A client is any person or agent who has requested a brochure, a quote or booked a holiday. The client screen is not generally appropriate for storing hoteliers/suppliers details - these are stored in the Location tree .
A client must have a minimum level of contact information set in order to be retrievable - the precise requirements are agreed when a tour operator first starts using the system
Before adding a new client, you should always double check that the client is not already listed in the system by following the "Retrieving a client" instructions below. This ensures that future updates do not only later one version of a clients address, that the clients "May Contact" preference is always correct, and that all quotes/bookings for the client are shown against the one client entry.
The system makes some checks when a client entry is added to see if the client already exists, but it is not possible to do this reliably.
When you receive emails in a standard format (e.g. generated from your tour-operator website), it is possible to drag the contents of the email into TORS to have the client contact details automatically imported.
Avoiding duplicates is helpful to ensure that the clients contact preferences and updates are honoured, and that all quotes/bookings for a client are found against a single client record. When a new client is added some automated checks are made to ensure that the client does not already have an existing entry in the system.
The check made is for a given phone number or email address having been already entered for an existing client in any of the
phone/email (as relevant) fields; for a phone number, spaces are removed from the numbers before comparison.
If an existing entry is found, an error ("DuplicateClientEntryError") will be shown, preventing the new record from been saved. The client id's for the existing clients will be shown - follow the instruction for Retrieving a client below to open those records and determine which record to use. The duplicate check is not made when updating an existing record.
Instead of entering the clients full details, only to find that there is already a client record, it is often preferable to search for the client first - the Holiday screen Client Assignment window provides a Search option as well as the New Client button for this reason.
Name search: there are various special values which enable you to search more or less precisely than an exact surname
To find a client using more than just the clients name or id, use the advanced search option.
Phone number and email matching : A phone number entered into any of the phone fields will be matched against any phone numbers set for a client, not just the field it is set in, but only one phone number can be provided; In addition, the phone search ignores spaces in the phone numbers. This also applies to email addresses (except that spaces are not ignored).
For instance, to find all agents with tag "FOO", in Step 3 select Client Type 'Agent' and enter "FOO" into the tags field.
To use an external newsletter system it is required to export all contact addresses from TORS.travel and import them into that system. When sending mail to your customers using that system the may_contact flag that is part of the exported/imported data must be honoured in order to comply with relevant data-protection laws.
The normal export format, which will be understood by most, or probably all, newsletter systems is CSV.
To export all addresses in the TORs.travel database do:-
While it is normally quicker to find quotes/bookings for a client by using the holiday search on the Main application menu, if you have a client open you can list all holidays associated to the client, and start a new quote.
If your tour operator has chosen to integrate your client database with a third party system (e.g. an online mailing system), the parts of the client records that are shared between the two systems will be synchronised automatically, so there should be no need to alter both systems. Depending on the integration setup, the sync. may happen immediately or occur, for instance, every 24 hours.
If you have brochure(s), then you will regularly want to print out address labels for just the brochure requests.
1. The admin team should create a Client Action named after the required brochure.
2. When a client requests that brochure find their existing client entry/add them as a new client; then click "Add/Edit Actions", select the action for the required brochure and click "Add new action".
3. Later on, to print labels for all clients who have a particular action outstanding:-
For supported phone systems, the @ button alongside the phone number inputs will dial that number (if further input such as password is needed a prompt will be displayed, otherwise the number is dialed immediately).
A client is either a "Direct client" or an "Agent (resale)". The difference is that any quotes/bookings assigned to an Agent type client will take into account the "commission calculation" for the client (see below), which may generate a different price, style of quote & invoice, etc.
It is not possible (at time of writing) to switch a client (or a quote/holiday) from direct to Agent, or vice versa.
Client Type : Indicate if this client is an Agent or not - see "Agents" above
Name : Enter surname and forename(s) capitalised as appropriate for the clients name - to avoid incorrectly formatting the name, the system will not add capital letters for you. The list of Titles is configured by your administrator - if the clients preferred designation is not available ask to have it added.
Contact : Phone numbers allow you to enter text (e.g. "123 ext 2") - for international numbers the recommended format is "+44 (0) 845...". The '@' button next to a phone number will dial that number (see Phone System Integration above).
The email addresses may also allow freeform text, but be aware that this will prevent you easily sending emails directly to the client - especially any automated ones, and will disable synchronisation with third parties. It is not possible to validate that an email address is valid, so always either copy&paste from an email sent by the client, or when speaking over the phone re-confirm what you have written back to the client - the same applies to phone numbers of course.
Address : Ensure that postal town/region/and postal codes are entered in the correct boxes. This can reduce the work needed for postal mailings as well as enabling regional reporting.
Contact preference : You should ask the client if they will accept promotional material and if they will not set "May Contact " to No, otherwise it may be set to "Yes". This setting/client choice does not prevent sending the client the item they have explictly asked for (e..g brochure or quote) -it should be used by administrators when building mailing lists for sales related postings.
The "Prefer contact by" should be set to a value selected by the client. When a member of staff subsequently decides to contact the client they should use the indicated method (if appropriate), with the result that there is more likely to be a (polite) answer.
Source : This is used for sales/advertising statistics. The list of sources is set by your system administrator.
Actions : See "Actions" section above. If there are any outstanding actions due for this client (e.g. sending a brochure) they will be listed here, assuming your tour operator has chosen to use this feature.
Private notes : Notes for internal staff use only - will not be displayed to the client. Your tour-operator procedure may include reading these notes whenever you are contacted by the client.
Tags : These are freeform words of upto three characters, which can be used to group otherwise unrelated clients together for searches, reporting, configuring documentation, etc.. If your tour-operator has chosen to use this feature, you will have provided with a list of tags and reasons for use. Examples ones are 'PRS' - member of travel press and 'STF' - member of staff.
Agent details: These are relevant only if the Client Type was set to Agent. ATOL/ABTA and VAT number are for information only. Contact is the member of staff at the agents who normally handles bookings though you - it might be used in automated mailings.
Comm, Calc and Commission % set the default level of commission any holiday assigned to this agent will include.
The Comm. Calc must be selected - the correct value will depend on your managements Agents policy.
The Commission % may be left blank, in which case it must be specified in each quote done for this agent.
History : This displays the date the client record was added to the system, the last time the client record was updated, and the unique system id for this client.