The common perception is that small travel agencies can’t thrive in competition with travel giants like Expedia, trip.com, and Airbnb.
That’s not really true. A small business can always grow, as long as work is done efficiently and customers are made to feel valued.
You might ask, “But how?”
Travel agency CRM software is how.
This software can be a vital component of any travel agency’s operations. It helps you manage your business and planning, making it easy for you to monitor client bookings and revenues.
Also, CRM systems enable travel agencies to keep track of their employees’ work schedules, important work documents such as invoices and traveler identification, and Terms & Conditions that travelers must sign.
In this post, we’ll discuss why CRM software is the missing piece of the ‘success’ puzzle, how the largest companies use CRM tools to manage thousands of customers, and also the best CRM options for your business.
What Is a Travel Agency CRM Software?
A travel agency CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software helps travel agencies and operators manage their client information, social channels, and financial resources, all from a single dashboard.
As a travel agency, you may have felt the pain of having to buy a dozen different tools to manage the many aspects of your growing business.
Travel agencies can instead use all-in-one marketing and CRM software to support their different business needs such as managing client bookings, payment transactions, customers’ queries, and particular preferences.
These days, lots of online travel companies use CRM systems on a regular basis.
The right CRM software helps improve customer service by providing a plethora of tools such as chatbots, SMS marketing, in-app calling, and even autoresponder emails.
A CRM for travel agency is like any other CRM software, except that its tools, features, or pricing may be tailored to travel agencies and the common needs in the tourism industry.
Key features that CRMs should have for travel agencies include:
- Calendar booking and appointments
- Mobile applications
- Itinerary management
- Feedback system
- Online booking
What Does a Travel CRM Software do?
A travel agency CRM offers both generic features and travel agency-specific tools.
For example, your travel company, like any other business, may need lead management, sales reporting, an online reservation system, notifications for updates and reminders, workflow automation, and customer service tools.
With a travel agency CRM system, you get these in addition to modules like experience management, in-app appointments, discount vouchers, cancellation policies, and more.
Then there’s the all-in-one CRM software, which combines marketing management, reservation management, sales management, expense management, hotel bookings, and other business operations into one single platform.
Travel agency CRMs can be in-house or cloud-based. Larger enterprises often go for in-house travel agency CRM with their own infrastructure. On the other hand, a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) travel agency CRM is hosted on the cloud, and travel agents or companies can purchase its subscription.
For travel startups, agencies, tour guides, and even hotels, it’s better to choose a SaaS travel CRM for greater flexibility, a wide variety of tools, easy portability, and manageable costs.
The Advantages of Using a Travel CRM Software
Now that you know the difference between a generic and travel agency CRM software, let’s dig deeper.
When it comes to managing customer experiences, one size doesn’t fit all.
This is why CRM for travel agents, tour operators, and the travel industry in general offers features such as segmentation, lead management, omnichannel marketing, feedback systems, and more to fulfill each customer’s complex needs.
This, in turn, greatly boosts customer retention, and ultimately, revenue.
Time flies, and if you can’t manage your tasks efficiently, you’re in trouble. Fortunately, travel CRMs offer great tools to optimize work productivity.
For example, you don’t have to spend hours preparing reports manually. Instead, travel agency CRM systems generate insightful reports on missed bookings, sales performance, customer service tickets solved, and more — without human error and time wastage.
The great thing about SaaS travel CRMs: you can take your work anywhere. This means you can manage your business on-the-go, as long as you have an internet connection.
Ever fumbled through disorganized folders, searched multiple spreadsheets, or made dozens of calls to get what you need?
If so, you need a travel agency CRM.
CRMs have a centralized database, meaning all your employees can access real-time customer data from a single platform. This greatly improves business processes and helps streamline customer management, thus unifying your entire business under one roof.
Travel agencies such as yours need to market themselves to stay ahead of the competition.
This is precisely why you need a travel CRM.
The best travel CRM software offers incredible tools, like multi-channel broadcasts to let you reach a wider audience or segmentation to group your customers based on similarities.
What’s more, you can use autoresponders to send automated email messages in response to everyday activities, like welcome emails for new subscriptions, abandoned payments page reminders, greetings for anniversaries & birthdays, and so on.
When leads go cold, you don’t just abandon them. Instead, you’ll have to target them with a different strategy. Similarly, you have to pursue hot leads and convert them into sales.
A travel CRM lets you intelligently follow up with your leads based on their activity, priority, and position in the sales funnel.
What do you do if your leads are falling through the cracks? Or if you don’t know which ones to drop and which ones to pursue?
That’s why travel CRMs are equipped with tools to capture leads, nurture them, prioritize them with tags and scores, and collect vital information across various touchpoints.
Customers should be able to contact you from any channel: phone, SMS, email, webforms, or social media.
Similarly, ticketing systems, knowledge bases, and other service tools quickly solve any customer queries or complaints.
If you are a travel agent, these CRM features will help you enhance your customer relations substantially.
The Five Best CRM Software for Travel Agencies
Our five CRM picks for travel agencies are HubSpot, EngageBay, ActiveCampaign, Pipedrive, and Freshworks, in no particular order. Let’s look at their pricing and feature sets.
EngageBay’s all-in-one travel agency software, with its highly affordable pricing, is the smartest option for small and medium-sized travel companies, agencies, and startups.
EngageBay offers a myriad of features.
The software’s intuitive drag-and-drop landing page and form builder helps you design beautiful, responsive pages.
With landing page and email broadcast A/B testing, you can test each heading, banner, image, and CTA for perfection. You can also optimize the content for mobile devices.
EngageBay CRM lets your customers reach you via live chat, SMS, social media, phone, and webforms.
With the Service Bay, you have a conventional customer support ticketing system as well as autoresponders, live chat, helpdesk, canned responders, and customer support groups — so that your customer service is always extraordinary.
EngageBay also offers powerful integrations, including Stripe, Zapier, JustCall, Twilio, Shopify, and so much more. As a new and growing brand, we’re always adding to this list for a seamless user experience.
The best thing about EngageBay is its affordable pricing and transparency. For less than $1 a day, you get features that can take your travel business to the next level.
- Free All-in-One plan: This free travel agency CRM plan is truly free, with 500 contacts, 1,000 branded emails, autoresponders, helpdesk, live chat, email template builder, predictive lead scoring — the list goes on.
- All-in-One Basic Suite: This plan costs $14.99 a month and adds more features from the free plan, including 3,000 branded emails, 1,000 contacts, 360-degree customer view, 1 GB of cloud storage, ticket macros, and more.
- All-in-One Growth Suite: This plan starts at $49.99 a month and offers 50,000 contacts, 25,000 branded emails, web rules, timezone-based email delivery, marketing automation, and onboarding sessions (plus all the basic plan features).
- All-in-One Pro Suite: This advanced plan starts at $79.99 a month and offers a host of advanced tools, from APIs, custom reporting, role management, and account-based marketing. You also get 50,000 branded emails, unlimited contacts, and all the features from the Growth Suite.
This pricing, combined with amazing features, makes EngageBay one of the best travel agency CRM software.
HubSpot is another one of our favorite travel CRM software.
It lets you quickly build multichannel marketing campaigns and track them, all from one place.
You can even build unique and responsive landing pages for your company, add CTAs to your pages, and A/B test them.
HubSpot also lets you create marketing assets and knowledge bases, including optimized blog articles. During content creation, it offers on-the-go optimization tips for better SEO rankings and crisp content.
With its 360-degree customer view, you can understand your customer better. In addition, the ticking system allows agencies and companies like yours to issue tickets, prioritize and assign them, and solve them quickly.
These remarkable features come at a hefty price. Let’s check out the prices for HubSpot’s bundled CRM suites:
- Starter CRM Suite: This plan starts at $50 a month and includes 1,000 marketing contacts, ad management, list segmentation, email templates, deal pipeline, and conversations inbox.
- Professional CRM Suite: This plan starts at $1,600 a month for 2000 contacts, ad reporting, URL mappings, canned snippets, dals, custom field mapping, multiple currencies, and more. For every additional 5,000 contacts, you need an extra 250 dollars.
- Enterprise CRM Suite: Pricing starts at a whopping $4,000 for 10,000 marketing contacts and includes advanced features like A/B testing, teams, single sign-on, webhooks, social media, call transcripts, predictive lead scoring, and field-level permissions. For 50,000 contacts, you need to dish out $4,400 a month.
The third travel CRM system on our list is Freshworks.
With this travel CRM system, you can connect to other products, too, like FreshCaller and FreshDesk, which enhances its value.
For example, FreshCaller lets you contact your customers, other intermediaries, agents, tour guides, transport companies, and suppliers right from the CRM. What’s more, you can record conversations, add notes, and log them for future use.
Its AI-based predictive lead scoring feature can help you prioritize your leads, which improves conversion rates. Freshworks’ 2-way sync also lets you get all your appointments from Google calendar and Outlook in one place.
Freshworks also offers both Android and iOS apps for better portability and on-field usage
Like EngageBay, Freshworks is affordable too. Let’s have a quick look:
- Growth plan: This plan costs $29 per month and gives you access to custom reporting, a visual sales pipeline, sales sequences, one custom domain, Freshdesk integration, live chat, 20 workflows, and predictive lead scoring. You also get 1,000 marketing contacts.
- Pro plan: This plan costs $69 a month and adds 3,000 marketing contacts, smart matches, offline events, products catalog, sales goals, offline mode for mobile apps, and behavioral segmentation.
- Enterprise plan: This plan costs $125 a month for 5,000 marketing contacts, auto-profile enrichment, sales forecasting, deal teams, holiday routing, 100 workflows, audit logs, a dedicated account manager, and advanced metrics.
Pipedrive is another helpful travel marketing and sales automation software with cool features like the AI sales assistant. The sales assistant tool helps you improve automation by offering reports, graphs, performance ideas, and notifications.
You also get tools like email templates, group emails, email marketing, and analytics to market your services quickly and efficiently.
This CRM lets you capture important details about your clients from various touchpoints, helps you identify hot leads, and offers various tools to convert these leads to sales.
- Essential Growth plan: This plan starts at $12.50 and offers deal management, data importing and exporting, deal rotting, custom fields, customizable pipelines, custom fields, deal rotting, and contact management.
- Advanced Growth plan: This plan costs $24.90 per month per user and offers email open and click tracking, a basic meeting scheduler, file attachments, customizable email signatures, sales Docs, product catalog, and two-way email sync.
- Professional Growth plan: This popular plan costs $49.90 per month for each user. You get access to advanced meeting scheduler, group emailing, eSignatures, caller, unbranded sending, custom reports, and team management.
- Enterprise Growth plan: This advanced plan costs $99 per user each month and adds advanced features, including unlimited advanced user permissions, apps marketplace, SSO login, 100 workflow automations, 2FA, and 24/7 chat support.
The final software on our list is ActiveCampaign.
This travel CRM software offers a plethora of tools, ranging from customer services and sales to marketing and integrations.
ActiveCampaign’s goal tracking, autoresponders, and multichannel broadcasts offer a broad-spectrum marketing approach covering a broader audience.
Since customers are bound to be different, ActiveCampaign’s segmentation lets you segregate your customers based on various factors. In addition, you get machine learning, too – split automation, predictive sending, and conditional content employs machine learning for advanced results.
ActiveCampaign’s pricing is a bit on the expensive side, though it is still very much affordable. Let’s breeze through their four-tiered pricing plan.
- Lite plan: This plan starts at $9 per month for 500 contacts and offers you basic features, including autoresponders, drag and drop email builder, 125+ templates, segmentation, lead capture forms, lead imports, and contact importing.
- Plus plan: This plan starts at $49 per month for 500 contacts and adds features like automation maps, conditional content, SMS prospect nurturing, task reporting, deal assignment, and account management.
- Professional plan: This plan starts at $129 per month for 500 contacts and offers split automation, predictive content, predictive sending, site messages, win probability, conversion reporting, and a dedicated onboarding specialist.
- Enterprise plan: The Enterprise plan at $229 a month for 500 contacts and goes up to $399 for 10,000 contacts. It adds advanced features like custom reporting, contact enrichment, custom domain, unlimited users, phone support, customized branding within applications, and social data enrichment.
If you are a budding travel business, you know you don’t have the resources to buy expensive CRM software.
Travel agencies don’t need to worry though; finding a good CRM is possible even on a tight budget.
Travel agency managers can use CRM software such as HubSpot and EngageBay that are specially designed for their needs and offer all sorts of functionalities to boost business.
Between the two, we’d say EngageBay is a much more affordable all-in-one CRM software, with enough tools for fast revenue growth.
EngageBay can help travel agencies manage customer accounts, preferences, and advanced bookings easily.
It can help you save hours every day.
You also get Live Chat, SMS marketing, and an in-app calendar for quick and effective engagement with thousands of customers.
With EngageBay’s mobile app, all of this can be done on the move as well.
If you’re not sure yet, check out EngageBay’s free plan for yourself — we promise you won’t be disappointed!
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