Travelport promises agents biannual Smartpoint updates

TripAdvisor reviews will be added to the Travelport Smartpoint platform later this year as part of a strategy to deliver regular enhancement to the agency selling tool.

Jason Nash, vice-president of product innovation at Travelport, outlined updates to Smartpoint at this week’s Evolve conference in Monaco attended by agent partners.

Smartpoint 3:0 was introduced in November last year and Nash vowed Travelport would continue to make regular updates in forthcoming years each May and November.

TripAdvisor reviews, one of a number of enhancements promised, are due to be added in the first half of this year, said Nash.

He said this would mean agents wanting to check reviews do not have to jump out of their system to visit an external site to access the information.

“There is more coming; we are only just getting started with this stuff,” he told delegates.

“We feel Smartpoint is changing the game for a lot of our travel agents. It allows you to spend more time with your customer and not be rushed from engagement to engagement.

“You all have different infrastructure and challenges but you know the selling experience your agents deliver has to be quality and differentiated.

“We understand that customers have a choice. This [Smartpoint] is a great evolutionary product. We are really focused on blending the best of the old world and the new world together.”

Nash said the latest version of Smartpoint was the first to benefit from Travelport’s strategy to unify the experience across all of its agency products.

He said it was also benefitting from Travelport’s decision to bring in user experience experts to the team which he was were starting to have a dramatic impact.

As well as reviews the system also now provides a map-based hotel search for agents meaning they do not have to use a third party site outside of the GDS workflow.

The Smartpoint platform also works with Travelport’s new airfare merchandising platform so agents can access the rich content airlines will be uploading from later this year.

Integration with payment provider eNett, which is 60% owned by Travelport, also means agents can easily pay using its virtual credit card technology in the system.

Nash added: “We are trying to help you be competitive and be profitable. We understand if you want your agents booking travel the most efficient way possible, you need better tools.”

From now on Smartpoint updates will be made automatically available and agents will be able to either accept them immediately or delay in order to prepare for the change, much like smartphone apps update.

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