Opinion: Harnessing the power of people and technology

Opinion: Harnessing the power of people and technology

Travel Counsellors boss Steve Byrne explains why technology alone does not give a company a reason to be – it must be combined with people

It was refreshing to read Travelport boss Simon Ferguson’s recent article in which he wrote about the power of technology and people.

Having been managing director of Travel Counsellors for 11 years now I can recall from having sat on a number of industry panels, not all leaders have combined the two and ranked them as equally as important.

But, the world has moved on and now and in future, to survive and prosper professional travel advisers must have access to the very best technology and data and be experts in using the technology tools available to them. 

As Bill Gates wrote: “Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without the talking about the other.”

But technology and people combine together most effectively when there is a clear reason to ‘be’. For us, technology is the single most important tangible aspect of our business that helps us care even more.

In a world of technology caring is often overlooked, yet brands with high scores for customer loyalty use technology to change people’s lives, connect people to share experience and knowledge and build a community.

They facilitate the instantaneous flow of information on sales, performance, results, customer profiles and patterns, providing the ability to quickly change and adapt, make informed recommendations and suggestions and empower and trust the user to make informed choices around product, pricing and margin.

At Travel Counsellors we have used the same principles to use technology to build our own internal community through TCTV, message boards, our own database of reviews and content driven search and booking system, Phenix. 

Fundamental to that, along with several other successful technology based travel businesses, is that we use tech to tailor to the precise needs of our Counsellors, and tech that is scalable and configurable to different sectors, be that leisure, corporate, Cruise and different geographical markets. 

So using the very best technology combined with a caring heart to connect people; that is the future for the independent travel professional.

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