Harnessing the Power of Quality Assurance in Travel: Mitigating Errors and Maximising Efficiency through Outsourcing
In the fast-paced world of the travel industry, mistakes are almost factored in as a ‘cost of doing business.’ But when it comes to travel, these errors can be enormously costly, impacting the bottom line significantly. A small slip, like booking the wrong date for a ticket, can cascade into a costly error, while an oversight in the meal plan can leave a massive dent in the financials. Fortunately, there’s a solution – a robust quality assurance (QA) process, enhanced by the benefits of outsourcing.
The High Cost of Errors in Travel Booking
Take the scenario where a family of four is planning a long-haul trip during high season. A simple mistake of booking the wrong date could result in the need to purchase new tickets, potentially costing the travel company an additional £3000.
A seemingly innocuous oversight, such as misunderstanding the terms for a meal plan upgrade, can also lead to hefty unplanned expenses. Imagine a travel agent books a holiday, assuming a free upgrade from Bed & Breakfast (BB) to Full Board (FB), but the offer was only valid when booked in conjunction with a specific airline. The cost difference of £50 per person per day for a two-week holiday for a family of four translates to a significant £2800 that the travel company would have to absorb.
Leveraging Quality Assurance for Optimal Efficiency
A comprehensive QA process, particularly when reinforced by an outsourced team, can catch these mistakes within hours of the booking, significantly reducing the chances of incurring heavy costs. With various outsource locations across different time zones, it’s feasible to have a team checking bookings as they’re made, or even overnight.
Take, for example, the situation where a travel company in the UK collaborates with an outsourced team in Manila, which is eight hours ahead. When the UK business day ends at 6 PM, the Manila team can start work at 1 AM UK time, checking all bookings made the previous day. Any errors are flagged promptly, and the client can be contacted before the business day starts. Apologies can be issued, and accurate pricing details provided before any significant loss occurs.
A Multitude of Benefits with an Outsourced QA Team
Outsourcing QA for travel bookings offers numerous advantages beyond timely error detection. It provides an additional layer of verification, ensuring that all elements of the booking align with the clients’ needs and preferences.
One common error is booking accommodation that doesn’t match the clients’ specifications. For instance, two business colleagues might be booked into a single room with a king bed instead of separate rooms. The QC process can easily detect and rectify such errors.
Another potential oversight could be flights with unnecessarily long connections, causing undue discomfort to the traveller. The QA team can spot such anomalies, enabling the travel company to modify the itinerary for a smoother travel experience.
In the case of group bookings, the wrong allocation of passengers to rooms can be a logistical nightmare and costly to correct. QA checks ensure that such logistical errors are caught well in advance, saving the travel company from unexpected costs and potential damage to their reputation.
Reducing the Impact of Human Error
Despite the best efforts, human errors can occur, especially in high-volume booking environments. Misspelling a client’s name on a flight ticket could lead to denial of boarding and the necessity to purchase a new ticket. A vigilant QA team can spot such errors, ensuring they’re rectified before causing inconvenience to the traveller or loss to the travel company.
Moreover, some bookings might require specific documentation or visas. An outsourced QA team could help verify that all necessary documents are in order, mitigating the risk of last-minute travel disruptions.
The Bottom Line
While the challenge of mistakes in the travel industry might seem daunting, the solution lies in implementing an effective quality assurance strategy. Outsourcing this critical function not only ensures a rigorous checking process but also offers a myriad of benefits such as error detection and rectification, cost savings, and enhanced customer satisfaction.
Indeed, the cost of not implementing a robust QA process is far greater than the investment in a dedicated outsourced team. It’s high time travel companies realised the value of quality assurance and leveraged the power of outsourcing to safeguard their reputation, improve customer satisfaction, and boost their bottom line. It’s not just about preventing errors; it’s about creating a culture of excellence and continual improvement, a journey that begins with effective quality assurance.