Top 4 Ways to Modernize the Travel Industry
How to automate the travel industry and modernize existing processes when things return to normal
We know that these past few weeks have been uncertain, and we want to remind you that you’re not navigating this alone.
While these are challenging times, it’s also a good time for businesses to reflect on what they can do to help their respective industries be better equipped once we’re all past this.
We’re committed to being a helpful resource and connector for those in the travel and hospitality spaces. We’re currently focused on building a solution that connects travel suppliers and hotel merchants in a secure and seamless way. We strive to offer solutions that take the burden off people’s shoulders so that you can get back to focusing on what matters most to you.
Keep reading for our 4 best practices for automating the travel industry. We hope these tips will spark some ideas once everyone comes out of this.
1. Offer alternative payment methods
Standards for what people expect when it comes to doing business have changed, and it’s important to make sure you’re staying up to date with what your customer needs. With the wide array of emerging payment methods, it’s worth offering your customers the flexibility to pay as they’d like. Whether it’s with P2P payments, credit cards, ACH, or virtual cards, your customers will appreciate the choice.
Not only is it a major convenience for your customers and gives them a greater sense of trust, alternative payment methods can actually increase your selling capabilities and boost overall sales. The ability to receive payments immediately without having to wait for a check to come in the mail means you’re getting the maximum ROI for your time and efforts. Not to mention the money you can save on credit card transaction fees by utilizing alternative payments.
If your business operates internationally, it’s important to make sure your payment methods aren’t limited by geography. Losing out on business because of insufficient payment methods is too great a risk.
The simple and quick checkout process that comes from alternative payments also means a major boost in sales. The fewer barriers to completing a transaction you have, the more likely you are to close the deal – which are all too often lost due to lengthy or complicated payment processes.
We’re used to having options in most aspects of our lives. How you pay should be no different.
2. Ensure an intuitive user experience
Nothing makes a customer value your services more than making them seamless, easy, and fast. One of the most important things you can do is to make sure your website offers an easy and intuitive experience. When a customer or business is visiting your website, be sure to have a layout that’s easy to navigate and offers a clear path on how to take action.
Whether it’s reserving a room, submitting an expense, or booking a flight, you’ll want your customer to have a simple and streamlined process. One way you can do this is by having a solution that works on all internet enabled devices. Whether it’s on a desktop or a mobile device, the best way to make your user interface intuitive is by making sure your site is familiar and consistent. We’re creatures of habit, and the more familiar we are with something, the more trust we have, and the more likely we are to make a transaction on your site.
As with many aspects of life, first impressions matter. Your website might be the first time a customer or business is interacting with your company, so let them know who you are, what you do, and why they can trust you.
3. Work with vendors that offer solutions with layers of security
Your customers expect that their personal information will be safe when they’re booking a trip with you. If you’re able to offer them extra layers of protection, you’ll gain their business and secure their loyalty.
Both you and the partners you work with have a role to play in protecting your clients’ data. Each hand which credit card information passes through becomes responsible for ensuring that it remains safe and secure from data breaches.
Unfortunately, failure to comply is all too common and can have disastrous results. This is why it’s so important to work with vendors who you trust and who have the right security measures in place.
Don’t hesitate to ask your vendors what they’re doing to protect their clients’ data. Before choosing to work with any outside partners, find out if they’re PCI compliant, if they store credit card information, what fraud detection tools they have in their solutions, and how they’re continuing to invest in data security.
There are too many companies out there that simply “check the boxes” when it comes to security and compliance, and while it could be tempting to work with them for the sake of convenience, it’s important to dedicate resources to performing a thorough review of their systems.
Compliance and security can be difficult to attain on your own, but working with the right partners, and vetting them properly, can significantly help in achieving PCI compliance.
4. Have an an end-to-end booking solution
With more and more hotels continuing to eliminate fax machines from their workflows, it’s going to pose a challenge to travel companies.
The potential for human error and security breaches increases significantly with paper and fax methods. Not only does this create a huge risk for you and your clients, it can lead to a loss of business and revenue from customers who no longer trust their personal data to high risk methods. You also run the risk of losing business from hotels who no longer accept credit card information and reservations through a fax.
Instead, consider integrating with vendors that streamline how you transfer confirmation details to hotels. Not only does this improve job efficiency and productivity, it enhances your security. That gives your customers peace of mind because you’re being proactive in protecting their information.
An end-to-end booking solution eliminates as many middle steps and layers as possible in order to increase efficiency. When you simplify the booking process, you ensure a smoother trip, greater trust, and more satisfied clients.
The quality of a trip that comes from a streamlined process cannot be overlooked. It gives your customers an easy and stress-free experience with your company because it’s an automated end-to-end process.
It’s important to understand your company’s needs before proceeding to buy technology for the sake of technology. Look for ways to automate processes so you can spend more time on things you care about. And look for solutions that enhance your security without compromising the user experience.
When the time is right, we look forward to sharing our newest addition to the Agreement Platform that creates less headache for travel suppliers, hotel merchants, and even the traveler.
We’ll be here to help you when you’re ready.
About the Author
As the Content Marketing Specialist at Sertifi, Kelli loves writing and the power of words to tell stories. She assists the team with content creation and occasionally dabbles in design. Outside the office, you can find her reading, traveling (mostly to Michigan), and buying too much stuff on Amazon.