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Not Just Travel unveils package of initiatives at annual conference

In the media: TRAVEL MOLE

Homeworking agency Not Just Travel has produced a one-minute video for each of its consultants to post on their social media platforms. The video was just one of the initiatives launched at the company’s annual conference held on Sunday in Windsor. Homeworkers were encouraged to post the video on their social media platforms, to what’s app to their contacts and to upload on their personal marketing websites.

“We’ve seen video become one of the most powerful means of engaging customers online over the past 12 months,” said Not Just Travel co-founder Steve Witt. “We cannot ignore this trend.”

The company hopes to produce more videos during the coming year – covering different demographics. The first video sees a very stressed male customer surrounded by brochures and quotes and checking numerous online reviews on various devices. A female consultant miraculously appears and the stress disappears. “The aim of the video is to convey to potential holidaymakers why booking with Not Just Travel is the stress-free option, giving them more choice and better value,” said Witt.

NJT also announced at the conference the launch of a professional travel quotation tool, which will allow its 600-plus consultants to more easily create and send their clients customised, itineraries and proposals at the press of a button. Having spent months researching various ready-made options and investing a significant amount into developing its own tool, it has opted to partner with travel technology specialist Travefy to create a quotation tool that integrates with hundreds of suppliers to pre-fill contents for tours and cruises. The tool also allows consultants to add suggestions for local restaurants and attractions.

“Personalised service is one of the key reasons holidaymakers choose to book with us,” said Not Just Travel head of sales and training Dave Pope. “This tool clearly demonstrates that we’re far more than just agents that book flights and accommodation – we build the whole itinerary and, what’s more, it looks fantastic. “But this isn’t just a basic quotation tool. It goes far beyond providing clients with an initial quote – it gives them a complete itinerary until they return home.” Pope stressed that the tool is best used for requests that go beyond ‘fly and flop’ packages. “We still encourage our consultants to quote over the phone if they are dealing with straight forward requests,” he said. “This tool is for those more complicated, bespoke and high-end itineraries for which the consultant needs to research and plan. They can then present this research in a professional, customised and impressive way.”

The decision to partner with Travefy comes on the back of months of research and significant investment. “In the end we concluded that a strategic partnership with Travefy made most sense,” said Pope. “Why reinvent the wheel when it does everything our team needs – and more? We are very impressed with Travefy’s capability and have entered into this long-term agreement because it will save consultants time and will further raise the level of professionalism within our personalised service.”

In addition, NJT has collaborated with key suppliers including G Adventures, Canadian Affair, Wendy Wu, TUI, Inghams and Gold Medal to produce a 56-page travel magazine which consultants can customise and circulate to their clients. Covering sectors such as cruising, touring, ecotourism, multi-centres and luxury travel, the publication gives readers tips and exclusive offers, and also outlines why potential customers should book their holiday with Not Just Travel.

NJT also launched a business management tool, Entitled Vision, at the conference. Following what it described as ‘significant investment’ and having taken over a year to build, the platform is being rolled out to all Not Just Travel homeworkers with immediate effect.

The company said the tool would improve efficiency and put the customer experience at the fingertips of every travel consultant.

“This platform is exclusive to us. It has been built from the ground up specifically with our needs in mind. No other product or solution was right,” said Not Just Travel special projects manager Ed Ramsay. “While it manages the customer experience through its customer relationship management proficiency, it is so much more than that.”

While being rolled out, Ramsay said development will be ongoing: “The system is scalable and cloud based and thus can grow as the company grows and the needs of the consultants develop,” he said. “It’s been built by travel people for travel people. We know it’s attuned to what our consultants really need and will be transformational for their businesses. Vision has been designed to help consultants grow their business and to grow with them.”

The tool automates tasks, follow-ups, communications and reports. It allows the sharing of information between all departments creating complete transparency and allows consultants to track every part of a booking.

“It allows us to craft better customer paperwork and communications,” said Ramsay. “What’s more, by reducing the number of touchpoints and systems means there is less opportunities for mistakes.~By consolidating our systems, we envisage that this will make life easier and faster for our consultants.”

On a corporate level, the system will unveil a better profile of each consultant’s business, allowing training to be more specific and designed with the consultant’s needs in mind.

“The system will show us if a consultant is struggling to convert particular opportunities,” said our head of training. “We can then tailor training accordingly so that it’s more relevant and helpful.”

Being web based, Vision can be accessed via a phone, allowing consultants to work on the move and easily capture data. “We see this platform as revolutionising the business for our consultants,” said Ramsay.

NJT also announced at the conference that it will be taking agents on eight exclusive fam trips next year, following successful trips to Banff, Antigua and Sandals in 2019.

Trips planned for 2020 include Canada in early March, including skiing in Whistler and a ride on the Rocky Mountaineer Train, Costa Rica in May, and Dubai, Sri Lanka, Tuscany, the Dominican Republic and a golf Trip later in the year.

Trips are exclusive to Not Just Travel consultants only, allowing the company to set their own agenda, with the emphasis on experiencing the destination as a holidaymaker, it said.

“They’re different to the usual fam trips that you see in the travel industry,” said Witt. “Our trips give consultants a real sense of what it’s like to holiday in a destination. In fact, they’re a mix of an educational and a real holiday.

“Consultants come back having had a fabulous time and, as such, become real advocates for the destination. And that’s why they can go on and sell them so easily.”

Every consultant who signs up to NJT is given the opportunity to sign up to one of its ‘millionnaire’s retreats’, added Witt.

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