The tagline ‘Lead2Repeat’ may sound like any other buzzword in the ever-growing lexicon of travel catchphrases. However, on closer examination, you would realize that this phrase covers everything of significance to a present-day tour operator.
The LEAD story
Leads are the lifeline of a travel agent’s business. They mark the beginning of the traveller- travel agent relationship and can be extremely profitable for the agent in the long run. Leads are generated from a variety of sources – through both online and offline channels. It can cost anywhere between INR 30-150 (1-2 USD) per lead, depending on its source. Companies put a great deal of thought budgeting for different marketing channels, with the end goal of minimising cost and maximising quality of leads generated.
If matured and serviced optimally, they can create further value in the form of repeat and referral business. As a business owner, you’d much rather retain old customers then generate new leads.
Repeat vs Acquired Lead
Here’s why: a repeat or referred lead costs much less compared to leads generated through any other source; thus, bringing down the overall cost of business.
In order to understand this, let’s assume you generate only 10 leads every year and the average cost of lead generation (assuming they are from the same source) comes to INR 100 per lead, converting even 20% of those to repeat/referral (assuming cost of engagement, improving service standard comes to INR 20 per lead) will bring down cost of generating the same number of leads to Rs.800 vs. Rs.1000, a year earlier. Not to mention, a repeat or a referred lead has a much higher probability of converting to a booking, compared to leads generated from other sources.
Past studies done on the cost associated with retention viz a viz new customer acquisition, found that one spends approximately 500% more on new customer acquisition as compared to a ‘repeat’ customer.
Companies rarely use a single channel for lead generation, and, in most cases, it is divided across multiple channels like lead purchasing, website form submission, Adwords, walk-ins, referrals and so forth. The biggest challenge in understanding the outcome of such marketing activities and its effectiveness is the lack of data at the company’s disposal.
While channels like Google Adwords and Facebook still offer tools to gauge the cost of a lead; to truly understand the performance of the overall marketing strategy, one needs to be able to map it against bookings. This is only possible through a fundamental mental shift that encourages data recording and regular analysis.
The earliest diesel engines boasted a marginal 26% efficiency, i.e., only about 26% of the fuel ended up powering the automobile and the remaining was lost to engine inefficiencies. Improved technologies that followed have taken that figure closer to 50%, resulting in huge savings to car owners and the environment.
Similarly, system inefficiencies are common across businesses and adopting new age technologies are the best way of achieving efficiency and higher profits. Apart from cutting down redundancies (repetitive tasks) and offering faster access to data, it is the opportunity for analysis – both for business and employee productivity – that offers the greatest value.
Most travel management software available in the market work only on improving lead management and an agency’s sales process, leaving out the equally important goal of customer retention. Moreover, the other support processes such as post-sales, operations and accounting are not plugged into the system leaving tasks that require interdepartmental coordination, poorly organized.
Travelexic is a new age CRM for travel industry that covers all critical aspects of a travel agency/tour operator’s workflow. It gives your team the tools to manage their time and operations in the most efficient manner and offers you the necessary insights to analyse your business. Further, being a CRM for travel agencies, there are separate roles for operations and accounting ensuring seamless collaboration between departments. Redundant tasks such as VISA processing, quotations, confirmation mail, payment acknowledgement mails etc, have been automated.
The value of the Travelexic – a travel management software – is felt the most in the post-booking stage of travel, where it gives an entirely new meaning to service delivery and customer experience. The post booking solution consists of a travel mobile application that helps create a bridge between the travel agent and the traveller.
The travel agent uses the web dashboard to share all travel documents onto a fully white-labelled mobile application. The post booking itinerary app goes beyond just being a digital document holder and offers value through curated destination content, intelligent weather forecasts, flight notifications, discounts at partner shops and restaurant etc, all aimed at offering the traveller an unparalleled experience.
Moreover, our free modules such as explore city, currency converter, weather forecast et al, give the user a reason to retain the travel app. Also, keeping in touch with the client post-booking becomes a breeze through the broadcast module; thereby covering the entire ‘Lead to repeat’ workflow for a travel agent or a tour operator. As we move into the future, it is abundantly clear that organizations that do not make efficiency in lead management and customer relationship – a priority – stand the risk of increasing their costs and becoming unviable.