2016 has been a challenging year in travel for most travel agencies, as disruptors played havoc with the ‘regular’ way of doing things and a new generation – the Millennials – started imposing new demands on travel.
To be successful in 2017, we’ve come up with five strategies that are sure to boost your travel sales:
1. Use the technologies at your disposal to become more efficient
Amadeus is constantly finding new ways to help travel agents increase their efficiency and profitability. The introduction of Amadeus Selling Platform Connect recently has been a huge hit with travel agents. Travel agents can now automate manual tasks, save time and generate more revenue.
Amadeus Selling Platform Connect also allows travel agents to work from anywhere from their laptop, their mobile or their tablet. That means they can respond to their customers at any time of the day from wherever they are.
2. Use social media to your advantage
Social media is an invaluable tool for travel agents of the 21st century. Travellers across the world – your clients – are engaging on social media to share their holidays with their friends and to vent their emotions about their experience – good or bad. Be sure to react to these experiences and reach out to them.
Social media is a great way to punt specials to your clients, but if you want to boost your sales, you should make sure you’re not selling all the time. Rather than attempting to flat out sell travel, focus instead on positioning yourself as an industry expert, a resource for your followers or fans to consult.
3. Build strong relationships
The 21st Century Travel Agent study shows that if travel agents want to be successful, they will need to become more customer centric and focus on meeting the customer’s priorities at all times. So, make sure you reach out to your clients and make them feel valuable at all times.
Make sure you don’t neglect your suppliers either. A strong relationship with your suppliers will ensure that you always get the best deal and the best information for your clients.
4. Set yourself apart
Within an increasingly commoditised environment, travel consultants have to differentiate themselves. They need to look at the customer, experience things in the way their customer would, and then manage that customer.
During a recent panel discussion, Andy Hedley told delegates: “Those travel consultants who believe that they are losing sales to the Internet should focus on their differentiator – their knowledge and ability to understand where their customer’s needs are going.
5. Tap into video to make your destinations come to live
Video is the way to go in 2017 and has three to four times bigger conversion rate than picture or text in any add. Partner up with DMCs and suppliers and get materials you need to put amazing videos for your website. People like to watch and will buy something if you can create the desire for the product or destination and the video is the best way to doing so.
You can also use video to introduce yourself and your team. People like to buy from companies and travel agents they know, like, and trust. Let them know who are they dealing with and engage and communicate with your clients.