Three Key Criteria for Smaller Travel Agency IVR and VMS
March 18, 2011
By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor
Big travel portals, big travel companies, they have call centers which operate 24 hours a day, taking care of everything from handling inquiries to ticket booking to hotel reservations. Small and medium travel agent operations might have a good web presence, but they simply can’t afford to have a call center operating 24 hours a day.
So, what to do? With a simple Interactive Voice Response system, along with voice mail system, (VMS), “travel agents can easily operate 24 hours a day and increase their revenue.”
That’s according to industry journal VRS World, which notes that if travel agents use IVR, “they can respond to every call, and with VMS, they can record voice messages from callers.”
There are many people -- and certainly this reporter and his wife do not fall in this category, don’t listen to anybody who claims otherwise, they’re lying -- who “finalize their programs at the last moment and require to book hotels at the last moment too. These kind of business travelers try to book hotels via the Internet, and by calling office numbers listed on the web site of a travel agents, even during non-office hours.”
Being able to handle such calls, VRS World says, not only helps increase customers satisfaction, but increases the good ol’ bottom line profit. Travel agents, the journal says, need three features no matter what product they end up using:
Database look up and playback. The travel agent IVR should be capable of looking up hotel reservation databases and provide reservations to callers. This will reduce burden of manpower involved during office hours and would be useful for callers during non-office hours.
On-demand call bridging facility. The IVR should be capable of making an outbound call and bridging calls together. With database lookup capability, the IVR would be able to detect a regular client and treat the call accordingly. Try a demo of Interact's automated IVR for travel here.
David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.
Voice mail and Email/SMS alerts. A Voice Mail System is a must for an IVR for travel agents, so the caller can leave a voice message.
Edited by Juliana Kenny