Managed travel programs should capitalize on business travelers’ “consumer” expectations
Programs can do “better than policy” by adding layers of influence and enablement
UTRECHT, June 28, 2011 – Corporate travel programs can learn a lot from businesses that market directly to consumers. By harnessing widely available technologies and taking advantage of behaviors ubiquitous among private consumers, corporate travel programs can communicate more effectively with travelers, achieve higher traveler satisfaction levels and even increase leverage with suppliers, according to a newly released white paper from BCD Travel.
The white paper, The Customer Always Knows Best: Leveraging B2C Strategies in Managed Travel Programs , argues that in a reflection of larger trends, the strategic direction of corporate travel is moving from program-centric to traveler-centric.
The white paper explores key communication strategies and program management tactics that take into account consumer-driven expectations, and presents case studies from companies that are harnessing those strategies and tactics to drive cost savings, resource efficiencies and expedient decision making. It also offers travel managers concrete tips on helping travelers be more effective on the road, including a catalogue of top mobile app categories.
April Bridgeman, senior vice president for strategic marketing at BCD Travel, said: “BCD Travel is deeply engaged in helping clients make sense of the opportunities and challenges presented by new technologies, new behaviors and new objectives in the consumer and managed travel spaces. The white paper reflects our interest in and deep understanding of this exciting arena.”
The Customer Always Knows Best concludes that corporate travel managers should be prepared to:
• Be where the travelers are – Mobile technology amplifies a travel program’s ability to meet corporate objectives for communication, behavior management, travel risk management and expense management processes.
• Meet multiple needs with multiple solutions – Travel managers should evaluate and pick the tools that best fit their program. In all cases, a combination of several tools will create the final package; it’s never an “either/or” situation.
• Converse with the (in) crowd – Promoting and facilitating the exchange of information among employees can have a profound impact on travel management, particularly in the dissemination of travel expertise.
• Capitalize on competition – Travel managers are learning to tap into competitive spirit to “incentivize” and motivate travelers, whether through “batting averages” or online booking rewards modules.
Bridgeman said: “The transformation of the business traveler into a consumer represents a significant opportunity for travel managers. It opens the door to initiatives aimed directly at travelers. These can be used to keep travelers informed, offer personalized corporate travel experiences and feed vital information into the corporation’s program management framework. The result is a virtuous circle of understanding, awareness and improvement.”
About BCD Travel
BCD Travel helps companies make the most of what they spend on travel. We give travelers innovative tools that keep them safe and productive, and help them make good choices on the road. We partner with travel and procurement leaders to simplify the complexities of business travel, drive savings and satisfaction, and move whole companies toward their goals. In short, we help our clients travel smart and achieve more. We make this happen in 109 countries with almost 13,800 creative, committed and experienced people. And it’s how we maintain the industry’s most consistent client retention rate, with 2018 sales of US$27.1 billion. For more information, visit www.bcdtravel.com.
About BCD Group
BCD Group is a market leader in the travel industry. The privately-owned company was founded in 1975 by John Fentener van Vlissingen and consists of BCD Travel (global corporate travel management), BCD Meetings & Events (global meetings and events agency), Travix (online travel: CheapTickets, Vliegwinkel, BudgetAir, Flugladen and Vayama), Park ‘N Fly (off-airport parking) and Airtrade (consolidation and fulfillment). BCD Group employs over 14,900 people and operates in 109 countries with total sales of US$29.8 billion in 2018, including US$10.7 billion partner sales. For more information, visit www.bcdgroup.com.