How travel agencies add value with smart analytics

Travel management companies and online travel agencies provide proactive services for travelers by monitoring for disrupted trips

The list of factors putting pressure on airlines and travel service providers, like online travel agencies (OTAs) and travel management companies (TMCs), continues to grow. Just this year, we’ve seen a shift in airline pricing and airline contracts, because of political and economic fluctuations. At this year’s GBTA conference, the corporate travel industry discussed the trade-offs of technology and security and how to enable a better shopping experience.

And who might be at the forefront of all this change? The traveling consumer. Not just a passenger or an employee, frequent travelers are applying the same shopping habits to travel as they might in purchasing other items online. A consumer habits study from GE Capital Retail Bank found 81% of retail shoppers conduct online research before buying. If shoppers are savvy, then the leading companies earning the share of wallet must build a smart, solid offering to match. If this feels overwhelming, not to worry. You’re not alone. In talking with our customers across the travel ecosystem, we see they share in the same challenges of understanding the customer and how to make the shift to focusing on building a profile around the consumer, rather than the passenger.

So how does the industry continue to build strong relationships with their customers AND manage the pressures of fluctuating operating expenses? Scaling key services through data integration and automation is a proven means for enterprise-level operations to save time and maintain quality service. Investing in data that scales and automatically updates your entire business requires a measurable ROI. Incorporating data into customer experiences can create a more personalized experience for the savvy consumer. In travel, that could start by integrating real-time trip-related analytics into your travel agent workflow or delivering relevant updates to your travelers directly.

We’ve summarized a few of the best examples here, or you can download our whitepaper:  How Airlines Cultivate Loyalty and Grow Revenue with Data

Avoid over-communicating to your travelers with intelligent contextual alerting

Provide the right information at the right time based on the full context of a traveler’s trip. How might you over-alert? Airlines can update their flights half a dozen times prior to travelers ever starting to pack their bags. The question becomes which of those changes are relevant to the traveler?

Differentiate your offering: With Cirium Proactive Services Alerts for travelers, our data science takes into account the types of changes, and which are more valuable to the traveler experience, verses what might be relevant to operations teams at airports or travel agents.

Be there whenever they need you

Look after your travelers across all stages of their journey, regardless of whether parts of their trip are with codeshare or interline bookings, connections, misconnections, diversions, cancellations or delays.

Put your brand where it belongs, at their fingertips with a customized look and one seamless experience across all airlines.

Get creative: Three ways to consider developing more relevant interactions

Create new revenue streams with ancillary offerings

Managing the impact of disruption on travelers means sending timely notifications of critical changes to their trip. This also allows you the opportunity to present additional services such as lounge passes or connection insurance to help minimize the impact of the disruption on the traveler.

Customer success: Gant Travel has monetized their proactive trip management services.

Keep all stakeholders informed

Send tailored messages to your travelers as well as informing them via the platform of their choosing, whether it’s email or SMS or your mobile app. You can also update other affected stakeholders such as airline employees, travel managers, or even friends and family who need to know the status of a traveler’s trip.

Opportunity: Build a traveler journey that leverages insights you have, and captures new data to enrich analytics

Notify travelers automatically when itinerary changes occur

Leverage an out-of-the-box solution for tracking and notifying travelers when flight re-accommodations have been made to their trips. When 85% of consumers say personalization has affected their travel purchase decisions, showing travelers you know who they are and what is happening to them is can have a big impact on your long-term business with them.

The landscape in corporate travel management may be changing, but one thing remains — the road warriors need savvy travel professionals looking out for them, navigating unforeseen changes and planning ahead. Which is why so many agencies differentiate their quality service by giving their teams real-time analytics to know what impact their travelers, and their clients, are experiencing.

Why trust our data?

Matching your traveler’s itineraries to key pieces of travel data from our portfolio allows you to provide the most accurate, timely, and complete information relevant to your traveler’s trip. Cirium is the most trusted source of aviation data around the world by airlines, airports, government entities and maintenance/repair operations companies.

Ready to get started?

If you want to learn more about how we ensure the accuracy and quality of our data, get to know us here.

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