A Travel CRM is Critical for Agencies Looking to Grow their Businesses

Which Travel CRM Options Do Home Based Travel and Cruise Agencies Have?

One of the greatest tools available to any sized travel or cruise agency business is a Travel CRM system which caters to your needs. What exactly is a CRM? It means “Customer Relationship Management” for travel businesses. Home based or independent travel agencies are busy people, often times wearing many hats to run the business.

Having a great Travel CRM solution in place for your home based agency is the difference between success and failure.

travel crm infographic Up until recently, the travel industry has only really had a couple mainstream options. The option that’s been available  for those industry professionals in the market for an agency client management tool the longest, is Clientbase, owned by Sabre. It’s definately a legacy platform and it definately shows. Although Clientbase is constantly being developed in and improved, it looks like something straight out of the nineties. Clientbase is antiquated, expensive to implement (once you account for all the add-ins and extra services) and isn’t very intuitive.

Hover me to open tooltip

Since I originally wrote about my frustration with the CRM options out there, a few additional options have popped up. I’ve tried only one of these small travel agency solutions so far. Unfortunately, it really didn’t work for me. I plan on posting several  reviews very soon. The second cruise, tour operator or travel agency solution just launched – in fact, they are in a beta program right now so access to Xcelerator CRM is totally free until the end of January!

Check Out these New Travel or Cruise Agency CRM Options Available!

Vacation CRM

 

Vacation CRM was created by two travel agency owners who were both frustrated with the lack of options and who decided to have a custom and proprietary solution created. After realizing there were tons of other agencies in the same boat, decided to open it up to everyone.

Future of travel reservation systems is CRM – but not as we know it

Then we get dedicated travel CRM systems such as Pro Eq, now owned by Comtec. Pro Eq changed the game. No longer was a customer record a side-effect of a booking, but a booking was a side-effect of a customer record. Hence it did a great job of …

Xcelerator by Trisept Solutions

 

Xcelerator is from the same folks who created Vax Vacation Access which is promising. I plan to do a full review but I just got access a couple of days ago. The only feedback I have so far has to do with their decision to monetize the platform in two different ways.

Most of the time, developers would choose a single monetizing option. For example, if software is free, it’s usually supported with advertising revenue. Alternatively, users who pay a subscription fee shouldn’t have to deal with advertising banners, pop ups and stuff like that. Trisept Solutions have evidently decided to both charge a subscription fee and display “in-your-face” advertising on their site. The current banners are front and center and distracting, out-of-place almost. I’m not a fan of double dipping which is what they’re doing in my opinion.

Best Travel Agency Software | 2015 Reviews of the Most Popular …

by Travel Sciences. View Profile. Travel CRM & campaign marketing engine, flexible reservation & booking and supplier & commission management.

Original Post

Believe it or not, we are still looking for a CRM solution for our travel agency and it’s not for lack of trying that we haven’t found one. We have tried countless platforms, downloadable desktop applications, SaaS solutions and anything else we could get our hands on.  The vast majority of solutions our there aren’t industry specific and claim to work regardless of your industry or how your business functions. Whether this is true or not, I can’t say but what I do know is that a ton of customization would be required, at minimum.

This post is being written out of pure frustration with the hope that someone will hear our calls for help and throw us a lifeline.

It is beyond me why there doesn’t seem to be a solution, or at least one that meets our needs while also being affordable for smaller travel agencies and one-man-shows.  Is this something that could be crowd-sourced? Are tFinding the perfect Travel CRM solution is paramount to a home based travel agent's success!here enough travel agents around who would be willing to contribute towards the development of an ultimate business management application or service? I think so – and I’d even be willing to spearhead such an effort but how in the world would I make contact? Sure, there are mailing lists out there but they cost a fortune and whose to say the effort would even work?

Is all of your travel client information stored in a spreadsheet? Time to transition to a Travel CRM!

The Washington Post says there are 50,000 full time travel agents in the United States alone, as of August 2013. CNN says the number of retail travel agencies is fast declining but we all knew that. We have evolved! We are mostly home based travel businesses now which makes perfect sense.
Travel Weekly did an excellent write up on this topic and concluded a much more likely scenario: there are about 100,000 travel agents in the United States, 40,000 of which are home based and that number is based on Bureau of Labor statistics. Whitravel crmle the number of independent travel agencies or agents is up for debate, one thing  is clear – there are still tons of us out there and more than enough to make it worth while for someone to develop a solution capable of automating much of our daily business practices and free up time we should be spending on building relationships with our current and potential clients.

Back Office and CRM demo request | Q Travel Cloud

Back Office and demo request. Home; / Back Office and Travel CRM demo request. Demo registration confirmation. We have sent you an email to …
Back in the 1960’s when the airline industry created the first GDS as a way to keep track of flight schedules, availability and prices,  the travel industry as a whole seemed to be at the cutting edge of technology – essentially creating the world’s first ever “e-commerce” platform.  Now, we are light years behind – at least I think we are – again this is all from the perspective of a small business owner – not a giant company with unlimited funds.
The History of the GDS

Training Session – Sales & Marketing 101

Sales & Marketing 101 for Travel Agents

Trying to figure out how to successfully market to your target audience to drive leads to your business? Check out “Sales & Marketing 101” for some advice, guidance and a little motivation to get you on the right track!

 

Bahia Principe Travel Agent Discounts & Webinar Updates

Bahia Principe Travel Agents

 Bahia Principe Travel Agent Discounts & Rates

So you can deliver the right information to your clients, check out the Bahia webinars below or to see the updates yourself, take advantage of all the Bahia travel agent discounts available all year round!

You’ll need to check out the page about how to book Bahia Principe travel agent rates for step-by-step directions.

 

Bahia Principe Webinars & Videos

 

 

 

 

Hilton Frankfurt Airport recognised by World Travel Awards

Travel Agent Support congratulates  the Hilton location in Germany’s most expensive city for being recognized with a World Travel Award! Known best by business travelers looking for consistency, quality, value and hospitality, all traits traveler’s have come to expect from the brand.

Hilton Frankfurt Airport

By Breaking Travel News Hilton Frankfurt Airport has taken the title of Europe’s Leading Airport Hotel, beating competition from Mövenpick Hotel Zurich and Sofitel London Heathrow in a competitive race. Being known as a next generation hotel, the hotel combines state-of-the-art design with a unique location. Read the full story

 

Source: Hilton Airport recognised by World Travel Awards     

eikawaz

News: Hilton Frankfurt recognised by World Travel Awards http://t.co/EV7TdrZCdb
AeroParkerNews

CONGRATS Hilton Frankfurt @Airport_FRA – named Europe’s Leading Airport Hotel! One of many awards since 2011 http://t.co/CWA5Wpc60M
dtiemie

Hilton Frankfurt recognised by World Travel Awards: Hilton Frankfurt Airport has taken the title of Eu… http://t.co/L9l1xswSWj
Hilton Frankfurt Airport recognised by World Travel Awards

Hilton Frankfurt Airport has taken the title of Europe’s Leading Airport Hotel, beating competition from Mövenpick Hotel Zurich Airport and Sofitel London Heathrow in a competitive race. Being known as a next generation airport hotel, the Hilton
TheTravelPro: FRANKFURT: Hilton Frankfurt Airport

be somewhat predictable. However, on the recommendation of a business contact who had lived in Frankfurt, I decided to stay at the Hilton Frankfurt Airport and found it a delightful place to call home during my brief visit.

 

How to Position Charging Travel Agent Service Fees to Your Clients

Comic poking fun at airline and travel agent service fees

Click play on the video below to hear a live sales call between a travel consultant and a potential new client as they discuss travel agent service fees. Pay special attention to the way the agent sells the client on all the benefits he’ll receive by using her services, including: years of experience and expertise, support and leveraging supplier relationships.

travel agent service fees

As the agent says on the phone call:

“…how cheap does a bad vacation have to be to be okay?”

Although the client is reluctant at first, he eventually bites and agrees to pay the travel agent service fees.

This is interesting and although I cannot confirm as to whether or not this is a real live conversation between a travel agent and a prospect or if this call was staged for training purposes, it’s definately worth listening to. I found the call in my archives – I’m guessing it’s at least several years old.

In any case,  there’s something to be said about charging service fees and how you value yourself as a professionals. Given all the commission cutbacks and constant addition of non-commissionable dollars on tours, cruise and packages –  relay your value to your clients. In the end, don’t you want to do business with people who want to travel? I mean, really travel?

Listen to the call below and be sure to share your experiences with Travel Agent Service Fees!

  • Do you charge service fees now?
  • At what point did you start and why?
  • Did you find it difficult to charge travel agent service fees?
  • Any best practices to share for other travel agents interested in charging a service fee, consultation fee or other type of fee?

Travel Agent Support – How to rake in $1,000’s extra by charging service fees or implementing a fee based system.

Travel Agent Service Fee “Chatter on the Web”

Travel agent service fees — some background and information

One thing I’ve noticed in a lot of responses to posts is that many travelers have no idea of exactly when and why travel agents charge service fees. It doesn’t help that there is no consistency in the industry. Here’s […]
ASTA: Travel Agent Service Fees Higher | Travel Agent Central

Travel agents are realizing the value of their expertise and are increasing the amounts and extent of service fees.
Are Travel Agent Service Fees Justified? | retirementandtravel

Are Travel Agent Service Fees are Justified? Travel Agents charge fees and justifiably so. See, I was a Travel Agent for over two decades; I mainly handled VIP Corporate travelers and loved my job! I dealt with last minute 
The ARC VTC Program: Travel Agent Service Fees – Money on the …

Travel Agent Service Fees – Money on the Table? I travel to as many shows as my budget will allow. While at these shows I love chatting with travel professionals. I love to hear about the great ideas you guys come-up with,