Whether you’re a small, niche travel agency with big ambitions or an established franchise looking to grow your market share, selecting a purpose-built CRM for the travel and leisure industry is an essential part of how you realise those goals. CRMs bring efficiency, organisation and productivity into your business, affecting how you build and maintain profitable relationships with your customers.
But, what’s the best travel agency CRM on the market? It is, after all, an investment that will require time to implement and properly integrate into your business operations. Choosing the wrong software will inevitably set you back and cast a shadow over future decisions about acquiring new software solutions.
What exactly is a travel agency CRM software?
CRM – Customer Relationship Management – software is used to help organisations manage information, content assets, social media channels, and sales and marketing activities. Importantly, CRMs provide a single dashboard view of performance analytics. A CRM eliminates the need to buy loads of different tools and instead centralises all activities related to the relationship you have with your customers.
Travel agency CRM software goes a step above that, as it’s designed with your business and industry in mind – travel and leisure, that is. Instead of using generalised sales and marketing language, menus and features are created specifically for the activities that travel agencies perform, helping to keep things consistent and avoiding those scenarios where you “make do” with the parts of a software that don’t quite align with your operations. A travel agency CRM will be tailored for the needs of your industry. You can expect to find features such as:
- Itinerary management
- Online booking
- Mobile integrations
- Calendar bookings
- Email automation
The market for travel agency CRMs is varied. There are established contenders, and solutions that have been adapted, rather than intentionally built for travel agents. We provide a brief overview of some recognisable brands to help you on your journey of travel agent CRM exploration.
Kaptio is built on the Salesforce platform – Salesforce being a well recognised CRM brand. The software is tailored for Cruise, Escorted Tours and FIT businesses. The CRM encompassed the whole buyer's journey and provides a holistic view of the customer's experience and interaction with your business. Like Tutterfly, Kaptio uses different price bands, although considerably more expensive. The higher-end packages ( starting at EUR250 ) offer consulting to help ensure you get the most out of the platform. There's no free version or free trial, so you'll have to make your purchasing decision based on a demonstration of the platform.
Mercury Office is suitable for travel agents with multiple offices as it's web-based and can be accessed from anywhere. Essentially, it's an all-in-one Travel CRM, front and back-office system that helps agents make aesthetic travel quotes, manage enquiries and bookings, take payments, produce documents, set reminders, and generate reports. The platform has been built specifically for travel agents, with their direct input. Users are most impressed with the fact that this platform is highly suitable for remote agents without having to download software. No pricing information is available online, so contact with the vendor is required to ascertain whether the CRM is within your budget.
CRM by Inspiretec
Inspiretec is an established and trusted travel industry software provider that has been developing and improving its tools for over two decades. CRM by Inspiretec is the culmination of expert knowledge and a deep understanding of the travel agent’s needs, with a sharp focus on helping businesses get more clients and make more sales. CRM by Inpiretec achieves this by creating a single view across all channels; web, email, retail agencies, homework, and call centres from one system. The aim is always to enable more personalised customer experiences. Inspiretec wants to help agents know every customer and cater to their needs directly. Pricing is simplified; there are only two subscription options: monthly (£60/mo) and annual (£600/yr) per user charges. This includes a thirty-day free trial, so you sign up with confidence that this is the platform for your travel agency. All product features are available, regardless of package, and you're free to cancel within 60 days.
How do you decide?
Your decision will be impacted by a number of factors. Firstly, you'll want to ensure that the features meet your needs, that the pricing model is affordable and that the support or and level of service the provider offers is satisfactory for your requirements. Most importantly, the driving force behind achieving a streamlined customer relationship management process is to position your business as an attractive, dependable, customer-oriented travel agency that holiday-makers will trust time and time again. This means that your ideal CRM will enable robust retention strategies, as well as sales and lead generation.
The best way to decide if a travel agency CRM is right for you is to try it out. Our advice is to always look for a supplier that allows you a no holds barred opportunity to press all the buttons, try all the features and ask all the questions that will make you feel confident and sure about your investment.
To learn more about the travel industry-specific technologies changing the sector, download our free guide. You'll discover how to take advantage of the available solutions to make your travel agency number one when it comes to customer retention, sales and profitability.