Ask any travel agency, what is the one thing they want more? They will tell you unanimously, more sales, more revenue. Increasing of sales is the number one focus of any travel agency manager in any travel company around the world. We don’t blame them for wanting it above all.
The competition in the travel industry is cut-throat and to think that there are even more new travel agencies mushrooming every hour. Every one of those agencies is fighting for their share of the cake; every one of those agencies would like to be selling more than they currently are.
To add to this, the advent of the online revolution has made it even simpler to start an online agency as compared to a physical travel company. Such travel entities do not even need office space or too much of staff to manage day to day work. They easily operate from home and as the name suggests, all their work happens ‘online’. However, irrespective of the mode of operation, both online and offline travel companies are fighting for their share of travel bookings. In doing so, they lose focus of the travelers themselves and their needs and end up losing chances to win more new travelers over to themselves, which is the long-term sustainability requirement.
So we thought up putting together these 5 pointers for any travel agency/ tour operator whether online or offline, to use to boost their sales and at the same time always keep the customer at the center of all they do. We hope this list will help your travel agency or tour operator business to win more new travelers and forge stronger relationships with your existing customers that will help you book more trips.
1. Focus on what you do best
Your Products and Service: Most of the travel agents waste precious time and energy trying to out-do their closest competitor in a bid to win the travel bookings close at hand. And mostly the battle ends in price under-cutting which never ends well for neither the traveler nor the travel agent himself. Low prices don’t always mean best deal, it more often than usual means compromise on service quality. Instead a travel company should focus on their unique benefits or quality of service you provide which your competitor cannot replicate. Highlight customer testimonials from customers who travel with you again and again. This will showcase all the positive aspects of the experience they’ve had with your agency.
Remember: Most satisfied customers will never hesitate to give a testimony – some might even be glad to do it. Flaunt it on your company’s website, if you have an online presence and watch as you attract new potential clients. If you do not have an online presence yet, we suggest you get on this bandwagon as soon as possible. There are endless opportunities online for you to showcase yourself and you should not miss out on that.
2. Use online platforms to engage with your customers
Continuing from the previous point, you cannot do without being present online. Most travel dreaming, researching, and planning happens online. Even travel companies have filled this space and you cannot afford to be left behind. The best news is that it does not involve any investment to connect with your customers (existing and new potential) on social media channels, where they are readily available. There are higher chances of you finding new customers online than anywhere else. Travelers of all age groups are using social media networks, where they talk about travel products, share their experiences, or express their preferences. Imagine if you have existing customers connected with you on social media and they share a testimony online, you will get much more exposure than you investing in a costly signboard to attract customers to your office.
Use images, videos, questions or a variety of posts to spark conversation and inspire potential clients you come across online, to follow you. Listening to their comments and receiving feedback helps you gauge market demand create better-tailored packages and other travel-related products and services.
3. Sell and then Upsell
This is a standard way that is adopted by many travel companies to ensure that their customers buy everything they need during their trip from them only. Suggesting additional products on top of a standard package is the most straightforward method of increasing your revenue per customer. Let's take an example. Suppose a customer buys a package to visit Sikkim for a leisure tour, you can always add lunch/ dinner options or even throw in a cultural festival event pass that may be going on at that time to go along with it.
There are many ways to upsell travel services that can be bundled along with your main product. This can be easily done online as well as offline. Using online tools and services, you can explore what your customers want, and use travel agency software to easily track and manage complementary products.
4. Experiences Vs Products
The nifty traveler of today is constantly looking to mix and match travel products to obtain a desired experience. The reason is that most of the travel services listed online are rigid and have set itineraries which the traveler may not be wholly interested in. It’s a great idea to showcase travel products in parts and then combine different products into a unique travel experience. This way you can constantly create new packages and try to offer better prices by adding/ removing or modifying the category of hotels, flights, or activities. This way, your customers get a fuller travel experience, and you have more opportunities to sell services and travel items than if you were selling them individually.
But with many incoming inquiries, the process of creating a package has to be quick and simple. And so should the managing of queries be fast and easy to track. With the help of a tour operator software or a travel agency software, creating a tour or a package is completed in just a few steps. Managing and tracking enquiries and bookings can be a breeze instead of a burden
5. Find Your Niche in the travel industry
A niche market is the one that very few have explored thus far. There is always a good potential for growth in it. The same follows for a travel agency. A niche is your friend. It will help you establish your travel agency brand, create your travel agency name and help you get recognized. What this also means is defining your target audience.
So, if you want to be successful, you’ll want to focus a lot of your effort into your market research, branding, and marketing. You’ll need to know who needs your services—your target market—and what they’ll be willing to pay.
6. BONUS TIP: Network for Business
Travel agencies or Tour operators forging business relationships with other ancillary industries or with travel agents in other geographies is nothing new. It was in practice long before online businesses took over and is true even now. Thanks to internet and social media, it is now easier to connect with any business online at a press of a button and do better business.
Business partners in the travel industry help you reach virgin markets, acquire new clients, get novel ideas for further product development etc. Just remember that making a new business to business partner to extend your travel services, is just the tip of the iceberg. More important is to keep the relationship going which requires mutual trust, understanding, hard and honest work. You can easily extend your network by joining an online platform that helps you manage your business better and at the same time helps you to reach newer customer base and connect you with end customers. If you wish to know how to connect with such an online platform, Read more...