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Tern is on a mission to modernize travel advisor technology! Tern founders, David Shull and Katie Williams, share how this innovative platform is streamlining advisor workflows, prioritizing user feedback, and redefining the advisor-client relationship.

By actively listening to user feedback, responding to queries, and receiving input on new features, Tern has created a loyal fan base that feels heard, valued, and connected. The genuine interactions and transparency in communication have elevated the user experience, driving enthusiasm and excitement among advisors. As the travel industry continues to evolve, the human touch, coupled with cutting-edge technology, will be the driving force behind success in the industry!

How It All Started

In 2014, Tern’s founding team worked together as part of the earliest team at Handshake. Over eight years, they helped Handshake grow from a living room in Northern Michigan to the second-largest professional network in the US, with a $3.5B valuation.

In 2021, Tern’s CEO, David, missed a ferry schedule change while on a trip to Greece. Instead of enjoying their first Greek Isle, David and his wife spent six hours waiting in a scorching parking lot. During that time, David thought about his in-laws, who always used a travel advisor. He realized that partnering with an advisor might have prevented the mishap. Inspired, David called Brian and Katie to share his idea for Tern.

Unsure if there was a need, they attended ASTA to gather feedback from advisors, agencies, and suppliers. The response was clear: the travel industry was desperate for better technology. David, Katie, and Brian began working on Tern in 2022 and went full-time in 2023. Since then, the team has grown and remains focused on building incredible technology for travel advisors.

Listening Is Key

At Tern, they make it a priority to listen to their audience, ensuring their products meet the needs and concerns of those they serve. From day one, they’ve been in constant conversation with travel advisors, agencies, and suppliers, gathering valuable feedback and insights. This teamwork helps them understand the real challenges faced by industry professionals and create practical, innovative solutions. By tuning into their users’ experiences and adapting their technology to keep up with changing needs, they aim to build products that not only address current problems but also anticipate future ones, making Tern a trusted partner in their success.

Progress Over Perfection

The Tern team is focused on moving forward with a “progress over perfection” mindset, always striving to innovate for the travel industry. They know travel is always changing, so they value quick improvements over waiting for a perfect product. By listening to feedback and making small updates, they make sure their technology keeps up with the needs of travel advisors and industry trends. This approach helps Tern deliver effective solutions on time and creates a culture of constant learning and growth, leading to success for their users.

So, What Is Tern?

Tern is a modern technology platform that helps travel agents work more efficiently. It offers easy-to-use tools and resources to manage bookings, communicate with clients, and access important information. Features include automated email templates, real-time itinerary updates, and a client management system, all designed to save time and keep everything organized. With Tern, travel agents can provide better service, stay on top of their tasks, and grow their businesses more effectively.

Want to learn more about how Tern may be able to help you streamline your business? Listen to Episode 80 of Tique Talks!

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