Don’t neglect the ‘soft’ side of supplier negotiations

Today’s successful travel programs focus not only on savings, but also on traveler satisfaction. That means easing travelers’ trip experiences and reducing their stress are more important than ever.

As travel buyers take a seat at the negotiating table with suppliers, they need to put a high priority on the “soft” benefits that make their travelers more comfortable on the road, advises business travel consultancy Advito in its latest Industry Forecast Update.

Getting soft benefits right—for example, by ensuring travelers get early air boarding or hassle-free complimentary WiFi at hotels—results in happier, more productive employees. And when employees are engaged, active participants in their corporate travel programs, that leads to greater compliance and savings.

Suppliers also are more interested than ever in offering perks that solidify relationships with travelers, according to the Industry Forecast Update, so it’s a particularly good time for travel buyers to put soft benefits near the top of their negotiating wish lists.

“Travel managers are the best conduit for suppliers looking to build their brand and loyalty among travelers,” Advito says. “Offering these add-ons can help build mutually beneficial partnerships, helping both corporate programs and suppliers achieve their goals.”

Get additional Advito Industry Forecast Update insights and discover ways to capture more hotel savings with year-round program management.