Consider what happens after this crisis is over and use this to your business advantage, saysGavin Smith, director of element.
Most of us across Europe have been confined to our homes for months. Who would have predicted it would come to this?
As tempting as it is to spend as much time as possible watching box sets on Netflix it is also a good opportunity to do the things for your agency you may have been putting off for a long time.
This is the time to take a good look at your processes and business operations and ask how you can make them more efficient.
How you can make the business and your people work better, because when this situation is over, and it will be over, people will start travelling again.
We all need to think about how the industry and buying behaviour will change after months and months of working from home and ordering online because that will affect the way your agency operates.
Think about your IT and automation requirements for the long-term
As with most other industries, in travel we are all working remotely right now and that comes with its obvious problems – device compatibility, security issues, and more.
Of course, you need to address these issues immediately, but think about the long term.
How can changes you make now help the way you operate in the future when the bookings start to come through?
Will you be ready when there is a sudden spike in demand, and would IT and automation ensure that your business runs more efficiently?
Why would you have a ‘ticketing team’ when you can employ automation to do that?
Chat based booking engines and automation software automate repetitive conversations between agent and traveller.
Automating the post booking processes, queue management and budget monitoring all help to free up people to do other tasks.
Data – how can the accuracy be improved, without the cost of human intervention?
Consider how IT can improve the way the business processes orders, the subsequent reporting and how you manage your data.
Use the time now to speak to your IT teams or specialist consultants like ours that can help you design a strategy to make your business processes much more efficient in the future.
Think about how you can upgrade your offerings and processes. Leave some of the old outdated, manual ways behind you because automation and IT will save time and money
Change is daunting but things won’t return to normal
Technology, whether for automating processes, introducing chatbots or managing data will of course mean changes to the way your business operates and that can be a daunting prospect.
However, it will lead to improved processes that you now have the time to explore. It’s unlikely that when this is over everything will just go back to the way it was.
Many customers may switch to online or remote automated solutions because they’ve got into the habit.
So, it’s important to be flexible and adapt your services so that they are not only useful during the outbreak, but remain the best choice once everything has calmed down.
Think about how you can do that and be prepared.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization it is estimated that by 2030 there will be 1.8 billion worldwide travellers every year – 400 million more than last year.
That’s a lot of people fighting for cheap airfares, affordable hotel rooms, rideshares, and whatever the next big thing in travel will be.
The future of travel is based on a combination of the following aspects:
• Organised Data
• Improved Service
• Real –time Data
Consider your business continuity plan now, there is no better time to do it.
Although it might not look like it, the travel industry has a future, a bright future, so be ready when it takes off.