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Challenges serving travelers as a non-travel company

January 31, 2024
By Andrew Sheivachman
Categories Innovation

Selling travel to your customers is a great way to drive additional revenue, win more deals, increase retention, and provide memorable experiences to end users.

Building travel capabilities into your product, however, can be a complicated, expensive, and resource-heavy process without the right partner to support you.

Here are the biggest challenges technology and finance leaders face when bringing travel to their current customers.

Agent service

Even if you want to bring an online travel agency (OTA)-like experience to your customers, you’re still going to need travel agents to support customers and solve issues when technology fails or travel disruptions hit. Otherwise you’ll be dealing with angry customers when trips go wrong who will associate their negative experience with your brand.

24/7 global agent support requires hiring agents with specific language skills around the world. This causes your labor costs to rise, and you’ll need to devote time to  hire and train agents, who then need to be managed by customer service leaders. Poor customer satisfaction with bad agents can have serious ramifications for your customers’ overall satisfaction with your product.

Your agents also need the technology to service your customers, which comes with significant costs and development needs.

When you choose Spotnana to power your travel product, you get the ability to use our agents instead of staffing, training, and maintaining your own. Spotnana’s powerful automations and self-service capabilities for travelers reduce the need for travelers to contact agents, as well, enhancing user experience and brand reputation.

System of record and mid-office

A major consideration of bringing travel to your product suite is how exactly the technical backbone of your product will connect with your new travel systems.

Bookings, travel policy rules, fare rules, negotiated rates, reporting, and duty of care information are all examples of essential data elements that undergird any travel solution. If your system is built from a patchwork of disparate tools that require agents to perform manual tasks on bookings, you’ll need quality control checks to overcome the mistakes that cause poor service outcomes and incorrect data for your customers.

Spotnana has created an extensible System of Record that eliminates the need for error-prone PNR comments to manage bookings. We eliminate the need for mid-office technology by storing data on profiles, policies, trips, negotiated rates, and more in an extensible data model that supports automated workflows via microservices, eliminating the need for manual quality control processes.

Back-office

The travel back-office is where some of the most important functionality must occur to provide travel services that comply with legal and financial regulations.

Accounting, payment processing, invoicing, and reconciliation with airlines rely on the travel back-office. Most agency tech stacks are cobbled together from multiple vendors, with custom-built solutions to fill the holes. Billing by country, for instance, requires a different model for each point of sale based on tax laws. Developing a custom solution on your own for each use case can result in high technology costs while slowing down the deployment of your travel solution.

Spotnana’s Travel-as-a-Service platform automates all the behind the scenes work for easy integration into your existing stack. We handle the hard work of ensuring all accounting, payment, and invoicing proceeds smoothly with automation while integrating seamlessly with your products.

Product integration

If you do choose to select a partner to power the technology behind your travel sales, it’s expensive and time-consuming to work with a partner that doesn’t offer an open platform that is designed to be embedded in your user experience and deeply integrated with your products.

When you partner with Spotnana, you are choosing a platform built from the ground up to provide seamless API access, embeddable UI components, and white labeling for companies like yours.

We offer comprehensive development resources and customized support during the implementation process through our partnership model. You will also benefit from our high pace of innovation across our platform, with additional and enhanced functionality added each month.

Access to content and PCCs

One of the most time-consuming parts of operating a travel agency is obtaining and maintaining accreditations and licenses that grant access to travel content in specific markets.

To serve customers globally, you need accreditations, supplier agreements, and legal entities in every country you sell in.

It can take years to get even one accreditation, which must be maintained, and then you must negotiate for international accreditation which is usually available only if you have a physical office in a country.

Spotnana provides access to comprehensive global content from the widest range of sources including GDSs, direct connections, NDC, aggregators, and more. We make it simple to provide the best options to your travelers.

Read the guide to selling travel

Want to learn more about how your company can start selling travel quickly with Spotnana? Read the guide to selling travel or get a demo today.