and weighing the costs before leaving.
CRM’s like Leadsquared can track nearly every interaction your leads have with your business, including calls, emails, and chats, thereby giving you critical insights into what your leads are thinking. With all this information displayed neatly in chronological order at your fingertips, your sales personnel no longer have to fight tooth and nail to create personalized communications in order to close sales .
3. Integrate your teams with Automations
With a top Travel CRM, you get a system that seamlessly integrates across your various teams and that allows multiple agents to sign in simultaneously. This ensures that everybody has access to important resources and knowledge, which contributes to greater collaboration and a smoother work environment.
The sales automation functionality that a travel CRM such as Leadsquared provides allows you to avoid wasting time on repetitive tasks and is flexible enough to mold to your particular sales process. Everything from lead and task assignment and bookings notifications to lead prioritization and even the assigning of missed calls can be automated from within the system, leaving you with enough time to focus on other more important aspects of growing your business.
5. Get data-driven detailed analytics
As you’re probably aware, the key drivers that influence a traveler’s purchase decisions are customer reviews and word of mouth. Both of these factors depend on customer perception and satisfaction. If you’re looking to retain customers and influence their decisions, you need to have a really good idea of what they’re looking for.
The best travel CRMs provide compelling visual workflow builders so you can guide your visitors with the least resistance to becoming your leads and eventually your customers. They give you the flexibility to create multiple inter-dependent paths to conversion while also offering detailed email analytics as well as the option to schedule auto-responders.
Armed with hard customer data and insights into behavior, you can continually tweak and improve your systems and deliver exactly what your travel prospects need.
Finally, you get detailed analytics on revenue and other sales/performance metrics in a timely manner so you know which aspects of your business need attention. With all these different functionalities available at your fingertips, it’s hard to imagine why a large number of companies still use old school technologies such as Excel that rely on manual input and memory to organize business efforts.