Amadeus, a leading travel technology partner and transaction processor for the global travel and tourism industry, today announced the results of an online survey looking at business outlook and how technology can help travel agents improve customer service.
The survey, which asked respondents ‘as the economic climate continues to cause challenges for the travel sector, what is your outlook for bookings over the next three months?’ found 58% of leisure travel agents and 67% of business travel agents expect booking volumes to pick up by up to 20% over the next few months compared to the same period in 2009.
The study also revealed how agents spend their working day, highlighting areas where technology is helping streamline processes. For example, 80% of business travel agents spend a majority of their day modifying existing bookings and negotiating and processing sales. And nearly 90% of leisure agents are spending either ‘some time’ or ‘too much time’ researching new bookings.
With more competition against online and supplier-direct sales, the survey revealed that travel agents are increasingly turning to technology which streamlines working processes and creates efficiencies to ensure they remain attentive to their customers. Some 54% of leisure agents and 82% of business travel agents believe that increased automation could speed up information searches, back office and administrative tasks by as much as 25%.
“One key competitive advantage for traditional travel agencies is being able to offer the personal touch when they interact with customers,” said Volker Lorenz, General Manager of Amadeus Ireland. “The research demonstrates more travel agents see that technology enables them to deliver the superior customer service that builds loyalty. As a result, we are seeing what we describe as a growing “agents for change” community in Ireland: travel agents who embrace technology as never before to enable greater customer focus through increased automation.”
Volker Lorenz continued, “Amadeus All Fares enables travel agents to quickly and easily find the best offers available on a single screen. This means that they no longer have to waste time trawling the internet searching for the best deals. Additionally, Amadeus Ticket Changer automates the laborious manual task of reissuing ticketed bookings, which saves customers the frustration of queuing at the airport ticket desk. And our Unused E-Ticket Tracking Report greatly reduces admin and enhances customer satisfaction by helping travel agents quickly locate unused e-tickets for refund.
Summing up, Volker Lorenz concluded, “Amadeus technology is designed to meet the needs of for travel agencies and enables them to improve efficiency. Overall this allows them to differentiate their service and to retain and ultimately, increase bookings – which is especially important as travel agents capitalise on increased demand in the coming months.”