How to Choose the Right Travel Agency Software
Travel agencies make the life of travelers so much easier. Depending on the services these agencies offer, travelers don’t really have to do anything more but pay money and show up at the airport or however they plan to travel. That is why travel agencies are a booming market. Using a travel agency software will make the jobs of the travel agents much easier especially if they get the right one.
Before you go into choosing a software, you need to establish first what you will be offering as an agency. Here are some functions of a travel agency that you might want to offer:
- Information on traveling
- Preparing itineraries of travelers
- Contact between suppliers or service providers and clients (this will include flights, hotels, tour packages, flight transfers and anything else)
- Foreign currency exchange
After you have established what you will be doing as an agency, we can now proceed with choosing the right software. Here is a guide on how to choose the right travel agency application.
An Integrated Content Management System
The content of agency websites always changes. The package deals and offers change every season or for every special event. This is why you should have an easy-to-use content management system. This will let you edit your websites easily and change what is in it. With a CMS, you also wouldn’t have to contact your website developer every time you want to make changes to the website. This will save both time and money.
It is not enough that your travel agency solution offers CMS capabilities, it should also be easy to use and should not require special training. This is so you and any of your employees or travel agents can use it immediately.
You can read here if you want to know more about what content management system can offer to your site.
An Effective Management System for Brands and Affiliates
Travel agencies work by connecting brands and affiliates to clients. Instead of the client buying tickets, making hotel reservations and paying entrance fees for amusement parks and tourist locations, the travel agency will handle all of those. For a minimum fee, a client’s travel will be hassle-free. With all the affiliates and brands that a travel agency has to work with, an effective management system is a must.
Brand management is needed because the people need to know what brands you are offering. If no one knows about your products, then your agency will not work and earn money. Affiliate management is a must because you need a way to handle all your affiliates. The more affiliates and sub-agents you have, the healthier your business is.
A Scalable System
When you are just starting out with a travel agency, you would also probably get a small scale travel agency solution. This is alright as long as it is scalable. Scalability will allow your software to handle more operations as your business grows bigger. Of course, you want your business to grow, so getting a scalable system will help in preparation for that.
In addition to a scalable system, your software should also be flexible. If possible, it should be customizable to fit your needs. Don’t get a software that needs to be customized by a professional because that would be expensive. Get a software that is easily customizable by you or any of your employees. You can know about customization options by reading the best travel agency software reviews.
An Efficient Management System for the Back Office
A travel agency will require a lot of accounting and administrative tasks. These tasks will depend on what services you offer. The more services you offer, the more complex your administrative and accounting tasks are. To handle these tasks, your travel agency tools should have an efficient and effective management system for back-office activities.
An effective management system should be able to handle multiple systems for differing tasks and also be able to integrate them into one system. What you need is a software that will be able to handle inventory, customers, suppliers, bookings and all other tasks in just one platform. You can know more about this by reading reviews of travel agency software available at review sites online.
Provide Quotations Rapidly
Most of the queries that travel agents receive most of the time is how much is needed to travel to some place. How much are accommodations? What will I see there? Will you be giving discounts for a group of four or five or whatever? You can answer these questions immediately if your software can give quotations quickly. Here is an example of a quotation for a trip around the world.
Without a software, it can take up to a day for a travel agent to make a quote for a travel. For multiple locations, it can take even longer. With an effective software, it can be done in just minutes. As long as the database is complete, quotations will be done quickly. You can get more potential clients if you could give them quotations quickly.
Flexibility of Payment
When you open your travel agency, you should be able to offer different modes of payment. For those agencies that have a physical office, this is possible. They can offer to receive cash, checks, credit cards, debit cards and other forms of payment. For travel agencies that only operate online, accepting different modes of payment may be harder. This is where online travel agencies lose to offline agencies. So, if you will be getting a software, make sure that flexibility of payment options is available.
You would be able to retain old customers and get new ones if you are flexible and allow them a lot of options to pay. You can also offer installment plans for your packages and make sure that this can be handled by the software.
Top Features Your Software Should Have
Here are some features that you should see in the software before you consider getting it:
- Reservation management. This is the most important feature of a travel agency software. It is difficult to make reservations, so the travel agency will do it for you. You have to pick a software that will make it easy to make reservations. Another is that you should be able to monitor and keep track of all your reservations with the software from the time you reserved them until the end. Tracking reservations also include tracking the documents that have been sent and the payments that have been made.
- Different sales channels. Pick a software that will let you sell your products both offline and online. This could be done manually but the development of the best travel agency software has allowed these things to be automated. One more thing, your software should be able to monitor and keep track of commissions made by agents who made a lot of sales.
- Inventory management. You probably have a lot of products to sell, so you need a software that will keep track of your inventory. This is also done manually before but can be automated now because of the software. Check here to know why you need an inventory management for your business.
- As was mentioned already, you need a software that is flexible.. Of course, the basic functions should be there but it should be easily customizable to fit your needs. You don’t want to be paying more just for a professional to customize your software. This will cost you extra money and time. There is software that offers customization options so why settle for those that are not flexible? Read best travel agency software reviews to know about the flexibility of certain applications.
- Reports are mandatory requirements when doing business. You need to make quarterly, yearly and other reports to make sure that your business is doing well. Reports will also help you make decisions that are vital to your business. That is why you need a software that can make comprehensive and detailed reports.
Integration With Customer Relationship Management Software
This type of business deals a lot with customers. You will receive a lot of calls, emails, and inquiries over your products which is why it is important that you have an amazing customer relationship management software. This software should work well with your travel agency software. You don’t need two software that will clash with each other. They should be able to integrate well. Check here for the top CRM software and why you need them.
This will allow you to work seamlessly with both software. You wouldn’t need to export any data because one can be accessed with the other. This will also ensure that you are able to take care of your patients properly.
Want to establish a travel agency? Use a travel agency software. Read reviews and ratings of this software at CrowdReviews.com to know the best one for your business.
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