Customer Relationship Management software or CRM – some would say it’s a necessary evil, others would say it’s the key to the strong bonds they’ve built with their customer base. Regardless of where you sit on the spectrum, it’s something that all tour operators are (or should be) using.

CRM software is something that we at Tourwriter care about a lot!

In fact, we think it’s so crucial for modern-day tour operators that we invested in ensuring that CRM functionality was built into our product from the get-go.

So whether you’re already using a CRM in your business, thinking of switching to a new solution, or thinking about dipping your toes in for the first time – here’s our rundown of some of the most important features you should be looking for when it comes to your tour operator business.

1. An Interface That Works for You

interface

A lot of CRM’s sell their interface or user experience as their point of difference in the market. An interface is not only about how striking a software is aesthetically, but it’s also about how you find using it. There’s no cookie-cutter approach to what a good CRM looks like – it’s entirely up to you, your team, and the results you expect to get from your CRM.

We recommend taking any CRM’s you’re interested in for a test drive prior to purchasing. If they don’t have a free trial option on their website get in touch with the company directly and ask to try it out yourself.

It’s also important to remember that powerful, feature heavy software typically have a learning curve – intuition can only take us so far when we’re starting out with a new tool. Getting one-on-one training with your new CRM is a huge bonus when starting out but unfortunately not always included. Our Implementation team works directly with every Tourwriter client to ensure a smooth set up.

2. Configurability

Tools CRMCRM’s are more than just a contact list – each client or supplier you store in your CRM has their own ‘profile’ or ‘contact card’ where you should be able to store information about your contacts.

Being able to configure the fields at the setup level is crucial – you know better than anyone how much things vary from business to business in the travel space! Being able to collect and store important information specific to your business is a must-have for any tour operator’s CRM.

For example, you may need to store your client’s visa information, allergies, or special requests. Tourwriter’s set up allows users to customize the field options for customers, suppliers, and agents.

This granular level of configurability can be the difference between feeling like your CRM is a useful tool, or an inconvenience that doesn’t add value to you and your team (We know which one we’d prefer!)

3. Integration with Your Back Office Software

Nobody enjoys double handling data – and when it comes to the travel industry the time saved not doing this can be the difference between winning that new client, or losing them to a faster competitor.

Ensure your CRM integrates with your back office software saves you a bunch of time, and eliminates the chance of costly handling errors. We included import/export functionality when creating Tourwriter, meaning users can easily pull data from their CRM and upload it into other business systems without the need to double handle.

4. Easy Reporting

reportingGetting to retire your filing cabinet isn’t the only advantage of using a digital CRM. Storing all of your clients and their associated information in one, digital platform means you get insights in the form of automated reports. When selecting a CRM for your tour operator business, getting a look into the reporting functionality is a must.

Not only do reports give you insight, but they’re also a crucial piece of the puzzle when it comes to providing key stakeholders in your business with information on an ongoing basis.

We recommend looking for a CRM software that makes it easy to generate reports, is fast and has a good, relevant library of standardized reports. When report season finally rolls around, you’ll be glad you opted for software that doesn’t make it difficult to get the information you need, when you actually need it.

 

Further Reading

 

 

 

Why travellers should work with inbound tour operators

Why travellers should work with inbound tour operators

We look at the value an inbound tour operator who is a destination expert can provide to travellers. So travellers who choose to work with an inbound tour operator can take their bucket-list trip and experience a trip of a lifetime.

Tour operators role in encouraging sustainable travel

Tour operators role in encouraging sustainable travel

Just in time for Earth Day, we are considering the practical initiatives tour operators can take with each of their travellers to encourage them to travel in a more environmentally friendly way. We discuss ways sustainability can be brought into trips, when planning and completing them.

How we are helping to heal our planet

How we are helping to heal our planet

We are proud to announce the launch of two new year-round global sustainability initiatives that aim to benefit local communities and natural environments around New Zealand, with the hope that we can expand the initiative to include other countries around the world.