One of the many ways that travel companies have addressed the challenges they face in the current business landscape is through workflow automation.
Before the global COVID-19 pandemic, it was a case of keeping up with the demands of a booming tourism industry.
Now, there is the matter of staying on top of work while digital transformation spurred by the pandemic impacts almost every modern business.
By automating specific workflows, travel companies can significantly boost daily operations and improve the experience customers and employees have.
Clients can enjoy faster communication, increased responsiveness, and more personalization. At the same time, your team can work more efficiently, be less prone to making errors, and focus their energy on tasks that require their personal attention.
Ultimately, it translates to more satisfied clients, cost savings for the business, and employees who can work to their full potential.
What Is Workflow Automation?
Kissflow describes workflow automation as ‘defining a series of tasks taken to complete a process, and then removing all the manual steps.’
It is consecutive automated actions that improve business processes.
When work flows, your team can direct their energy to tasks that matter. As a result, they spend less time on drawn-out processes and more time on their actual work.
- Streamline business and team efficiency
- Cut down on costs
- Save time
- Reduce the instance of human error
Marketing, customer service, sales, finance, and operations departments can all benefit from being freed of the weight of manually implementing processes.
Automation Touchpoints For Travel Businesses
Potential points where travel companies can automate workflows, including report creation, sending notifications and confirmations, are:
- Operations – marketing services, billing and payment plans, supplier invoicing, procurement, and booking management.
- Client-facing – receiving reservations, taking deposits, invoicing customers, payment collection, issuing itineraries, statement generation, and so on.
- Employee management – performance reports, customer service issues, outcome documents, etc.
Whether you are a tour operator, multi-day organizer, group travel company, or agency, you’ll be able to reap the rewards of workflow automation once you have integrated it into your business.
Here are six ways you can streamline everyday processes that take up time.
1. Turnaround Time When Responding To Booking Inquiries
Stats show that nearly half of all customers expect companies to respond to their inquiries within four hours.
This means that the faster you can respond to travelers’ queries as they come in, the better your chance of securing a reservation over competitors who take longer.
One option to ensure that potential clients get the feedback they need when they need it is to place a chatbot on your website or social channels. Using AI, it can offer up information and auto-respond to some of the common questions travelers may have about your service or product.
For example, it can ask whether they want to know about a specific itinerary, your pricing, or upcoming trip dates. With a single click, the person is then able to request the information they need.
If the inquiry happens to be too advanced, the chatbot will give the person a timeframe of when someone in your team will get back to them with the information they need.
2. Managing Sales Leads
By integrating your WeTravel dashboard with your CRM, your team can better manage sales leads.
Every time you get a new customer, their details can be sent to your CRM. From there, your team can pick up and manage leads, as well as keep tabs on the sales pipeline.
3. Booking Management
To keep customers up to date with important trip updates and information, you can create a zap to automatically add their information to MailChimp, for example.
After that, you can add them to your different communication and marketing lists.
It’s also possible to prompt specific actions once clients do things such as submit information or pay part of their installment. It could be to trigger a notification on your team’s Slack channel or update a Google Sheet with accounting information.
This way, your team will automatically be notified when they need to action or respond to something manually.
4. Accounting Entries
Through Zapier integration, you can connect your WeTravel dashboard to accounting programs such as Xero, Quickbooks, or Zoho Books.
When clients set up their WeTravel account, workflow automations can add their records to your accounting program. This saves your team time and ensures the information is complete and correct.
If you use Google Sheets, you can also program the data to export from WeTravel to your sheet.
5. Pre-Trip Communication With Clients
Once a traveler makes a booking with you, they will require regular and timely communication leading up to their trip.
Even if you aren’t using Zapier, WeTravel automatically sends specific emails to your clients at certain milestones of their journey.
For example, your clients will automatically receive a confirmation email and welcome pack the moment they checkout.
If they are on a payment plan, they will receive scheduled payment reminder emails on chosen dates.
They will also receive receipts, itineraries, booking modifications, waitlist information, and administrative emails when they trigger certain actions.
You can learn more about this in our help article here. But all in all, it makes for efficient and streamlined interactions with clients at the exact moment they need it.
6. Automated Customer Follow-Ups
A post-trip follow-up with your customers is essential to make sure they’re satisfied and find out how you did.
Between WeTravel’s series of automated emails or a MailChimp marketing list, it’s easy enough to automate sending a survey or feedback form to clients.
Let them know how much their feedback would mean to you, and don’t be afraid to follow up again if you don’t hear back after a first request.
Workflow automation is an essential tool for your travel business. It enables your team to work more effectively, serve your clients better, and focus on what’s really important at work.
Ultimately, it saves your business money and keeps it competitive in a technology-driven world.
Want to know more about WeTravel? Watch the intro video below or contact us for a free demo.