Written By: Avoya Travel Network
In just a few short months, the earth seemed to shift right under our feet. Normal tasks took on new meanings, and our day-to-day lives were radically altered, including how our businesses operate.
These times have definitely not been “business as usual”. While we may have no control over these kinds of external circumstances, we do have influence on how we choose to get through it.
During this time of uncertainty, it’s only natural to be thinking about the stability and future of your travel business. Are you getting through this challenging time alone or do you have a support system to help you continue making strides forward? If you’re already part of a host agency or travel network, take a step back and really look at how your network is handling these difficult times:
- Are you getting the support that your business truly needs?
- Do you feel you’re alone during a time when you need a support system the most?
- Are you provided with the right resources to keep you informed and your business moving forward?
If you’re not happy with the answers to any of these questions, it’s time to evaluate if your network is benefiting or hindering your long-term success.
So, if you’re looking for more from your current host, or are considering switching host networks, here are a few things to evaluate.
1. Helping You Stay Informed
What kind of communication does the network offer to help keep you informed and up to date with the current environment? With the ever-changing state of the industry, it’s vital to the success of your business (as well as staying afloat in difficult times) to always be aware of industry changes, standings and updates.
During this time, Avoya Travel® is forging new ways of working, collaborating and future planning. We want to help you do so as well, which is why we’re continuing to offer even more support and services to Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network™ to keep their business moving forward.
One key element helping Avoya Network members stay informed as timely as possible is Avoya’s award-winning, patented Agent Power™ technology. Here we can communicate directly to travel professionals with real-time updates, as well as help in navigating supplier relations during these times, including creating more travel agent friendly commission protection policies, improved refund and rebooking policies for travelers and reduced cancellations.
Network members also enjoy optional educational opportunities through access to exclusive weekly webinars so they can keep in the know with relevant industry and product updates.
2. Keeping You Informed Of Financial Relief Resources
Unless you’re continually tuned in to your favorite news feed, it can be difficult to maintain the most accurate information regarding crisis relief for your independent travel business. Plus, when you receive that information, how will you know what applies to your situation specifically?
Wouldn’t it be great if your host network provided a one-stop shop full of resources to help you navigate financial relief aspects such as the CARES Act? We’ve got just the thing for you – it’s called Avoya Cares (and it’s exactly as it sounds).
When the global situation started to shift, we rallied to make sure travel professionals had, and continue to have, the additional support they need to get through these unknown times. This new, optional service was launched to help Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network better understand how the CARES Act can help their independent agency.
Exclusively for Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network, this valuable resource is designed to provide additional assistance, without replacing personal tax or legal professional advice. The program includes exclusive webinars, Q&As with accounting and travel executives, links to important government forms and information, business best practices and even a designated support email, so Network members can have peace of mind knowing they can reach out to an Avoya support staff member dedicated to assisting them.
3. Aiding In Conversion Of Future Travel Credits
The industry is overflowing with travelers wielding future travel credits who can utilize these to book anywhere. So, how can you track and capitalize on these Future Cruise Credits (FCC) and ensure your hard work pays off?
Is your host providing you with assistance and resources to ensure you maximize FCC bookings? Avoya is doubling down to help travel professionals handle the FCC process to ensure these credits are booked internally with Avoya, so you receive the commission.
Our automated process within Agent Power allows us to download all FCC files from major vendors to take the workload off you, saving you precious data entry time and eliminating any opportunities for mistakes.
We’ve also fine-tuned our Vacation Countdown, an automatic email communication system that relays important information to clients. This process is customized to your clients and now acts as a countdown reminder to ‘book your future travel credit with your friendly travel agent’, helping you stay first in line when they’re ready to rebook.
4. Staying Top Of Mind With Clients
Just because consumer vacation planning and booking has slowed doesn’t mean the daydreaming has. Which is why it’s important to have access to resources that help you keep in contact with your clients, letting them know you’re thinking about them, as well as helping plan their future getaways.
Avoya’s love of travel and commitment to independent travel professionals has not wavered. So, we’ve kept this passion for travel alive on behalf of Avoya Network members to keep travelers inspired, grow the travel community and demonstrate the value that travel professionals bring to the travel planning and booking process.
We’ve also developed new marketing capabilities and resources for Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network to leverage in their own marketing efforts.
5. Providing Key Professional Development
Now is the perfect time to focus on fine tuning your selling and business skills to help you be more successful when travel returns. Does your travel network offer the kind of professional development programs and resources to help you take your abilities to the next level?
Along with our lineup of existing award-winning educational offerings, we’re adding new and relevant opportunities so you can make the most of this time while preparing for the returning travel demand, including webinars and exclusive Q&A sessions with industry executives.
We’ve also increased our virtual event roster, including moving the 2020 Avoya Travel Mastermind Land Forum to a completely virtual setting. Interested Network members can learn more about land vacations and how to grow their land-based business during this time, all from the comfort of their home.
6. Continuing To Pay Commissions
The unprecedented shutdown in travel has brought to light the commission policies of both suppliers and travel networks. Are there cracks in the system? How often will you be getting paid?
During this time of uncertainty, you’ll want to make sure that your host is helping you maintain financial security to the best of their abilities. Avoya is helping independent travel professionals continue to get paid weekly (as received by suppliers) via direct deposit. Network members can also take advantage of our optional Instant Commission™ program, which helps you get paid sooner to help with cashflow. Due to the world-class reputation and high sales volume of the Avoya Network, we’re able to secure the highest commission tiers from top suppliers, so you can be sure your network has the power to help your independent travel business maintain a solid foundation. Additionally, as an Independent Agency in the Avoya Network, you can earn up to 100% of the commission on bookings you source – ask us how.
We’re also taking an active role in being your travel industry advocate. We’re backing commission protection on behalf of Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network, as well as helping to get the word out to elected officials to encourage them to provide financial aid for the travel industry.
7. Getting The Most Of Future Consumer Travel Demand
The travel industry is resilient, people will never stop traveling – it’s in our nature to crave adventure, experiences, and make memories – and when they’re ready to start exploring again, you’ll want to ensure that your travel network has resources set in place to help you plan and book vacations of a lifetime.
Does your host have a plan in place to help you capitalize on consumer demand when travel rebounds?
We’re always tuned in to evolving travel trends to ensure we provide Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network with the best information to help them make the most of them. Additionally, our educational offerings create opportunities for Network members to fine tune their skills in other niches so they can stay ahead of the competition and create a surge in sales when travel returns, like our specialized Mastermind Land Forum to focus on selling land and tour products until cruising regains interest.
Plus, you’ll have access to the most successful travel lead generation program, Live Leads™, which sends new clients directly to you, available 24/7 via phone, web and mobile app. Let us handle the marketing for you, so you can spend less time searching, and more time doing what you do best – selling and building relationships with your customers!
8. Ranking High With Current Network Members
How does your potential host network rate? Don’t just take the host’s word while you do your research, find out what real independent agency owners are saying.
We’re proud to say that we’re continuing to provide more quality support to Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network when they need it the most, and they’re feeling the love – our Net Promoter Score® is the highest it’s ever been!
Here’s what Independent Agencies in the Avoya Network love about Avoya’s unparalleled support during these times:
“If you are considering becoming a home-based owner of a travel agency or are looking for a new Host Agency, I cannot recommend Avoya Travel enough. As tough as times are these days with the pandemic wreaking havoc on the industry, I truly feel Avoya has my back and is doing everything they can to assist us in the Network in any way they can to help us get through this difficult time.”
-Judee Davis, Owner of Journeys by Judee, LLC, an Independent Agency in the Avoya Network
“You guys are my family. You have my back.”
-Sylvia Hopper, Owner of Globe Hopper, LLC, an Independent Agency in the Avoya Network
“In this time of turmoil, they are behind us one hundred percent. I highly recommend Avoya Travel!”
-Patti Edgar, Owner of Patricia Edgar Travel LLC, an Independent Agency in the Avoya Network
There will always be times in business (and in life) when we need support. Reaching out when we need to can have many benefits, including helping you save time and money in running your independent travel business, as well as feeling less alone in times of crisis. Make sure you’re getting the support and resources you deserve from your travel network. You’re more than just a number to Avoya.
It’s clear through these challenging times that travel advisors are truly dedicated to their craft. We’re inspired by the incredible positivity and hope we’ve seen arise in this industry and will continue to support independent travel advisors for years to come.
Despite these difficulties, we know that we are stronger together. Our innovation, leadership and dedication to helping travel planners find success will carry us through this. We believe in the strength of our unique model and innovative travel platform that create success for travel professionals, supplier partners and travelers. Avoya, unlike many others, is very well positioned for a strong future.
To learn more about how we’re continuing to support travel professionals or for more information on becoming a part of the Avoya Travel Network, visit www.AvoyaNetwork.com or contact us at 1-888-320-4670.