Do you ever find yourself writing the same emails over and over again, or spending ages searching through files and folders on your laptop for documents that you use all the time? Or do you worry that you’re gonna struggle to provide quality customer service as your booking numbers continue to increase?
It’s super, super essential to think about how you can optimize your processes, whether you’re at the early stage, or a growth stage of your business. And today’s guest will help you with all of this. Korrine Johnson, Founder of the Travel Biz Boss is an experienced travel agent who specializes in helping entrepreneurs organize and automate their travel businesses. She does a brilliant job of talking through the exact steps she’s taken in her business to work smarter, not harder. In addition to talking us through those processes, she also shares the tools that she uses in her business.
This is a wonderful episode for if you want to continue growing your business, but you worry that you either can’t handle the increased demand and/or can’t afford to hire additional help. Or you’re concerned that if you do continue to take on that demand, you’re going to jeopardize the quality of the customer experience.
This is also a great episode if you’re just starting out because as Korrine says, the best time to implement these systems is in the beginning when you do actually have a bit of extra time. Then once your business does start to grow, you can actually handle that growth.
When it comes to business, I’m generally a very organized person. But recently I’ve fallen off the bandwagon a bit. But after speaking to Korrine, I literally spent about three hours reorganizing all of my folders, creating new email templates, and setting up new automations and it felt so good afterward. I’ve saved time by automating repeated tasks while getting so much more done. And when I’m not working, I can fully relax without the distraction of unfinished projects bouncing around in my head. That’s the beauty of optimization and automation and there really is no better person to talk on that subject than Korrine Johnson!
Getting started and creating systems for travel agents
Korrine used to be an optician, and in 2007 she started working for a travel agency after answering a Craigslist ad. In 2011 she and one of the other advisors decided to leave the agency and start their own one. Korrine still works full-time in the agency, but she has also started another business called Travel Biz Boss.
Korrine didn’t start her business with all of her systems in place. The first thing she created were email templates because she noticed that she kept writing the same emails over and over again. There are certain emails that she keeps sending because they are part of her client journey, so she started saving them in her email drafts.
She also describes herself as a tech geek, because she’s always been interested in trying every new piece of technology. Over time Korrine has refined things and now she has a system that she’s happy with. She believes that our work should support our life, and having these streamlined systems allows her to get a lot of work done in less time while being able to live a full and happy life.
The importance of systems for travel agents
Often when people first start out as travel agents, they tend to think they don’t need systems because they’re not very busy. Korrine thinks this isn’t the right approach, because “if you wanna build your income, you need more time to focus on sales and marketing and all that stuff. So you still need these systems in order to have enough time.”
When you’re new to the business and not too busy yet, you have a great opportunity to set yourself up for success later on. Your systems will evolve over time as you learn more, but having your systems properly set up will allow you to give your clients an amazing experience, so they want to come back to you. This should be a big component of your marketing strategy because repeat business and referrals are way easier to close because they already trust you. If you focus only on finding new clients, you’ll be hustling all the time and everything feels much harder.
Optimizing your processes as a travel agent
Korrine shares that she’s always looking for potential bottlenecks in the client journey. For example, she uses a screen recording to walk her clients through their itinerary, because that way she can explain things more in-depth, and it avoids a lot of questions back and forth. Korrine keeps asking herself, “what can I get in front of by using an email template? What question can I answer before the client even thinks of it? So any tool that I can use to do that, I’m doing.”
More from this episode
- What is a CRM and what could it do for your business?
- Learn more about the way Korrine has set up her own systems. What are the tools and apps that she uses, and how does she use them to run a streamlined business?
- What is the client journey like in terms of emails she sends when a client first gets in touch, to when they have returned from their trip?
- Korrine shares some great tips on dealing with your inbox in a way that’s not overwhelming, while making sure you don’t miss anything important.
- Find out what advice Korrine has for someone who is just trying to figure out how to get started in the travel agency space, and how to work as efficiently as possible.
Learn more about Korrine
Korrine is engaged with the travel industry in many different ways. She is the co-owner of Journeys Travel Company, a top 10 agency with Travel Planners International, and the creator of Travel Biz Boss, which helps travel advisors take control of their business and increase profit through improved organization & productivity. She is also the co-host of The TIN Lounge podcast and co-founder of The Masters In Travel Academy Marketplace (her latest passion project).
Korrine delights in creating memorable experiences for her clients, helping other TAs find success, enjoying delicious meals & conversations with strangers, exploring new places, and baking sourdough bread. Currently, she is living (and thriving) in the mountains of Central Mexico.