This is one of, if not, THE highest volume years that travel has ever seen. With that being said, there is more room for error, less time for details, and more on the line than ever before.
Automation can help streamline your client experience, as well as enhance your business. If you’ve listened before, you know that “systems” are my thing. I love finding ways to work smarter, not harder- so this topic is particularly exciting
If you feel like you cringe every time you see a text or hear your phone ring, you may want to use Google Voice to help you create the appearance of a business number.
- Read voicemail transcripts in your inbox and search them like emails
- Personalize voicemail greetings
- Make international calls at low rates
- Get protection from spam calls and messages
- Block unwanted callers
Having an automatic responder (i.e. “out of office” setting) set at all times can help you manage incoming requests. You can communicate the expected turnaround time, direct clients to your inquiry form, provide your scheduler link, as well as provide a list of FAQ’s for contacts to refer to on their own.
ClickUp Financial Dashboard & Quickbooks
We recently implemented ClickUp financial dashboards that give us a bird’s eye view of our finances at a glance.
Every time someone makes a purchase or payment, we receive a notification from Zapier that sends that information into our Revenue Tracking List in ClickUp. From there, an internal financial dashboard reflects:
- Total income for the year
- Total income for the current month
- The percentage breakdown of where our income is coming from (services vs. membership vs. courses)
- A bar chart that is a visual representation of our earnings per month
This means that a LOT of information is compiled AUTOMATICALLY, which allows us to make data-driven decisions on the business. This would be a great tool for all travel business owners to see, since much of the business revolves around clients and little time is left to analyze the finances of the role.
If you are not using ClickUp, we recommend syncing your QuickBooks account to your transactions and uploading your receipts. Quickbooks is what most bookkeepers use and there are more capabilities than merely producing a P&L statement. Quickbooks offers an app that allows you to categorize purchases in real-time so that you are not reconciling everything at the end of the month OR year and disrupting your entire business to search for charges. They offer receipt capture, expense tracking, mileage tracking, and bill management; they can even help with forecasting.
Client Experience Automations
Whether you use Gmail, TravelJoy, or another CRM automating emails and tasks can save you TONS of time on your day-to-day.
If you have canned emails and forms that are fully typed out and ready to send at any time, go ahead and automate those to go out on a specific day and time, versus waiting and manually sending those. Automating them will give you more time to focus on other tasks (or yourself) and you are multi-tasking without having to actually do two tasks at once. For this, we love combining our Elevated Experience Workflow with a TravelJoy subscription.
OOO (out of office) emails are so important because you never want your clients to be “left on read” so to speak. Oversharing is always better than leaving out the fact that you leave for Italy tomorrow for 3 weeks and you won’t have access to the internet the entire time. Clients on the cusp of booking may drop you and clients in travel may panic…you know the drill! If you’re looking for a great OOO message, our EEW program also assists with this.
This one is no surprise to anyone- we absolutely love boundaries and Calendly helps automate a process while instilling boundaries.
A few key functionalities that Calendly offers are:
- Capturing additional custom qualifying questions per event type
- Providing a link for the call automatically (syncing to Google or Zoom)
- Creating a workflow – including reminders, texts, thank you follow-ups, and the option to schedule a series of meetings
Since time is our most valuable asset, it’s important that our clients show up to our calls. Employing the workflows minimizes no-shows and late attendees.
Google Sorting & Email Rules
Organization is key when it comes to running your own business. By keeping a clean inbox, you are keeping your “house clean” (so to speak). We love using “rules” that automatically filter emails and create folders for you to access. This ensures that your important information shows up in your inbox, but nothing more.
Social Media Scheduling
The idea of scheduling social media can feel very weird/different at first, since many people believe in posting as things pop up. But from a business perspective that is just not realistic. Creating finite content pillars and a social media cadence can be effective steps to take when you want to batch content and schedule your social media in advance. We recommend doing this on a monthly basis, which may seem daunting- but hear us out. Carve out the time of day that you know you are the most creative, make sure that you’re in a setting that allows you to focus, and work through the month. That means you only need to do this twelve times a year (which is a lot less daunting then dreading working on it daily)! Our social media scheduler top pick is Planoly!
For someone who manages people- particularly from personal platforms, using LastPass cuts down on the time suck of getting new passwords and getting locked out.
Automation isn’t always about the client experience- sometimes it’s about reducing barriers. Lastpass reduces the need to reset passwords and share these to anyone working within your systems.
Tango is a browser extension that creates watches your screen while you are doing a task and will take that screen recording and turn it into a how-to guide in seconds! This software records each click and can help you create SOPs (standard operating procedures) in a pinch…without having to take a CEO day to do it!
What’s your favorite system for automating your tasks? Share in the comments below!
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