One of the best and also least used tips for travel agents is to regularly reassess the travel agencies purpose or reevaluate travel business. Re-evaluation can sometimes be difficult for a travel agent but reevaluation is a necessary part of continued successful growth.
Those who wish to have a successful boost in travel business must be willing to adapt, look at new possibilities, reevaluate old models or old technologies, as well as always learn to be on the leading edge of change to help meet the constant flexing needs and desires of clientele. So what are some of the best ways to successfully reevaluating a travel business?
Re-evaluate your branding
This can be a particularly difficult one for travel agencies and is one of those tips for travel agents which often goes unexplored and that is: it may be time to rebrand your brand. Perhaps at some point in the past, your travel agency had a catchy name taken from your favorite grandma like Ethel’s Travel Agency. Although that branding may have been successful, or you may have been successful in spite of your branding, as your business grew people looked for more trendy and eye-catching and, frankly, more professional names for their travel agencies.
No matter how good Ethel’s Travel Agency is, it will likely be out-competed by something simpler like True Experiences Travel Agency or World Adventure Travel Agency. The fact is words matter and the way that a business presents itself is going to have a huge impact on its ability to reach new markets and successfully connect with new clients.
Whether it’s your travel agency name, your business cards or your logo, updating your brand from time to time it’s vital to convey a professional image and capture the attention of new and returning customers.
Update your website
Another of the best ways to boost a travel business and a part of the reevaluation process is to regularly update your website. When people look for a travel agent, they are going to look for a website that does not look like it was built 10 years ago. Even if a business were for some reason to show up at the top of the search results, an old or outdated website is an indicator of old and outdated service.
We have all heard to never judge a book by its cover but the fact is people do and will judge a travel agency or travel agent based on the quality of their online services, even if we’re talking about a brick-and-mortar travel agency. This is why is it important for travel agencies not just to remake the website into a modern site, but also to continually be updating it with new promotions, new services, new deals, and new ideas.
A person may visit a travel agent’s website many times as they look for the perfect idea for a getaway. By continually adding new content or adding new ideas or new deals, individuals will keep on returning to that website to see if the dream trip of a lifetime has now become available. Whereas older sites which do not update their information or promotional materials are ones which are only visited once and likely are never visited again.
Nowadays, with solutions like TTS WeBook Suite that offers different website templates for the travel industry that can be easily customized to meet your brand’s look and feel, travel agents no longer have an excuse not to have a good-looking and user-friendly website in order to meet their clients’ expectations (check out a working live demo). Not only can your clients book their flights through your own internet booking engine integrated into your website or Facebook page but you can also have a website that showcases all of your travel agency’s packages, prices, and contact information.
Check in with existing suppliers
Another of the important tips for travel agents is to check in with your existing suppliers. The fact is simply this, at one point the cruise lines, the airlines, the hotels or destinations which you have helped send people to desired your business. A travel agency and travel agents are also clients of other businesses in the travel industry as well. As such, it is important for travel agents to find and work with businesses which value them as clients just as much as the agents value theirs.
Is a hotel chain offering travel agents who join them with special promotional codes that you did not receive when you first joined? Perhaps a cruise line is now trying to attract new travel agencies with special deals or discounts but have they offered those to your travel agency?
Reconnecting with old suppliers is an important part of reevaluating a travel business. If these companies are not interested in providing your travel agency with the same deals and discounts which they give to new agencies or agents then it is likely time to find businesses which will value you and the services you offer. The individuals that a travel agency sends to an airline, a cruise line, or a hotel chain are valuable and if they do not treat you and your business as valuable then it is also reasonable to expect they may not value your clients either.
Gain first-hand travel experience
Part of the reason why individuals choose to use a travel agent or travel agencies over online content is the personal touch that travel agents can offer. Not only does that personal touch come in the methodology of human connections, knowing that there is somebody who is helping ensure that they have a great trip so they do not think or stress about it, but also the idea that travel agents should themselves have traveled widely and had personal experience with the places they send their travelers to.
This is not always possible but ideally, travel agents should have a good first-hand knowledge of the kinds of places that they send customers to. Are you a travel agency which regularly sends individuals to Hawaii? Or books them aerial tours of the volcanos? Then perhaps somebody in the office really ought to go on that trip themselves. Spend some time there, learn some of the secret ins and outs that only the locals know, and then armed with this insider knowledge, help successfully meet and exceed customer expectations with every trip.
This insider experience not only helps create a value when selling a package to customers but also is an important factor in successfully upselling to customers. While a travel agent experienced different aspects of trips that you offer, perhaps they also found a better supplier, a better place to go eat, better restaurant packages, a fun snorkel trip, or local festivals. This kind of first-hand information can then be translated directly into upselling clients with tickets for events, coupons for restaurant chains, or selling them admission tickets to local festivals or parks. Inside information is far too valuable not to be gained directly.
Update your technology
Take the time to consider the advantages of using technology like Travelport Mobile Agent that offers full mobility to travel agents to handle their clients’ requests 24/7 wherever they are, allowing them to increase not only their productivity but also to improve their customer service.
Nowadays, all sort of technology is available to meet every travel agent’s need, no matter the size of the agency, there is always a tool that will help you to be more productive and efficient on your daily basis. Search the market for solutions that can help you solve the most time-consuming tasks you have on your hands and that will allow you to focus on what really matters.
In closing the best tips for travel agents to boost their travel business is to simply reevaluate their travel business. Travel agents and travel agencies need to be willing to take a critical look at themselves, gain the experience that is necessary to help translate into new sales, rebrand their image into one of professionalism and excellence, update their websites to ensure the highest quality satisfaction and promotional materials for potential clients while simultaneously ensuring that your travel agency itself is a valued client by checking in with your suppliers. If you can do these things, then your brand and success in the travel agency world are all but assured.