“What do corporate travellers want?” This is the million Dollar question every single travel agent tries to answer.
Well, Egencia recently tried to find the answer in their study, Policy versus Policing, ten ways to empower and take care of your travellers. Here’s what they came up with:
Good news travel agents: corporates want to travel!
Facetime has not replaced face time, it seems. Eighty-six percent of business travellers surveyed in the Egencia study say in-person meeting are more effective and productive. And, more than two thirds of business travellers feel they would be less successful if they didn’t travel for work…
So, what isn’t working?
The travel policy doesn’t meet the needs of the traveller, according to most business travellers. One third of all travellers feel their travel policy is just too restrictive.
Most travellers understand that cost is an important factor, but that doesn’t mean they are willing to embrace policies that are uncomfortable or uneasy. What’s more, roughly half of all travellers will still book their favourite airline and hotel even if these are restricted by the company travel policy.
So, if half of your travellers are going to book their favourites, regardless of policy, it may be time to give the travel policy another look….
How can we adjust the travel policy?
By offering more choices and clearly communicating with travellers about the “why” behind the company’s travel policy decisions, you may be able to increase both compliance and traveller satisfaction.
Try to give travellers a wide choice of accommodation options. This doesn’t mean increased cost either. It is possible to drive more savings by giving travellers access to the discounted rates available through the travel agent. When travelers have access to choices that meet their needs, they will be more productive and more willing to find savings.
One third of travelers say their company does not pay attention to their comfort. That’s not a good state of mind for any traveller. So, when personalising plans or adding more choices, think about how you can make travelers more comfortable on the road.
Stress the importance of safety guidelines and explain how you can help travelers in an emergency if they book within the travel program. You may also want to consider extending safety provisions for travelers who combine business and personal time in a single trip.
Communicate the travel policy clearly and remember that travellers prefer to seek out policy information on their intranet, booking tool or from a travel admin. Most don’t like e-mails, or employee orientation. Only when travel disruptions arise, travellers are ready to hear from you by e-mail or text message!
Now you know what your clients want, you can start re-looking that travel policy…