When your business first starts, it’s a fascinating phase because you’re up and running.
8 Top Tips to Scale Your Travel Agency Business
Your business is attracting new clients, and soon, you will presume yourself as a big name, probably next to the likes of Tripadvisor and Google.
Wait! Not so fast.
Though we don’t want to burst the bubble of dreaming big, trying to grow your business before you’re ready can hurt your company’s success.
We’re talking about scaling your travel company and not growing it. These two are not the same, even though we may use them interchangeably. Growing a business means adding resources at the same rate you create revenue.
However, scaling refers to adding resources at an incremental rate while generating revenue at an exponential rate.
Scalability is similar to a spectrum, and the travel agency business maybe a little more difficult than others. The travel agency often faces throttling troubles because scaling goes beyond agent-customer relationships, marketing, and traveling.
In this article, we explore eight ways to scale your travel agency business in the post-COVID era.
1. Choose Your Audience Correctly
The day of being a jack-of-all-trades is gone, thanks to the pandemic. Though you might be intrigued to cater to every type of traveler, some customers may not need your help at all.
For instance, corporate employees may prefer bookings through a travel agency because it helps them save time. Without consumers using any tool or website, they get lower travel spend on airfare and hotel.
Therefore, to scale your travel agency, first decide whether you want to become an agency offering complex trips or cater only to corporate travels.
Corporate travel agencies like TravelPerk focus primarily on reducing travel expenses, optimizing the booking process, streamlining expense reports, and making the corporate travel experience memorable for business travelers.
So, any travel agency must choose its audience before planning to scale its business.
2. Create a Connection with Your Audience
After figuring out your core audience, you’re ready to create your travel funnel. While there is no rocket science in creating a funnel, you require inspiration and great quality content to connect with your audience.
When promoting a business travel package to corporate employees, create visual, audio, and text content that inspires business travelers to book a trip with your agency.
Use social media to promote your offerings and tell your audience how the agency can help them take the hassle out of business travel.
Share your customer’s experience, achievements, and challenges and how you overcome the challenges to give the best corporate travel experience.
You can even take help from famous travel bloggers and influencers to promote your content.
Content is the king, queen, and everything that lies in between, even for scaling your business. So, curate content around the likes and dislikes of your customers and offer valuable travel-related tips and advice.
3. Provide an Experience by Upselling Your Services
Suggesting additional services above your traditional packages is one thing that can scale your business because it directly increases your revenue per customer.
For example, if your corporate traveler is going for a meeting in New York, offer dinner options or a ticket to a karaoke night to go along with it.
You can even offer a place for team lunch (after attending the meeting) to make the experience more memorable for the traveler.
While an upsell offer may yield desired results, another one may fall flat on its face because it failed to capture the audience’s attention.
So, explore and test different upselling services to understand what works with your business travelers.
You can use the services of companies like TravelPerk to keep an eye on special offers and complimentary services or products.
4. Use the Right Tools
Scaling a travel agency business is more about efficiency. It’s more about getting more output with minimal input.
Using the right tools can put your travel agency back on track. From adding chatbots for handling and answering customer queries to using enterprise resource planning (ERP) to streamline travel agency’s operations, having the right tools in your arsenal could be the difference between growing and scaling your travel agency.
Other tools that can automate your mundane processes and ensure you scale your business are:
- Digital marketing tools for acquiring customers
- Email and social media automation for nurturing qualified leads
- Customer-relationship management system for managing customer database
5. Track the Necessary Metrics
To scale your business and find the answer to what it means to scale your business, you need to track the necessary metrics. So, start by digging into the required numbers to reach new heights for your travel business.
Some key metrics to measure are:
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
The customer acquisition cost is the cost of labor and material you spend acquiring a single customer. The lower your CAC, the higher your chances will be to scale your business profitably.
Focus on measuring the growth of your revenue or customer base month over month. Keep your revenue rate as high as possible during the whole scaling process.
Lifetime Customer Value (LCV)
This measures the total predicted value of your customer throughout the lifetime. Focus on increasing the LCV as you scale your travel agency.
Tracking these metrics will help you ensure whether you’re doing it successfully or not. If any of these metrics are not expected, you know what’s going wrong and what you need to do to make things right.
6. Help Customers during Their Planning Stage
When your metrics show that your services inspire customers, you can amplify their interest by going in-depth about a particular business trip.
This is where the content calendar plays a crucial role. So, consider your customer’s journey, their concerns, potential questions, challenges, and the business experience they want.
Using your content calendar, create content that reminds your customers of your services and deals.
The hotel inventory you offer and how you can make their experience memorable.
Use the form of content that works best for your target audience. For instance, the requirement of a business traveler would be different from a traveler on vacation.
Post related videos, create Instagram reels and do everything possible to keep your customers engaged and interested in your travel agency.
7. Focus On Garnering Reviews and Check-Ins
The adage, “Reputation is revenue,” aptly describes the travel agency business.
Whether it’s a business traveler or someone planning a vacation, travelers prefer reading reviews of hotels, airlines, and even travel agencies before giving you the work of managing their travel itinerary.
The easier it’s for people to leave reviews on travel sites, Google, and social networking platforms, the more reviews your business will gather.
Most importantly, nurture your reviews and respond to your clients accordingly. Be polite even when a customer is complaining and use it as a learning opportunity.
If you’re not in favor of receiving reviews, you can have a customer corner where you share experiences and testimonials of customers who used your services.
This can help instill trust and confidence and make your travel agency look authentic.
Reviews, testimonials, and customer experiences can boost your conversion rates and scale up your travel agency in no time.
8. Improve Efficiency through Automation
Another effective way to scale your travel agency business is by implementing travel automation.
Using different travel automated systems, you can automate mundane and repetitive tasks and focus on making decisions that impact your bottom line.
From using an automated smart booking system to an automated accounting system–automation can help your travel agency business scale quickly.
Automation can simplify your booking process and centralize all your customer information.
Keeping their customers’ information, flights, stay, suppliers, and reservations on a different platform may not be a viable option for a travel agency.
It can result in loss of crucial information, and you may end up not providing a promised service because of mismanagement of customer’s information.
Using platforms like TravelPerk, you can view, track and manage all your traveler’s data in real-time.
This reduces the chances of committing mistakes and mishandling information, thereby increasing the efficiency of your process.
Scaling Your Travel Agency Business
Of all the scalability tips mentioned above, nothing can scale your business more than a happy and loyal customer who comes to your travel agency again and again.
Regardless of whether you’re a small corporate travel agency or an established agency, deploying technology can help in facilitating your day-to-day operations and eventually scale your business.
In the post-COVID era, scaling your travel agency business can be a little challenging. Still, if you can successfully provide a seamless experience for your customers, there is no looking back.
Try to provide good service, make your customer happy and give them a reason to cherish their corporate trip. When you create an experience a customer cannot forget for the rest of their lives, you’re on the right path of scaling your business.
Don’t forget to use our eight tips to scale your travel agency business to new heights.
How are you planning to scale your business?
Do share your thoughts with us!
Priya Jain is a professional copywriter with 8 years of experience. She has an MBA and engineering degree. When she is not writing, you will find her teaching math, spending her day running behind her toddler, and trying new recipes. You can follow her on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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