Travel can be stressful and is often packed with layovers, middle seats, meetings and meals on the go. How can Travel Managers reduce the stress of traveling while also ensuring cost containment and overall program goals?
Here are the top three ways we work with businesses to ensure that company goals and program requirements are supported, without sacrificing the traveler experience.
1. Review your travel policy
An overly complex travel policy can make travel feel more stressful and a dated policy will not address current traveler options. Be sure to refresh your travel policy each year to reduce friction points and include elements focused on the traveler experience!
Do you address and include providers and channels that make life easier for your travelers? Be sure to consider and address ride-sharing, alternative housing, mobile wallet systems, trip disruption services, or other elements designed to reduce traveler friction. Whether at a travel policy level or as part of an overall employee wellness offering, encourage the use of business travel to take advantage of opportunities to squeeze in downtime.
2. Streamline and communicate travel tools
Communicate both your streamlined policy expectations with your traveling staff, but also remind them of the ways that your travel program and agency partner can make travel easier for your employees! Clearly communicate the tools, apps, and support resources available to your travelers.
Make sure your online booking tools are mobile optimized and mobile apps are configured for the best possible traveler experience. Consider additional dining programs and data access subscriptions that can help encourage wellness and keep travelers connected on the go. Streamline each step of the process, and optimize tools for shopping, booking, traveling, and reconciling expenses upon return.
3. Share perks and upgrades
Leverage your soft dollar rewards and supplier negotiated perks to incent road warriors and reduce friction elements on high-stress trips. In addition to individual frequent flyer other travel reward programs, companies should leverage soft dollar and other supplier reward programs to return perks to travelers—such as lounge access, seat upgrades, or status upgrades. For example, monitor complex international itineraries for opportunities to redeem class upgrades for long-haul flights, improving the traveler experience and saving your travel budget. Also look at your top travelers and use frequency as an indicator to distribute complimentary lounge access or seat upgrades for domestic flights.
By keying in on specific elements of your travel program and implementing regular surveys and feedback loops with your travelers, you can ensure that your traveler experience is optimized. Let CTM help you evaluate your travel program for friction points and suggest elements to improve the traveler experience.
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