Payment solution provider eNett International says B2B payments in the travel industry need to catch up with the B2C sector to free up staff to spend more time with customers.
The firm says contactless, one-click payments and direct mobile billing have “revolutionised” the payment process for consumers, while B2B payments in the travel sector are “often” still handled manually.
Automating payments, through virtual account numbers (VANs), according to a report published by eNett this week, will free up staff such as travel agents to spend more time with their customers, adding more value.
The report, which follows chief executive Anthony Hynes’ forecasts, also found that spending more time with customers improves travel business’ performance and eNett has created a CX Calculator for firms to use to find out how much they can save.
It analysed research, including from Forrester, which found that a 5% rise in customer loyalty can boost profits by 85%.
In travel agencies, eNett found that offering more choice leads to more satisfied customers which in turn leads to referrals and that streamlining internal processes makes that possible.
Its research, conducted by CX consultants Smith+Co., also found that the number of European travel companies accepting payments in more than ten different currencies has doubled from 6% to 12% in the past three years.
Companies that rely solely on their bank for international payments could be paying up to 3% more, eNett says, and those costs could eat into margins.
But eNett says the travel sector is a good example of a market where a fusion of digital processes and human touchpoints can be either positive and harmonious, or problematic. This applies to users’ experience of websites and apps but also to the effectiveness of back-office operations.
According to eNett, “critical but time-consuming tasks” such as payment reconciliatio can impact employee motivation and reduce the time available for more interesting and higher value activities such as spending time with customers.
Anthony Hynes, managing director and chief executive of eNett International said, “In the fast-moving, competitive travel industry, customer experience is an important differentiator for brands and has a direct impact on the bottom line.
“Leveraging innovative payment solutions can power an increase in the number of listings and suppliers, driving customer experience and advocacy. Employees throughout the organisation are freed up from manual tasks, enabling them to spend more time talking to customers and delivering the best possible customer service.”