Maxim Sevastianov, chief executive and founder of trava, says in an increasingly digitised world travel sellers need to maximise workplace efficiency
Guest Post: Is no-code tech development the answer to achieving more with less?
As consumers, we can do most of what we want to do with just a swipe or click on our smartphones: online banking, ordering our favourite takeaway, placing a bet, gaming, shopping. So why should it be any different when we travel?
We would all love to manage our travel bookings quickly and easily on our favourite digital device.
Whether it’s changing tickets, adapting itineraries or sorting refunds, we want a smooth, intuitive, self-service experience.
It’s easy to say but not so easy to do. For flight and travel resellers aspiring to deliver that experience, there are some serious obstacles standing in the way.
Today’s complex, manual post-booking processes are draining resources, limiting scalability and putting the brakes on enhancing customer service.
According to Sabre, the average agent spends approximately 70% of their time on repetitive manual tasks, reducing the time available for productive, higher value activity while increasing the labour costs that cut profit margins.
The travel industry has already seen tremendous leaps forward in the use of technology.
Increasingly sophisticated AI chatbots and virtual assistants can provide on-demand customer service while big data analytics tools can monitor business performance, demographics, trends and behavioural preferences to personalise travel offerings and boost conversion rates.
We’re on the road to increased digitalisation but there’s a long way to go. Increased automation is key to maximising workplace efficiency and meeting changing customer needs. Put simply, travel sellers need to achieve more with less.
But how? Automation typically means large investment in bespoke IT and software development.
In a recent report, McKinsey noted “these investments have not led to meaningful performance improvements. Launching a new product or feature can still take months.”
That is fundamentally because IT development has depended on bespoke, large-scale coding by software developers.
But what if development could be done with ‘no-code’? What if software functions and features could be implemented by business and travel experts directly without the need for specialist IT expertise?
That ‘no-code’ development future is already possible. In essence, complex development of software functions and features is undertaken by development experts prior to purchase by travel players.
Their task simply is to configure ready-made, ‘plug and play’ modules based on specific business needs and process preferences.
It’s a way of taking full control and building workflows and processes with just a ‘drag and drop’ rather than coding everything from scratch.
‘No-code’ development has other advantages:
- Faster time to market
Eradicating the need to build systems, features, and functionality from the ground up and enabling changes to be made by anyone, at any time, can significantly increase the rate at which services get to market. According to McKinsey, no-code development can accelerate speed to market by 90%.
- Greater flexibility & ability to scale
With no-code solutions, it’s possible to make software changes in seconds. When business and operational needs evolve, software adaptation is a matter of adding, removing, or rearranging modules in a drag-and-drop interface. It doesn’t mean the start of a brand-new project for a software development team.
- Cost savings
Adding or re-working software features is no longer an expensive, time-consuming task. Both efficiency and accuracy are increased, as requests are no longer passed from business to IT developers with the risk of mixed messages and crossed wires along the way.
- Improved customer satisfaction
No-code development can power new and improved communication & self-service functionality for customers, putting them in true control of their travel journey. With access to the right booking management features at the right time, travellers get instantaneous outcomes rather than waiting for service requests to be actioned by busy travel agencies.
No-code development, I believe, is a real opportunity for travel players to speed up their digital transformation and take customer experience to a whole new level.