In comparative tests, Sabre has found that using its new group booking technology, Group Wizard, can save a specialist up to five hours across the whole management cycle.

 

Group bookings can be lucrative but provide a big challenge for agency specialists looking to turn them into a key revenue driver.

The hurdles for consultants handling groups are outlined in our blog. The problems include the complexity of managing multiple details; the time it takes to input data manually; the need to know the different group bookings policies enforced by different airlines and the demand for quality assurance by an agent that all the requirements needed for a party booking have been met.

Group bookings stretch a business’s resources – both human and IT. Reservations can be made for single bookings in minutes via a GDS subscriber system. However, a group booking can stretch over months and even up to 1.5 years depending on the nature of the event, for instance packaging up a booking for a party heading to major sporting tournament like the Olympics requires preparing a long way ahead.

With multiple components to handle and several steps to successful completion, a group reservation can appear overwhelming to a consultant and puts them under pressure. The business needs its consultants to allot the appropriate amount of time to the reservation to satisfy the customer but not so much of their time that overall productivity drops and the cost of servicing each group booking rises.

Different types of groups will also have different requirements. Agents will need to develop a process for each of these specialized group bookings and making the first such booking can involve extra effort – but then the company will have learnings and a set of ‘rules’ or processes it can follow.

To truly optimize group booking processes they need to be automated so that they are reliable and repeatable. The right technology can save your consultants valuable time that can be switched to delivering a great, personalized customer experience – and the customer experience is ultimately where the battle for loyalty and repeat business is being won. Successful businesses will digitise and automate as many processes as possible and look to incorporate these processes within one integrated system for smoother running of operations.

To help reduce the high manual, time-consuming workload associated with group bookings Sabre has developed and end-to-end solution for agents called Group Wizard that offers multiple capabilities to enable specialists to streamline processes and reduce previous manual methods.

This minimizes risks of mistakes, delivering higher levels of efficiency and more productivity. Just to give examples: names, passenger requirements and all the data requested by airlines, such as passport details, frequent flyer details, meal choices, known traveler number with associated email and phone data and Advanced Passenger Information (API) can all be added automatically from an Excel file.

Divide process is done automatically and the system provides the capability to view and display all PNRs, while ticketing is rendered simple thanks to an easy-to-view dashboard that allows group tickets to be issued with one click.

The solution means the consultant will have complete assurance that the whole group will be seated, ticketed and in possession of all documents needed for their trip at the end of the process.

Takeaways

  • Group bookings can be complex and time-consuming for consultants.
  • Party organizers want a seamless, pain-free travel experience.
  • The solution lies in creating and automating reliable and repeatable processes teamed with a management tool that can handle the unique requirements of a group.
  • Consultants provided with time-saving tools will enjoy their work and be more productive.
  • Satisfied customers will return, rebook and recommend your services.

The right technology can help grow your revenue and enable group bookings to become an even more profitable part of your business.