For many customers, the look, feel, and vibe of a company’s branding can be just as influential in whether they work with said company as the products and services themselves. As such, it’s important for these companies - especially companies within the travel industry, many of which use brand management and image as a chief selling point - to ensure their brand is uniform and cohesive across a number of different platforms, including offers, vouchers, receipts, and other forms of documentation.
But the problem for many travel agencies and travel management companies is that many booking engines and other ERP systems lack the capacity for those within the company to manage their document templates. These templates often times have to be adjusted, modified, or managed by external developers, which is costly, time-consuming, and inefficient, especially when it comes to creating specifically tailored documents for a number of different applications.
Whether a travel agency is creating documentation for a supplier, partner, or customer, each template must be at once uniform with a travel agency’s overall branding and image, yet differentiated enough to meet the demands of the receiver. A document template manager - which is often a part of the overall functionality of more powerful booking engines - provides travel agencies with the flexibility, ease, and convenience to create and modify documents to their needs with little investment in time and resources.
To help further illustrate the need for a document template manager, here are three scenarios in which travel agencies can leverage a template manager to enhance their efficiency, productivity, and customer relations management.
Example #1 (The Theory of Multiples): Travel Agency A has generated an offer to help drive bookings to a destination of great interest based on previous demand and future forecasting. The travel agency must then create a series of vouchers for customers to redeem this offer. The problem? What if these vouchers need to be designed with slight variations in products, services, and pricing based on supplier availability and target audience. Without a document template manager, Travel Agency A would have to coordinate with a developer or external partner to create several different vouchers. However, with a document template manager, agents can easily modify vouchers within the booking engine. This not only streamlines the document management process, but it empowers agents to become more creative and collaborative with the look and feel of these vouchers.
Example #2 (Customer-Facing Documents): Today’s travel agencies engage in both front and back-office tasks in order to provide customers the best products and services to drive bookings and retain customers. But balancing both the front and back-office can be tricky when it comes to the documents necessary to facilitate business. For example, the documents needed for supplier invoices are quite different than those designed for customers to redeem hotel offers even though both must retain the travel agency’s branding and image.
A document template manager allows travel agencies to create, edit, and manage documents for the back-office, but also for customer-facing operations without having to work with an external partner or create two very different sets of projects. Agents can - with little training - work within a booking engine to quickly generate vouchers, coupons, and other documents to help travelers secure deals and complete bookings with little or no negative impact on an agent’s overall efficiency and productivity.
Example #3 (Different Invoices for Different Reasons): Suppliers. Resellers. Other partners within a travel agency’s value chain. Travel agencies are constantly invoicing different players within the travel industry each one with different needs and demands for how invoices are submitted, formatted, and processed. Agencies that use a document template manager can create, edit, store, and replicate invoices catered specifically to the end user. This not only makes it easy for travel agencies to organize and structure their invoicing strategies, but it also provides agents with the flexibility and responsiveness to create invoices for new partners with little lead time and cost. This level of agility is critical to driving long-term business relationships in which a travel agency is viewed as a nimble partner in a global, competitive industry.
It may not be at the forefront of many travel agencies, but as you can see a document template manager is actually a key driver in helping agencies become more lean, transparent, and flexible when it comes to creating documents for internal and external distribution. Without resorting to developers or external partners, travel agencies will reduce costs, increase efficiency, and realize a competitive advantage in managing their documents in-house within a powerful booking engine.