The experience your employees have while on the road can have a huge impact on the outcome of their trips. Frazzled, fatigued and irritable travelers are not likely to be highly effective at their seminars or meetings. Eye for Travel serves up seven facts that underscore the importance of balancing business objectives with business traveler satisfaction.
Business trips are wise investments.
You send employees on trips to drive new sales, build relationships, gather leads and otherwise create value. Oxford Economics reports each dollar invested in corporate travel yields $9.50 in revenue. Even when accounting for operational and other costs, you’re still making at least $2.50 per dollar invested.
Happy travelers are productive travelers.
Yes, the online booking experience matters, but priorities should extend far beyond a seamless booking experience. As the chief executive of the RoadMap travel app notes, happy travelers “…are better at their jobs and more engaged with the purpose of the company.” If keeping travelers happy means approving a stay at their favorite hotel, perhaps that approval should be forthcoming.
Costs aren’t everything.
Most companies take a solely procurement perspective on travel, with the overall aim of cutting costs and saving money. But that doesn’t have to be done at the travelers’ expense. In fact, a recent GBTA study found employees booking trips listed “finding the right price” as one of their top two priorities, showing they are perhaps heeding advice from travel managers to shop around on their own while still being able to choose a hotel that suits their needs.
Take traveler preferences into account.
The GBTA study also found different booking preferences linked to employees’ ages. While millennials were more likely to use and download travel apps, they were also less likely to book their own trips, perhaps due to less travel experience. The penchant for apps of the up-and-coming workforce should be noted, giving travel managers a chance to steer them in the direction of specific apps, or even consider company branded white label apps, that mesh well with business needs.
Safety and security needs to be balanced with freedom of choice.
Not only is keeping tabs on traveler information vital for helping to monitor and enforce compliance, but it’s essential for reaching your travelers in case of emergency. The GBTA study noted 42 percent of travelers that booked through alternative channels were not required to share their info with the company.
Communication is key to solid relationships.
Communication with your business travelers means more than telling them what apps to use and hotels to book. It means actually listening to their needs while ensuring they understand the business objectives. Making them feel a part of the decision-making process, and letting them know why it’s important, makes it much more likely they’ll comply.
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Our choice of Chrome River EXPENSE was made in part due to the very user-friendly interface, easy configurability, and the clear commitment to impactful customer service – all aspects in which Chrome River was the clear winner. While Chrome River is not as large as some of the other vendors we considered, we found that to be a benefit and our due diligence showed that it could support us as well as any large players in the space, along with a personalized level of customer care.
We are excited to be able to enforce much more stringent compliance to our expense guidelines and significantly enhance our expense reporting and analytics. By automating these processes, we will be able to free up AP time formerly spent on manual administrative tasks, and enhance the role by being much more strategic.