Why Travel Agencies are Getting Bad Reviews and How Technology Can Help

Omeron Travel
on 25th July, 2019
3 minutes read
Why Travel Agencies are Getting Bad Reviews and How Technology Can Help

Before you do make a purchase, buy a plane ticket, book a tour or do anything else through a third party, you likely read reviews. Why? Because you want to know what everyone else’s experience was. It’s second nature. You want to know if everyone else thought that it was worth their money and if it’s going to be worth yours. After all, it’s why 4 in 5 people trust a stranger’s review as much as they’d trust the opinion of a friend or family member.

Recently, travel agencies have been getting more and more bad reviews, which isn’t good for business for all of the above reasons. Yet, why is that? What aren’t they doing that they used to be doing? How does technology affect these reviews, and how can it potentially mitigate the negative reactions it’s experiencing? Keep reading for all you need to know.

The big WHY

Alright, so there isn’t one singular reason that travel agencies are suddenly getting bad reviews. Instead, there’s a number of reasons brought on by the fact that there are a host of new travel tools (many of which are heavily technology based) that now take the place of what the agency used to do for consumers. Let’s take a look at these issues in-depth.

1. Consumers can do it themselves

One of the greatest challenges of travel agencies (and this isn’t new!) is that they must establish their value with their customers. In order to maintain a customer base, they have to demonstrate that they are truly giving their customers something that they can’t get anywhere else. Unfortunately, that’s just not always the case with the current technology available. For examples, consumers can go online to sites like Skyscanner, Expedia, and Kayak, find deals, and book flights instantly without having to worry that they’re not seeing all the options.

2. Consumers save money without travel agencies

While travel agencies used to provide immense ease in the travel process, technology now takes a lot of the guess work out of the process for consumers looking to get travel booked fast and inexpensively. Yet, travel agencies don’t always have access to the cheapest rates because they also have commissions within their own systems. The rates that they offer must also accommodate their guides and booking agents, which means consumers sometimes forego them in order to save money.

3. Consumers can be impacted by mistakes that didn’t use to matter

When consumers do opt to use travel agencies, they have high expectations for how their money is going to be used. We now live in a world that’s used to instant gratification and consistent entertainment thanks to electronic devices. If humans are involved, there’s bound to be a mistake somewhere. It happens. However, when there are bookings and tickets involved, sometimes mistakes cause frustration and real problems. For example, have you ever had your name misspelled or mistaken on a boarding pass? Airport security doesn’t love that. And that’s enough to get a travel agency a bad review, especially when you paid for someone to make the booking convenient. You want everything to go smoothly, and when it doesn’t, the customer wants to let everyone know about that inconvenience.

4. Consumers don’t always feel engaged with tour guides

Tours are a top way that agencies connect with consumers. While customers can now book their own flights or hotels, getting local experiences is still tough for inexperienced travelers. That said, there’s a big difference between a good tour and a bad tour as well as an effective tour guide and an ineffective tour guide. Customers—even in big groups—want to feel as though they are personally connected with a guide, and if they can’t hear, don’t have a place to sit or can’t see, then they probably aren’t going to give a rave review.

5. Consumers feel pressured by certain parts of the experience

Unfortunately, tour guides, hotel workers, and other people in the hospitality and tourism industry aren’t paid the way they should. A lot of them rely on tips to make ends meet. Yet, when you see bad reviews on travel agency websites, you oCen see “asked for tips” or “was too forward about giving tips” or something of the like. People know this is part of the industry and know it is an expectation, but they don’t like being shaken down. It’s uncomfortable. Thus, when they feel pressured, they tend to leave a review that indicates this discomfort.