Written By: John Ische, President and CEO, Trisept Solutions
We’ve shared how you can better know your customer, your business, your technology solutions and your future. Now, you will know your success.
A blog post from Skift, the travel industry’s largest intelligence platform, says that “success for travel agents moving forward rests on continuously learning more and more about their customers,” and that “smart travel agents are evolving to better meet the rising needs of today’s traveler…more emphasis is being placed on building long-term relationships.”1
Meeting (and exceeding) the needs of your clients can be achieved by doing two things: knowing your clients and deciphering data. Those two things can be combined into one action, according to Skift. “The most important data will be collected through human interaction. In-depth conversations and post-trip debriefs will give advisors an advantage that online booking sites can’t replicate. New technology can be a major key for travel agents, as long as the human element is put first,” because even more important than asking the right questions to get the exact data you need is “the unstructured data obtained by in-depth conversations.”1 Don’t be so wrapped up in asking data-focused questions to have a genuine conversation with your client.
To run a successful business, a lot of information is needed, and this is especially true if you are a travel agent or agency owner. You not only need to know how to run a business, but you also need to know your clients, know who to network with to grow your business and, most importantly, you need to know travel: the suppliers, the destinations and the products.
That is a lot. But don’t be overwhelmed and think you have to manage it all on your own because, as Bernard Marr, a leading business and data expert suggests, “…since computers can process information far faster than we could ever hope to do ourselves, might it be more efficient to simply give them all the data we have available, and let them work out the best method of solving problems for themselves?”2
And he’s right – it is more efficient to have a computer or technology platform find solutions for you. Especially when the platform you use is powered by a cognitive computer system (like IBM Watson) that has the ability to learn and develop using the data you provide it.
Data is so powerful for so many industries. But even more so for the travel industry, which is uniquely positioned to use data to its advantage since there are many types of data involved when travelers research and book their vacations. What kind of room a client prefers to stay in on a cruise ship, whether they like direct flights or don’t mind a connecting flight, who they normally travel with – these are all travel preferences that should be used by agents to show that you can customize trip plans down to the smallest detail for your clients. That customization can be automatic when you use a technology platform that can do all of that work for you, with just a quick entry of your client’s data.
Now it may seem tedious to enter all of your client’s data into a technology platform, execute a search and sift through all of the results. You may also think that the results you’ll get won’t feel personalized or found with care and understanding, which is what you put into your results each time you send vacation recommendations or quote to a client. But sometimes having results that are unaffected by emotions (like recommending a certain resort or destination that YOU love but may not be right for your client) can be beneficial: “[The computer] will…work through this process in a far faster, more accurate and repeatable fashion, unhindered by emotion, fallibility of logic, or ego.”2 By letting technology find the answers for you, you can make recommendations much faster streamlining your process and giving you time to connect with more clients.
With the powerful cognitive computing technology that is available today, travel agents finally have access to 21st century technology to help meet the demands of their 21st century business. Trisept Solutions is the company giving agents that access to IBM Watson, the most powerful cognitive computing platform.
Next month, Xcelerator by Trisept Solutions will be launching Discover, a cognitive search feature powered by Wayblazer, an IBM Watson Ecosystem partner focused on travel solutions. The initial launch of Discover will enable lightning-fast searches with cruise lines and hotels based on your client’s vacation requests. It combines a robust inventory of travel product data and current client trip needs to arrive at a detailed itinerary in less time and with more precision.
During the third quarter, the full power of Discover will be launched, adding guided and escorted tours and river cruises to multi-modally shop, all integrated with your rich client profile information, making your researching and booking efforts more streamlined and efficient than they’ve ever been. And it’s all powered by your client profiles, so the more information you include for each client, the more accurate and relevant your results will be.
If you want to secure your future and set yourself up for success, visit triseptsolutions.com/xcelerator today to start your free test drive and see the impact Xcelerator can have on your business.