In the final part of a three part series, tripcentral.ca’s Richard Vanderlubbe writes about agents and the need to pay them properly for the services they provide to both their customers and their suppliers.
Vanderlubbe is nothing if not practical and one of the points that he makes this week is that agents not only need to be paid properly for the services they render to their clients and to their suppliers, they also need to have the right tools to be able to render those services effectively and efficiently.
As an example, he points out the limited ability agents have to modify bookings – a fact that was brought home by the mass cancellations and re-bookings that flooded in as COVID-19 shut things down around the world.
“Ensuring that we can quote not only prices, but specific cancellation amounts per booking, or modify bookings and quote differences in fares confidently without risk of debit memos or making a mistake, is critical in keeping distribution costs in check and efficient,” writes Vanderlubbe.
He writes: “When we must change the back end of a return ticket — where departure has already occurred — it is manual and risky because it does not auto-price. And for tour operators and cruises, we must call, wait on hold, speak to res agents that are often newly hired and make mistakes, misquoted, and even hung up on.”
The point, he says is that: “Handling modifications one at a time is inefficient for all of us. Temporary systems need to be invented in triage mode to get us over this crisis, but investments in technology need to be made to allow us to correct names, modify bookings, re- price, cancel, and request new documents without relying on calling humans on the other end.”
For the full story, check out CANADIAN TRAVEL PRESS.