Automated and targeted messages supported by machine learning to drive corporate travel compliance, says BCD Travel report on technology and communications
The influence of machine learning, blockchain, and chatbots can provide corporate travel managers powerful communication tools for driving travel program compliance, according to an Inform series report published by leading business travel management company, BCD Travel.
The report, entitled Communications, Emerging technology and Travel Management, explores how emerging technologies can be used to deliver effective, personalized messages to travelers, engaging them at exactly the right moment to encourage compliance.
Practical examples abound: When booking a trip, a chatbot could respond to a traveler’s query, suggesting the best travel options within corporate policy. Or a traveler could book a trip using a virtual personal assistant. A smart contract stored on blockchain could issue an alert to a travel manager when a traveler booked outside of policy. Travel tips and disruption alerts can be delivered to travelers at just the right time using location-based technology. After the trip, the traveler’s virtual assistant could send a reminder to submit an expense report, pre-populated by a machine learning algorithm.
“Travel suppliers have become increasingly aggressive and highly sophisticated in marketing directly to travelers,” said Natalia Tretyakevich, Senior Manager Research and Intelligence at BCD Travel. “For this reason, it’s important for travel managers to counterbalance that influence, lest it pull travelers away from using preferred suppliers and drive up corporate travel program costs. Using new and emerging technologies to communicate with, influence and capture the attention of business travelers can effectively influence business travelers to remain within program.”
Communications, Emerging technology and Travel Management is aimed at corporate travel industry professionals who would benefit from learning more about:
- Using machine learning to communicate directly with travelers as individuals, basing messages on travel patterns, booking behavior and personal preferences.
- Utilizing a blockchain-based data storage system to keep traveler data safe, increasing traveler willingness to share personal information needed to craft personalized messaging.
- Adopting chat bot technology to enable voice-controlled digital assistant travel bookings, and automate routine travel management communication tasks, like answering policy questions.
- Using augmented and virtual reality technologies to enhance interaction with travelers, and in some cases, replace travel.
- Leveraging the Internet of Things (IoT) and location-based technology to keep travelers informed with timely and relevant messages throughout their journey, including warnings about flight cancellations and other disruptions.
The report also includes useful tips and a checklist for travel managers looking to further explore and implement the technologies discussed. Communications is the third report in a six-part Inform research series on emerging technology and travel management. Previous reports have explored sourcing and policy. Future reports will explore duty of care, payment and performance.