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
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.
CRM’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
Getting 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.
- Check out our eBook on how to find and make the most of your CRM
- The importance of investing time in customer loyalty
- Top 4 customer service tips for tour operators
- TourWriter Knowledge Base – Contacts management
- Does your tour operator company have a digital strategy?