It’s something we’ve all experienced before: You input the wrong address on your GPS and you suddenly find yourself completely lost in an unfamiliar section of town. It’s easy to get frustrated and blame the GPS for this error, however, the GPS didn’t know you entered the wrong address - rather, it simply directed you to the right location based on the information you provided. This equates to lost time, more money spent on gas, and more wear and tear on your car.
Sounds familiar, right? This same concept holds true when it comes to content mapping for travel agencies. The process of content mapping - which helps travel agencies and suppliers coordinate the availability, inventory, and pricing of various accommodations and services - is much like using your GPS to help you get to where you’re going. Enter the right information and the GPS is likely to guide to your destination quickly and efficiently. On the other hand, enter the wrong information, not enough information, or poorly sourced information and you’re likely to lose your way entirely. A content database that is not consistently mapped can result in travel agencies using wrong or outdated information in their supplier and customer relations.
Because so much of a travel agency’s success in today’s global travel industry depends on accurately and efficiently sourcing products and services and positioning those services to customers, content mapping is a key driver for travel agencies in leveraging the flexibility and agility necessary to remain competitive at each touch point of the value chain. To better understand the importance of content mapping for travel agencies, here are three common problems travel agencies can solve by using content mapping.
Missed additions. Because of the varied nature of today’s travel industry, suppliers are often updating, adding, and amending current products and services based on availability, customer demand, and a host of other factors. In order to take advantage of this often real-time additions, travel agencies need to leverage a consistent platform of content mapping to create the end-to-end visibility necessary to see when new products are added and how they can take advantage of them. In today’s travel industry when speed and transparency are two of the more prized attributes, travel agencies can ill afford to miss out on the potential for new services and products.
Inaccurate bookings. If we think of content databases as a set of directions from Point A to Point B, then content mapping is a safeguard for travel agencies when it comes to combatting inaccurate and wrongly allocated bookings - or, in the case of our example, poor directions. Without a consistent platform of content mapping, travel agencies and suppliers can often cross signals on which bookings have been completed, where, and when, which can cause significant difficulties for travel agencies when it comes to customer relations. Because unmapped databases often contain outdated information, travel agencies can experience greater potential for positioning products and services that might not be available or priced accurately.
Increased search times. We’ve discussed in previous posts the importance of fast search and response times for travel agencies when it comes to their travel booking engines. Content mapping is another way of ensuring quick, accurate, and thorough response times from travel booking engines and other travel ERP platforms. Unmapped content can result in travel agents being bogged-down by ineffective searches or searches that return inaccurate information. This can become a significant pain point for travel agencies as they look to leverage speed and agility to meet the needs of a 24/7 travel industry on a global scale.
As you can see, content mapping is not simply an industry buzzword, but rather a critical driver in helping travel agencies put their customers in the right bookings at the right time. Because content mapping is crucial in helping travel agencies understand the availability of products and services at any given moment, content mapping is a value-added proposition in helping travel agencies work more effectively on the front and back end with customers and suppliers alike.