7 Organizational Tips to Help New Travel Agents
The business of starting your own travel agency can be a very demanding one. Each day, you’re either trying to find clients or serving them. Sometimes you may need to talk to many suppliers at once. You might also have to compare prices and organize for the special details clients are most concerned about. Being a new agent can be difficult Travel Agents because you have to manage your time and keep track of all the data.
This is not a new way of doing things. We have put together some best practices for agents in travel to help them quickly learn organization and time management. This will allow them to rock their schedules instead of always looking for their notes.
1) Download some helpful apps
Start with your tech. We don’t want to promote an all-in one travel agent app. You don’t need to use a lot of apps to organize your time or your files. There are many great consumer apps that can help you do just that. Because they are commercially competitive, these apps have been tested and proven to work. As everyone has their own schedules and preferences, we did not include a personal planner. The following information is invaluable for any travel agent.
Evernote allows you to easily organize files, article links and scans. Evernote is often praised by travel agents as a great way to keep track and find things that you’ve done before.
Scanbot is your mobile scanner/fax machine. You can scan anything in high quality and then save it as a PDF, JPEG or PDF to add to your Evernote collection. For venues still in existence in the 1980s and making money, it can also fax.
Dropbox is a formal version of Evernote. It can also be used to back up files locally on your computer. Dropbox can be your data safety net.
Toggl is a small app that organizes and labels your time. This is a simple stop-watch time manager that helps you identify, tag, and organize the time you spend. Toggl helps you track time and assign tasks quickly. You can then import everything into your planner later.
Grammarly is crucial for professional communication. This goes beyond phone typos. It also applies to sentence structure and other aspects.
2) Schedule and Track Your Time
We are going to start with downloading apps. But that’s not the only tip we have. Keep control of your time. You don’t need to just track your time. Plan it. You should plan how you will spend your day, whether it is in the morning or at night before bed. Planning your time includes identifying which businesses are open for calls and emails at certain hours. It all depends on the time zone and business’ open hours.
If there is an emergency and the client requires a few more hours of work, that’s fine. You should stick to a plan. This will stop time running amok. To ensure you are not wasting time, set timers and goals. Switch tasks as necessary to make sure nothing is missed. If something takes longer than expected, you can add that time to your day and push everything back.
3) Keep Client Notes Detailled
Keep track of every client with some CRM software. More than just their names and travel plans, you need to know about them. It is important to find out their preference for a plane seat, their favorite colors, the size of their family, and whether they prefer fast internet or room service in hotels.
You can have these client notes available instantly, with a quick reference system to help you find anything you might need. Next, link each client account to the files you have on their trips.
4) Organize Each Trip
Not only will you need to record your trips, but also keep detailed notes. Evernote can help with this. An itinerary must be complete. You also need to have links to any relevant information or resources.
Know the phone numbers of every service and venue you use to book. Bookmarks are a good idea. Also, a screen capture or link to your receipt is advisable. It is important to keep everything relevant to trip planning in order that you can quickly access the most pertinent information. You may also need it in an emergency.
5) Keep alert on Active Trips
Your phone should always be with you when a client is on the road. A great travel agent must be able to assist clients at any time. It’s okay to lose sleep, but you should be ready to get up if needed.
You can stay organized in this alert state by keeping your trip monitoring open on either your phone or your computer for each client who is away from home. Keep track of their schedule and be able to refer to it at any moment. You will be able to call them and tell them “I just got here, there’s no chauffeur”, but you also need to know the exact location of “here” and which driver they were expecting.
6) Cultivate Your Best Suppliers
Know your suppliers. Develop supplier relationships with airlines and hotels, restaurants, car rental agencies, chauffeur services, and other businesses. You can then track how many deals you are able to get and how your clients are treated. Take detailed notes of every supplier you’ve worked with. Then, prioritize suppliers who offer better deals and provide more satisfactory or higher-quality services.
Customers who rave about a hotel line repeatedly should be prioritized. Look for a different airline if you are disappointed by an airline.
7) Monitor the finances closely
Last, but certainly not least: track your finances with extreme precision. Scan every receipt and file them. You will need to create separate spreadsheets and folders for each expense, refund, and commission. It is a good idea to get in touch with an accountant to ensure that your books are in order. This is the best way for you to get your full commissions each time and offer the highest value to your clients.