Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You h...

Spontaneous people are happier according to Snaptrip survey

Spontaneous people are happier according…

Friday, 21 October 2016 11:00

Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver tickets for half term

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver …

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00

Visitors to Brighton this October half term can save up to 20% on its top three paid-for attractions with combination tickets now available for British Airways i360, SEA LIFE Brighton...

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There still’s time for agents to book a Croisieurope river cruise for their customers with a free cabin upgrade on a range of river cruises throughout Europe, when booked with...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

Skiers urged to head east for best piste costs reveals new report

Skiers urged to head east for best piste…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 08:00

Cash-conscious skiers can avoid the slippery slope of higher prices for their annual downhill trip by heading to ski resorts in Eastern Europe.

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS competition

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS co…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 14:00

Ferry operator, DFDS, is putting out a call to professional and amateur artists to create a poster that will be used in their 150th anniversary celebrations this year.

Savings on worldwide adventures with Explore

Savings on worldwide adventures with Exp…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 11:00

Explore has launched a new collection of worldwide adventures with a launch offer of up to 10% discount on all new trips booked by November 7.

New route to Seattle makes it one to watch for 2017

New route to Seattle makes it one to wat…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 09:12

Seattle is expected to be one of the fastest growing US destinations for UK travellers next year with a Virgin Atlantic direct non-stop daily flight launching March 2017, new hotel...

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with increased connections across Canada

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:04

Air Transat has expanded its programme of flights from the UK to Canada with increased capacity and connections for travel in 2017.

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplement fares

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplemen…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:02

Oceania Cruises has launched a reduced single supplement promotion for solo travellers, with guests offered single supplements fares from 25% on seven itineraries, booked before December 31.

Mall of America welcomes arrival of MythBusters

Mall of America welcomes arrival of Myth…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:00

Running throughout autumn until January 15, 2017, visitors can ignite their curiosity and discover whether they can really huff and puff to blow a house down; if running in the...

Emirates to launch new daily service to Fort Lauderdale

Emirates to launch new daily service to …

Monday, 17 October 2016 11:00

Emirates has announced that it will launch a daily service between Dubai and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, on December 15, serving the South Florida area, including Fort Lauderdale, Miami and...

New tours in UK & Europe from Back-Roads Touring

New tours in UK & Europe from Back-R…

Monday, 17 October 2016 08:42

Small group tour specialist Back-Roads Touring has launched its summer 2017 brochure to reveal a unique line up of new itineraries in Switzerland, Scandinavia, the Baltics, France, Iberia and Russia.

Star studded cruise line up from CMV in 2017

Star studded cruise line up from CMV in …

Friday, 14 October 2016 10:16

Cruise & Maritime Voyages has announced five star-studded cruises for 2017 following the arrival of its new main brochure.

Non-stop flights to Manchester from SIA

Non-stop flights to Manchester from SIA

Friday, 14 October 2016 10:11

Singapore Airlines will fly non-stop between Singapore and Manchester from October 30 as part of its northern winter schedule.

The travel industry has gone through some testing times over the last decade. Major challenges such as the growth of the Internet, global recession and terrorism, have all caused travel agents, OTAs (on-line travel agencies) and operators to re-access the direction and processes within their businesses.

The good news however, is that travel growth over the coming years is predicted to rise by 5.4% per annum over the next ten years, outpacing global GDP (Source: Oxford Economics). However, in order for travel operators to maximise these new opportunities they will need to adopt new technologies that can offer their customers alternative and more flexible way to communicate and conduct business.

These include new multi-media solutions that are replacing traditional phone systems and enable operators to integrate e-commerce, smart phone apps and high speed broadband into a single ‘unified’ communications platform.

The power of one
Unified Communications (UC) is the consolidation of all communications and IT applications such as the telephone, bookings system, voicemail, email, IM (instant messaging), video or conferencing into one.

Therefore, regardless of whether your travel business is based at a single site, multiple sites or scattered across the globe, staff become part of a single network and can therefore log-in at any desk/device with their own unique user ID. So, whether in a contact centre, at home, overseas or on the road, everyone has access to the same communication that they would enjoy in a conventional office.

For the travel operator, where there are multiple channels over which customers and employees communicate, UC based platforms have the potential to enrich the overall customer experience, deliver significant cost-savings and add flexibility the business needs to move and adapt quickly in a dynamic market place.

Adapting to changing customer needs
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits compared with an old-fashioned phone system is that it can be customised to meet exact individual business requirements. With 48% f consumers considering a holiday stating that social media and other multi-media channels would play some part in their decision making and booking process over the next 12 months (Nielsen 2013), it is vital that operators can configure their communications so that they can react to these demands, in a way that is conducive both to them and to their customers.

Some UC offerings such as SwyxWare even allow you to configure your calls so you can ‘pop-up’ web-based information dependent on who is calling. For example you might want to incorporate ‘Where the customer has visited before’, ‘Booking Information’ or other personalised information such as ‘special requirements’ like assistance required at the airport.

In addition, unlike the traditional phone system, UC fully integrates with any relevant back-office systems, you have including familiar applications such as Amadeus, Sage, and popular CRM applications. The result is that all your communications are in sync with everything else that’s going on in your business.

Other key benefits essential to travel operators include:

·   Remote Working: Staff and agents can access the system from anywhere in the world

·   Never miss a booking: UC can help you enhance communication between your international teams and your customers once they are at their holiday destination.

·  Reduce your HR bill: Location is no longer a barrier to finding suitable staff. These types of staff can just as easily work from home, somewhere in between or even in another country!

·   Reduced Telephony costs: Overseas calls using the Internet are free

·   Ensures Business continuity: Communications can be easily re-rooted in case of a major failure

·   Reduced IT cost: no more expensive telephone maintenance contracts

 Who’s using UC in the Travel Industry?

Many travel operators are already using UC, some in very imaginative ways which highlights the flexibility of the technology. For example, luxury on-line travel business Destinology uses its UC system to create, analyse and track 2,000 unique telephone numbers for different marketing campaigns. With integration with their booking system, they can assess the level of conversions and plan future campaigns that will deliver maximum value. 

Meanwhile Wendy Wu Tours, a leading specialist tour operator for the Far East is using UC to directly connect all its agents and managers around the world to its head office using an app on their smart phones. This not only significantly reduces their cost, but perhaps more importantly they can react very quickly to any issue world-wide supporting their promise of excellent customer service.

UC is set to revolutionise the way in which travel operators manage and evolve their businesses. This article provides a glimpse of what is possible. For further reading please download our whitepaper at: http://www.elitetele.com/

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