The travel landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years with travellers demanding instant choices, personalised service, and consistency across all channels and devices.
In this increasingly complex and difficult landscape, it’s crucial for travel agents to keep up with the rhythm of change. As a result, being able to automate manual, time-consuming tasks has become a non-negotiable so that travel agents have time to concentrate on what is important: creating unforgettable travel experiences for their clients.
We recently asked Amadeus travel agents what the one thing is they would automate in their job as travel agents. Here are their top three responses:
If there is one thing every travel agent in Africa would like to see automated, it’s service fees, especially as they are faced with the reality that charging professional fees is key to success in the future.
As industry expert Nolan Burris told Amadeus: “I truly believe adopting professional fees is critical to long-term success for many reasons. Chief among them is this: nobody thinks they NEED a travel agent anymore. Any cheap smartphone can provide a reservation and find a deal with a finger-tap. Of course, this doesn’t mean the consumer will get the RIGHT deal or an accurate reservation, but the perception still prevails.”
“So, if they don’t believe they NEED us anymore, the only answer is to make them WANT us. This demands a very different strategy from simply being the most convenient option. That worked for decades, but now we have to be the most DESIRABLE option.”
“Fees matter because creating such a desirable, attractive, high-service, customer-centric model takes time and money. Yet, it is the only way to become something more than the human version of a reservation making app. We must become something so WANTED, that we truly are the luxury they now see us to be.”
Travel agents today can uncover lucrative service fee opportunities by using Amadeus Productivity Suite (www.worksmarter.amadeus.com) to efficiently manage their re-ticketing needs with confidence. Customers are well aware that nothing comes without a cost, least of all ticket changes. Capitalise on this opportunity by charging a service fee per change and watch your revenues grow.
Not sure how much to charge for your service fee or how to format it? Productivity Suite to the rescue again! With a wizard-like system, Smart Flows will help guide you with ease to end up with the correct service fee, formatted perfectly.
Reissues and Refunds
Reissues and refunds are another task that should be automated in the opinion of African Amadeus travel agents.
Amadeus Expert Lindsay Palmer recently told us: ““I started in the Travel industry in 1994 when paper tickets still existed. Reissues were a difficult manual process that could take agents up to 20 minutes to exchange one ticket. At that time, the idea that a system would be able to reissue tickets automatically AND with a guarantee was impossible to imagine, but we live in this reality today.”
The solution Lindsay is referring to is Amadeus Ticket Changer (ATC). ATC allows travel agents to shorten the time of reissues, reduce ADMs and guarantee ticket reissues.
Alberta Allen, Director General EuroTour in Ghana, told Amadeus she helped save the day for a client who needed to re-route and travel from New York to Accra for a job interview. He managed to get to his job interview in time thanks to the quick action from Euro Tour, who managed to book him a last-minute seat on the plane. “He just got into a car to JFK and arrived in time for his job interview. He didn’t know how to thank us,” she says.
Says Alberta: “We usually get emergency cases whereby a passenger is at the airport unable to get a seat and few minutes to the departure time the seat map opens and within two minutes a re-issue can be made and ticket sent to the passenger to travel.”
According to Alberta, Amadeus Ticket Changer is a great tool and a huge help to travel companies. She says: “It’s swift, accurate and a time-saver. It helps us re-issue utilised and non-utilised tickets, helps charge an additional collection fee in an EMD form, and assists with re-routing.”
Learn more about ATC on www.worksmarter.amadeus.com.
Invoices and Reports
What if you could have a tool that would not only give you a quick and comprehensive overview of your travel agency sales but that would also allow you to efficiently generate automated professional invoices?
In many travel agencies today, reporting and invoicing remains a time-consuming, high-touch manual activity. That is why Amadeus has rolled out Amadeus Link Report and Amadeus Link Invoice to help you solve the reporting and invoicing conundrum.
Thanks to Amadeus Link Report travel agents will be able to create useful reports that will help them make the best decisions for your business in order to achieve their company’s maximum potential. With one quick view, the travel agency owner will be able to see exactly where to dedicate more effort.
Invoices are also a difficult process for most agencies. Getting all the information they need from their clients and compiling professional invoices without mistakes is not only difficult, it is also time-consuming and prevents travel agents from focussing on what is really important: their business and their clients. Amadeus Link Invoice allows travel agents to easily create company profiles, design personalised trip plans for their travellers and issue invoices quickly.