Have you ever questioned which toll free telephone system to use? Asked what sales and marketing books that you should read? Or debated if you should buy a Blackberry, Droid or iPhone (or you ask what those are)? This column is for you. Welcome to Travel Research Online’s newest column: TRO Tips.
There are some great tools out there for travel agents that we can use to grow and maintain our businesses. These tools can be technologically based (email marketing systems) or “old school” (marketing books). Some are specific to the travel industry (certain CRM programs), while others are more broadly applicable (computers, cell phones, web browsers). New or old, travel specific or not, some of these options can be overwhelming for agents. And some fly under the radar, with many agents unaware what is out there waiting to be exploited.
We will introduce and review tools that can be used in your day to day travel business: phone systems, accounting / bookkeeping options, useful websites, books, sales and marketing tools, CRM systems, computers, and more. Our goal is to provide a straight forward review and viewpoint about available tools, and how they can be applied specifically to the travel industry. Not all tools will fit our industry, and we will wade through those muddy waters on your behalf without going overboard on the “geek speak.”
So if you have been wondering how you can make inexpensive phone calls back to the United States when you are traveling internationally, or maybe how to create booking forms for your clients to use, or how to build easy to use and maintain websites, stay tuned!
If you have a question about a tool or piece of technology or would like to make a recommendation, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions or suggestions.
(Susan Schaefer is the owner of Ships ‘N’ Trips Travel (www.shipsntripstravel.com) located in Brentwood, Tennessee, and specializes in leisure travel with a focus on group travel and charity fundraisers. Through Kick Butt Vacations (www.kickbuttvacations.com) she focuses on travel for young adults. Susan can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone at (888) 221-1209 if you have suggestions or ideas for columns for TRO Tips.