What is the Role of a Travel Agency Franchise Owner?
Franchisees serve their travel agents to grow their team and maximize revenue opportunities
Businesses thrive by keeping their customers top of mind. For Expedia® CruiseShipCenters®, our customers are our franchisees. Everything we do at the corporate office is designed to assist you as you work to grow your business. Our success is reliant upon your success, so we work hard to give you the tools and support you need to thrive.
For Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchisees, the customers are their travel agents. Franchisees work hard to recruit franchise travel agents, help them learn the tools available for creating custom travel packages, help them master listening and consultative sales, market their location to attract new customers for their agents to serve, and create an engaging office culture that encourages sharing and teamwork among independent travel agents.
When you join Expedia CruiseShipCenters as a franchisee, one of the first training materials we give you is The E-Myth, which outlines how entrepreneurs can become trapped if they insist on doing all the work themselves rather than embracing systems and hiring employees. That book tells the story of a cupcake baker. Her friends compliment her pies, and she decides to open a pie baking business. She’s a great pie maker, but struggles to create systems and winds up working crazy hours. The book suggests that in order to grow and keep your sanity, you need to create (or embrace) systems and become a manager and a leader. When you become an Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchisee, you will learn how to sell travel, but that’s not your ultimate role in the business. Your role is to coach, manage, motivate, lead and build your business.
Here are the four areas where franchisees should focus in order to build a strong team and successful business:
Recruitment & onboarding
One of the great things about owning a business is that you get to build your dream team. As you recruit independent travel consultants to sell Expedia CruiseShipCenters vacations, you will be putting together a team of warm and energetic people who love to have fun and thrive on helping others have a good time. Our Navigators are fun, lively people who are a joy to be around. The great news is that attracting them to your business is fairly simple. As you market your business with help from headquarters, and as you give travel seminars and meet with community groups, you’ll meet a lot of people who love travel and would like to sell it. We have a strong training system to help people with little or no travel industry experience learn how to sell custom vacation packages. By inviting passionate people to join your team and providing them the training and coaching they need to become successful, you can exponentially grow the sales potential of your business.
Planning and performance
Expedia CruiseShipCenters uses powerful custom software that makes it easy to find a cruise, book and cruise, and invoice. The software also makes it easy to market to your customers and encourage repeat business, which is hugely important. Cruise customers overwhelmingly love their vacation experiences, and most of them are ready to book again within 18-24 months. By staying top of mind, you can ensure repeat business and lifelong customer relationships. Our software also helps you track your key performance indicators, which helps you track your goals, measure ROI, and make adjustments to your business.
Marketing and promotions
Expedia CruiseShipCenters does a lot of work designed to drive enthusiastic cruisers to your door. Expedia® is the biggest brand in the travel industry, and the Expedia name gives our franchisees instant credibility among customers, and helps us win an initial conversation. We send out direct mail pieces to likely customers, advertising your grand opening and promotions, and helping them understand that you are available in their community for travel consultation. As a franchisee, it’s your role to educate your travel consultants about promotions, and to host events at your center — including some afterhours and weekend events — so customers can come in and learn about exciting travel options.
Leadership and recognition
As you build your team by recruiting people who have a great attitude, you’ll want to keep your travel consultants happy and motivated, and one of the best ways to do that is by recognizing their success. Recognition should be about more than generating sales. After all, a salesperson needs to build a range of skills and knowledge before they become a top-tier travel consultant, and there are plenty of milestones along the way that are worth celebrating. When people complete training goals, you should recognize them. When they ask the right questions and have a great conversation, you should recognize them. When people do a good job of meeting potential customers at a prospecting event, they should be recognized. When they do an excellent job servicing a customer, they should be held up as an exemplar of what we stand for. As you help people develop the right behaviors, you will help them become more successful — and you will benefit from their success.