Tour operators are responsible for managing and organizing various complex tasks, from booking flights and accommodations to coordinating transportation and activities for travelers. This can be challenging and time-consuming, especially for operators managing large groups or multiple tours at once. This is where back-office software can be a valuable tool.
Back-office software helps tour operators streamline and manage their business operations. It can help with everything from financial and inventory control to customer relationship management and communication. Tour operators can improve their efficiency, reduce errors, and provide a better overall customer experience with the right back-office software.
Here are the key tour operator back-office software capabilities that enable it to do that.
This feature of the back-office system allows tour operators to store and manage all the content they offer to partners and clients. Using this functionality, tour operators can manage their inventory availability, such as the number of tickets, rooms, etc., over a period.
Usually, tour operators fill their inventory manually by entering it via the CMS (content management system). Another possibility is that the tour operators receive their inventory via connectivity with third-party APIs. The APIs from various travel suppliers enable the tour operators to see product availability in real-time.
If the travel suppliers don’t have an API, they can even provide their inventory via an extranet. This method involves the supplier accessing the tour operator’s back office to share their inventory.
Modern tour operator back-office software comes with reservation management capabilities to process incoming bookings. Crucially, the incoming booking requests are assigned to the respective managers/ teams by the software for confirmation and further processing.
It is worth mentioning that tour operator software takes care of distributing the inventory to travel agents under the umbrella of the tour operator, corporate customers, or even the end retail travelers.
For corporates, tour operators can employ their back-office systems to offer the option of creating their own unique branded booking portals and managing contracts & employee travel policies/ booking rules.
Meanwhile, for tour operators catering to the b2c segment, the back-office software can be integrated with their own branded and unique customer-facing website.
Basic CRM functionalities are also an unavoidable part of every good back-office software. This is because tour operators need to track all their customer interactions in one place, segment their customers based on various factors, and even automate mundane aspects of sales, such as sending welcome emails, confirmations, reminders, etc.
For a tour operator to function effectively, a lot of people, including suppliers, managers, travel agent partners, corporate client’s employees, and administrators must work together. Tour operator back-office software needs effective user management capabilities so that all these people can work simultaneously and collaborate as needed. This includes separate login credentials for each user, the ability to store user details, permissions for each user based on the requirement, and the ability for managers to supervise the whole operation. User management
Powerful business rules engine
With this functionality, the tour operator can ensure optimal revenue by setting up markups or commissions based on the supplier. Besides, this feature can come in handy while configuring various internal rules for operating.
For instance, the tour operator can set up a rule allowing a travel product, such as a flight ticket, to be booked only a particular number of days before departure. Also, they can prioritize selling their inventory before making travel products contracted from a third party available.
Additionally, tour operators can set up specific payment rules, such as permitted modes of payment, applicable taxes, timelines for clearing the payment, reminder frequency for overdue payments, etc.
What would normally be a massive pile of out-of-control paperwork can be reduced to a few easy-to-read charts with the accounting capabilities of back-office software. Notably, the system allows tour operators to keep close track of the financial activities of all the stakeholders involved, such as suppliers, partners, travel agents, etc.
Within seconds, the tour operator can gain an overview of their businesses’ financial health because the back-office software consolidates information from numerous invoices, booking stats from various channels, and financial reports.
Tour operators can make great business decisions if they have a back-office system that can provide them with live insights into business performance. Using the right software, tour operators can generate reports on all aspects of their operation, including the number of bookings, cart abandonment rate, most booked segments, most profitable corporate customers, suppliers with the best deals, commissions earned via partners, etc.
Customer care capabilities
Comprehensive customer care throughout the client’s lifecycle is usually overlooked, but the right tour operator’s back-office system can make it a painless process. The customer will get a great experience throughout their interactions with you, and you don’t have to pay hefty sums to train a huge customer support team.
Tour operators can use software to provide live chat support, automate notifications to clients, manage incoming customer support tickets, and send out live updates on flights, deals, and other important information.
In conclusion, back-office software is essential for tour operators looking to streamline their business operations and improve their efficiency. With the right back-office software, operators can manage financials, inventory, customer relationships, and more all in one place. This can lead to increased profitability, better customer experiences, and overall success in the competitive travel industry.
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