Agency Owner/Operator

Russell Thompson

Travel Agency Owner-Operator (Decision-maker)

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“It’s not typical. It jumps from thing to thing, marketing, operations, questions, calls. I’m not really in the GDS anymore — I focus on the corporate side of the company. Hectic, long days sometimes. Both office and home, mostly from office.”

Goals

  • Successful, profitable, and growing business
  • Satisfied clients
  • Increasing efficiency through automation and process improvements
  • Staying on the leading edge of the travel industry
  • Making sure they are properly staffed
  • Networking with customers

Pains

  • Competing with OTAs and self-service
  • Shrinking revenue because of declining commissions
  • Fear of mega-agencies buying up smaller agencies
  • Length of sales cycle to get new clients on board
  • Competing with airline sites
  • Employee mix of cryptic warriors and novice millennials
  • Mature agents not wanting to change
  • Poor Travelport support
  • Learning curve with Travelport and putting together custom training

Needs

  • Empowered and efficient team
  • Quick solutions to problems that occur
  • Increase productivity in the company
  • Finding and training good people
  • Adopt new technology
  • More training to use products to their full potential
  • More content to compete with online sources

Inspiration

  • New challenges, learning new technology
  • Looking for ways to improve efficiency
  • Agents see that they have all the tools they need to do a good job
  • Hearing from customers that they have delighted them

Buying Criteria

  • Will it make employees more efficient?
  • Is it user-friendly?
  • Will it slow them down?
  • Need to train staff on new product?

Wish list

  • Learn about enhancements more effectively
  • Upgraded technology (phone system, computer hardware)

Demographic

  • Job Title: Director/Owner
  • Company Size: 70 employees
  • Work Environment: Company office and home office