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TECHKICKSTART in association with


Winner: Crown Travel, Liverpool


'THIS COULD TAKE US TO THE NEXT LEVEL'


A technology revamp could “reinvent” Crown Travel’s day-to-day business and customer service, according to owner Charlie Diakou. Diakou (pictured), who bought the


Liverpool agency 11 years ago, said the changes set to be introduced by Vertical Systems could transform how the agency does business and its customer service levels. “As an independent agency, one of the things you are always struggling with is how to make quotes look professional,” he says. “To have this software in place could


make us look as professional as some of the big boys out there and take us up to the next level.” Currently, Crown’s staff take notes by hand and them email or call clients with quotes. The shop has had the same technology in place since the current owners


bought it 11 years ago.


AGENCIES WIN


Liverpool-based travel agencies Destination Anywhere and Crown Travel have won tech makeovers in Travel Weekly and Vertical Systems’ Tech Kickstart competition. The two agencies will enjoy a complete tech


‘MOT’ from Vertical Systems, ranging from the installation of new customer relationship management systems to voice-over-internet phone and Tarsc back-office systems. Crown Travel owner Charlie Diakou says it will be the first time the agency has enjoyed an overhaul of its technology since he acquired the business 11 years ago. “To have this opportunity to move our


business forward is outstanding,” adds Diakou, who says he has sales consultant Danielle Bassett to thank for entering the competition. The technology overhaul will allow both agencies to work “smarter”, according to Vertical Systems managing director Chris North, and improve their businesses’ performance. Neither of the winning agencies currently has a CRM system. North says: “The agencies said they felt like dinosaurs – being left behind and needing to get up-to-date technology. Neither has a CRM system; they are not using data very smartly at the moment. It’s very old school, with quotes on pads and multiple emails.” North says it is often tough for small high


26 travelweekly.co.uk 7 June 2018


street agencies to keep pace with technology developments. He adds: “Smaller agencies are perhaps not taken seriously by the bigger technology firms. We pride ourselves on helping any company, whether it’s one homeworker or a massive consortium.” The CRM system will allow the agencies


to load customer data, send and store client quotes and customise their communications, while the back-office technology will enable agency staff to load bookings, manage their accounts, send customer documentation, store customer data and review sales performance.


VERTICAL'S CRM SYST


Vertical Systems’ CRM system allows agents to identify trends in their clients’ holiday habits and preferences, and create personalised, branded quotes. The system, designed to be a “one-stop shop”, stores customer profiles and booking enquiries in one place.


It includes details of clients’ destination preferences, lead-in times for booking, and


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