A good B2B travel software comprises of advanced and robust features that not only allow travel businesses to achieve their business goals but also provide a hassle-free booking experience for the travel agents. With the advancements in technology and the huge demand of travellers, it is difficult to manage humongous bookings and it becomes imperative to have a travel reservation system that can not only handle bookings of this size but also make it easy to scale the business. Security and reliability remain two other important concerns of travel businesses that need to be addressed too. Let’s have a look at the top B2B travel software features to look out for in 2017.
The top B2B travel software features are –
- Simplified three step search and book experience
A good B2B travel software simplifies the search process and has most properties and inventories correctly mapped in the system. Searching, booking and paying takes only a few seconds and up-to-date data of hotels, airlines and their inventories is always available to the travel agencies at their fingertips. Adding agents, sub-agents, adding custom mark-up, selling own inventories and reaching out to a wide audience becomes very easy. Even capturing bookings outside working hours becomes a whole lot easier.
- Complete control over managing agents in the back office
Adding agents (whether credit or cash agents), adding sub-agents, searching agents by ID, code, branch, name, etc and activating/de-activating agents should be a breeze. Travel businesses should also have complete control over assigning rights, assigning suppliers and mark-ups, sending registration and activation emails, reporting access control for agents and other such advanced agent settings.
- Complete control over managing bookings
From searching existing bookings to viewing complete booking details in a row to viewing agent and supplier paid status to modifying bookings to force cancelling and force rejecting bookings. From viewing booking history to status history to force confirming and modifying history. From adding additional services like transfers, groups and tours to viewing agents’ performance, top booking agents and suppliers’ performance, everything that a travel business needs to gauge business’ progress.
- In-depth analytics
In-depth analytics are a must for any travel business to gauge business performance. It is imperative for all travel businesses to know their top selling cities, destinations and hotels, their top performing agents/sub-agents, their search to book ratio, their supplier performance, their management reports, their operations reports, customer statements, commissions, outstanding and paid invoices, and more. A good travel technology solutions provider understands these needs and hones their product to give complete insight into a travel business’s performance allowing them to study and devise strategies to grow their business.
- Managing and mapping destinations
Travel businesses must be given complete control over managing countries, cities, hotels, inventories/rooms and geo tags. These countries and destinations must be properly mapped either automatically or agents should be given manual access to do the same.
- Complete control over back office and system
Managing back office users, profiles and rights should be a breeze. Managing payment gateways, exchange rates, preferred cities, nationalities, currencies and special requests effortless too.
- Content Management System (CMS)
Every travel business requires a CMS to manually update important data in the system, be it regarding products and services, to changing emailer content and logos, to changing descriptions, to changing deals and offers, to changing banners and interface images. A CMS gives flexibility to add custom data reducing the dependency on third party service providers.
- Contracting modules and Stop Sale
A good B2B travel software should provide an interface to add offline inventories into the system giving the company flexibility to have offline contracts for hotels, transfers and tours that can be booked directly by agents and subagents from the system. This would allow the travel company to have more inventory resulting in more sales. Adding Stop Sale to contracting modules will give the agent the flexibility to block sales of a particular inventory like a room, a tour or transfer from a particular destination for a specific period of time. This feature can also be customized to stop sale of hotels, tours and transfers by a particular currency, by different slots and durations, by release periods or by market profile.
- Auto processes and reconciliation
Previously travel agents had to open multiple supplier windows and check the discrepancies caused due to difference in rates, inventories and destinations. This involved opening tens of tabs and checking everything manually. Auto reconciliation reduces the tediousness involved in this process by giving the travel agents an option to view all the discrepancies in one place and find the anomaly for further dispute. This saves a lot of time as well as efforts and removes the possibility of manual errors.
- Standardized API integration
Integrating data from different suppliers would require different APIs for each supplier. A standardized API integration module allows travel agents to integrate all the suppliers they wish in one place. It also ensures stability during technological changes and migrations. Consolidated API integrations also ensure seamless integration with multiple suppliers.
- The power of your entire system at your fingertips
A good B2B travel software should be able to handle extremely complex operations and at the same time offer the power of your entire travel business on your mobile phone so you can manage it from anywhere. Integrating the booking engine into your website and mobile app should be a breeze and the system should be fully compatible with all web and mobile platforms.
Perhaps the most important feature of any good B2B travel software is security. All the payments should be protected by industry standard SSL encryption, all the files uploaded to the system must run through a thorough check for authenticity, one-way hash codes should be prevented to stay safe from password decryptions, two-step verification should be provided for admin access to ensure only the designated ones get access to the system, SQL injections should be prevented and security must be provided at access or branch level.
What do you think about the article? Is there a feature we missed? Would you like to give your inputs? Please leave your comments in the comments section below and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Linkedin.