The experience of planning and booking a holiday through travel agents is often several orders of magnitude slower than the feeling of searching for holiday destinations online, punching in your credit card, and getting a ‘Booked!’ email in the your inbox.
So, if the agent has access to the Internet, most suppliers have access to the Internet and customers are also online – why is the response from an agent so slow to get? As they say, the devil lies in the details – agents are able to provide customers with better deals and efficient solution because they work with a different set of suppliers than just online portals. Online portals, though instant, often work on high margin sales to make their bottom line and hence turnout to be expensive.
However, when a customer approaches an agent with a potential holiday query, the agent cannot revert to him quickly because there is no portal which can help him design a customized holiday package, mixing and matching different components to create the customized package. Hence, after he consults the customer, designs their itinerary, an agent is tasked with a time consuming and complex task which involves emailing multiple wholesalers and individual suppliers, searching on multiple portals for individual services, and often on multiple portals providing the same service but differing prices. Once a first contact has been made, they are often faced with slow or no response leading to a chain of follow ups and chasers.
This is not only a problem for agents but suppliers as well who often feel overwhelmed servicing millions of phone calls and email queries from agents all over the place – and the task becomes even more wearying considering the fact that only one in ten queries often result into actual bookings. When we visit ground zero of how travel agents and travel service suppliers work to get us a competitive offer, on one hand we tend to realize the hard work they put in, but on the other we also see the futility of all the hard work.
Darwin Tech is born out of the need to solve this very problem – we are attempting to solve the problems for the travel agent and the supplier community – establishing easier ways to provide and obtain quotation for services (without the need for constant follow ups and emails criss crossing), provide easy booking and in the bargain help travellers get faster response, efficient, cheaper service, convenient and comfortable travel experience!
Watch out this space for more on the subject.