Since its inception in 1983, the internet has revolutionised the travel industry and the way consumers choose to search for and book holidays. Research by ABTA shows that a whopping 76% of people used the internet to book a trip in 2016, with just 21% booking over the telephone and even fewer in person. In other words, showcasing deals and packages on a shop window no longer cuts the mustard for the modern-day traveller and adopting new technology is essential in supporting the growing online market.
Travel companies must have a strong online presence for the chance to compete with the most successful brands in the industry. Websites and social media accounts are helpful, but do not provide the instant service that consumers crave, resulting in reduced conversion rates and loss of business altogether. The most simple and efficient way to solve this problem is by implementing a booking system into your website. Here’s why…
The door is always open
Mobile usage is on the rise and travellers love having the freedom to shop around at any time, in any place. However, many people (including travel agents) work 9-5 jobs and can’t use this time to browse the web, meaning that a huge chunk of online reservations occur when no one is there to take bookings.
Booking systems work around the clock, picking up all the customers that have been missed by those without an engine.
Booking engine… or robo-colleague?
Processing bookings manually is difficult and time-consuming. We bet there have been times you wished for someone (or something) to share the workload with. With a booking system, there is.
Imagine having a colleague that jots down all the necessary information during the reservation process, ensures that bookings don’t overlap, automatically sends out confirmation e-mails and updates availability once the booking has been processed. Booking engines do all this and more, saving agents heaps of time to focus on face-to-face and over-the-phone reservations.
One word: structure
Storing all customer data in one structured system can come with many benefits for a travel company. The information obtained during the booking process can be used to create a more personalised user experience through packages and promotions, tailored to individual customer needs.
StoMoreover, a structured system can be a great marketing tool, allowing agents to target previous customers with information they will find both relevant and interesting, and perhaps even turn them into a repeat customer.
Customers must be serviced
Being able to assist multiple customers at once is not always possible without the help of a booking system. The immediate service that an engine provides makes for great customer service by reducing the chances of receiving negative feedback.
Not as many pennies as you think
Often construed as an expensive alternative to using a travel agent, booking systems are can be reasonably priced, with monthly payments costing as little as a day’s pay for an employee on minimum wage.
Nowadays, and with so many benefits to reap, it’s surprising that not all travel companies have a booking engine in place. But we predict that this will change over the next decade as the amount of online travel bookers increases year on year.