Is a Travel Management software necessary for you Post COVID? Let’s find out…

COVID has hit us all hard and more so the travel and tourism industry.

And yet, global experts see this as a great opportunity for offline tour operators and travel agencies to evolve, adopt best practices in travel management, automate business processes and basically raise the overall quality of business.

What change can we expect in travel patterns due to COVID? 

Basis of a SKIFT report, there may be a shift back to using the services of an offline tour operator vs online booking.

For one, many have become risk-averse, hence, prefer using the services of a neighbourhood travel agent. Moreover, travellers abysmal experience with online booking – ranging from mishandling of cancellations, poor support during the early stages of the outbreak, is likely to further this trend.

As far as business travel goes, many organizations have experienced the visible cost savings from reduction in travel and expense. Moreover, the change in travel policies and the transition to virtual meetings have had limited impact on the quality of interactions and productivity.

It is being said that business travel might never return with the same intensity, however, essential business travel for core business activities such as support and training shall remain unaffected.

What to look for in a Travel Management software? 

The problems with managing business travel and leisure travel remain vastly different. However, the argument for implementing technology remains irrefutable.

For corporate travel companies:

An ideal travel management solution for a corporate travel company, would focus on empowering the corporate counterpart ( corporate travel managers) with crucial insights, data on corporate savings, duty of care, expense reporting and tools to handling changes during and before travel.

In-built tools for employee expense management and automation of approval workflows can be helpful in bringing down work for the finance team and the overall time in managing reimbursements and reconciliations.

Corporate booking tool with approval workflows for direct bookings, can result in time and cost savings for both corporate travel managers and travel companies. The individual entitlements and spending limits can be pre-defined basis of company travel policy and further cost saving achieved by rewarding employees on dollar value saved.

For tour operators:

A quality travel management software for a tour operator or travel agency should focus on creating an end to end workflow that covers everything from lead management to delivery and repeat.

It should help augment the capabilities of your team and give them the ability to deliver more with less.

Few essentials to look for : tools for lead management, quotation and voucher generator, invoicing tools, file-wise accounting; payment reconciliation and requisition management; marketing and payment integrations covering all major payment tools including credit card, net banking, NEFT etc – along with actionable business intelligence and reporting.

Moreover, tour operators could greatly benefit from a post booking travel concierge APP. It is being extensively used by companies overseas including Indian players such as ‘Pick your trail’ that are leveraging an itinerary APP to augment their service delivery and support capabilities.                 

Let’s talk about one such cloud-based travel management software… 

Travelexic is a comprehensive travel management software targeted at a tour and MICE/Group operator. We find the perfect balance between legacy processes and modern automation. Our strength lies with our unique workflow that humanizes the travel management experience while augmenting the capabilities through automation and effective communication.

Travelexic offers a flexible pricing model that fit the pocket of both a small and large enterprise. Our solution offers provision for third party integration and is supported by a top-rated post sale customer support team.

We comprise of a web-based dashboard that can be used by all departments including: admin, sales, operation, corporate, traveller and with roles in the pipeline for fulfilment teams such as VISA and hotel. These roles address multiple communication and collaboration related challenges and timely intervention through alerts/reminders that ensure critical activities are never missed.

In short, the solution ensures you consistently deliver memorable experiences, build customer loyalties and exponentially grow your business. Our novel approach to travel management makes us one of the best travel management software around. 

Introducing COVID focused features by Travelexic: 

We recently introduced Travelexic 2.0 with an upgraded UI/UX. Also, introduced certain COVID focused features for better management of remote teams, to address travel concerns with safety and hygiene, and to offer a differentiated experience in this new normal of contactless and paperless travel.

WFH TOOLS

WFH, as a concept, has been around for a while but never has it held more relevance, than now. The new normal will mean a certain level of normalization to work-from-home (WFH) and in line with that Travelexic has incorporated certain WFH specific tools .

The tools are tailored towards ease of tracking of team productivity, including agent audit trails, simplifying collaboration through integration with SKYPE etc.

Customer retention and engagement tools: 

A captive and engaged audience is 300% more likely to travel through you compared to a new customer.

Travelexic comes with a mobile based traveller solution that lets you engage customers post-booking through in-APP broadcast notifications.

The traveller solution gets activated as soon as a package gets confirmed. Traveller then uses the solution to stay updated with his/her plans, receive travel related communication and stay connected.

Post tour, we archive his/her tour while retaining the branding of the travel agent.  The APP may then be used as a dedicated communication channel for targeted marketing, alerts such as passport expiry, travel trivia etc

Customer information and personalization: 

Travelexic v2.0 introduces an all new travel CRM plugin that gives you a 360* view of your customer including his past bookings, sale value and traveller documents.

Travelexic offers you all the information you need to develop an effective loyalty program, tailor marketing communication, and personalize suggestions to maximize ROI and increase conversion. Additionally, our privacy policy is in line with GDPR guidelines and safeguard the interest of both our partners and the end traveller

Contactless Hotel Check-in: 

Travellers are going to be wary even once the COVID count starts to stabilize. Among the things that are expected to be top of their minds is minimizing contact to limit the risk of infection. Here our travel management software extends beyond supporting you through backend operations and adds value to the fulfilment partner and the travellers alike.

Our ‘contactless check-in’ feature, enables faster and seamless check in. A day prior to check-in, the traveller receives an in-APP notification requesting him to fill up the mandatory COVID form and upload his/her ID proof on the APP itself. The traveller solution automatically sends an email to the hotel along with an attached COVID form and photo ID.

LIVE Corona Tracker: 

 Reassuring guests at the time of planning will be key to ensuring they commit to the plan. Travelexic comes equipped with a COVID tracker and real time feed from Ministry of health and family welfare (MOHFW).

Paperless Travel and E-boarding Pass: 

Globally, governments have been moving towards making travel through airports paperless and making self-scanning of e-boarding passes is a step in that direction.

More so, the rampant use of digital tools in this period of lockdown have made people more tech savvy than ever before. Our easy to use and fully white-labelled mobile app lets travellers seamlessly do web check-in for over 300 carriers globally.

Additionally, this becomes a dedicated channel for you to share agenda, travel vouchers, flight status, and weather forecast, currency converter and other handy travel tools.

Productivity and data analysis tools: 

The Post-COVID world may be vastly different and create a new breed of tech-savvy travel consultants.

With Travelexic, you are in good hands, as we offer both business intelligence and productivity tools such as TAF(tech augmented follow-up) score to help augment the capabilities of your team.

Changes with our MICE solution 

Our solution for MICE is also getting an upgrade and will be rolling out with a set of cool new features, focused on making MICE and group management less human and more automation intensive.

As a MICE/Group operator, you will now be able to manage traveller registration, document collection and sharing, VISA support and member engagement through our one to many communication channel using bulk email, bulk SMS and in APP notification.

Additionally, we are also rolling out tools for stock inventory management and few new features for our tour manager solution including expense management, member attendance management etc

Conclusion 

We are starting to notice a trend towards technology adoption and the same seem to have gotten stronger courtesy COVID. Cost optimization and customer experience are likely to be the twin objectives of the travel community going forward.

In that regard, a comprehensive travel management software which covers the entire lead to repeat workflow, brings in more control and accountability to the system will be extremely beneficial for a tour operator.

These solutions have the capacity to transform your business and show transformative results, given patience and adoption across all levels.

Travelexic could be a great option for you and offers the flexibility to pay as you go. We have a freemium model, and you may start with the free plan and upgrade based on your needs and requirements.

Contact us for a product demo or to understand how Travelexic  can assist you in being the best version of yourself.

For a list of detailed features, click here.


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