If you're looking at a host of travel management companies (TMCs), it can be hard to know which one is the right one for your organization. It's good to keep in mind is that it should never be an either/or situation when it comes to getting the right technology to help you and your travelers and getting a strong customer service component.
Business travel can be complicated, so if you're only looking at technology features, you could be missing a critical piece of the puzzle. What will your travelers do when technology can't solve their problem? On the flip side, if you work with a TMC that's a niche provider of more personalized service, that could hurt your travel program roll out and scale. Is this personalization made possible thanks to non-standard developments? Will it be scalable in wider geographies? Be sure to ask yourself a broad array of questions during the procurement process. The corporate travel marketplace is big enough to handle all your needs. Don't hesitate to ask for cutting-edge technology features and robust business travel customer service for you and your travelers.
How much does your travel management company collaborate with you?
TMD Friction understands the importance of continuous improvement. The automotive braking manufacturer has incorporated this value into all their business practices and they were looking to partner with a TMC that shared the same values. We've developed a strong relationship with their account manager. This exclusive relationship was key to make sure they have the features and support they needed to get the most value out of their travel program. As a result, in the first six months they worked with us, they reached 80 percent online adoption and cut their transaction fees by half. Watch the video.
Complex international travel is part and parcel to James Fisher Marine Services business. With urgent travel needs and special requirements, James Fisher found a way to accelerate their travel program that met their unique needs.
Include business travel compliance in your culture from the start
When it comes to business travel, there is no such thing as the fifth wheel of the cart. Whether you’re managing 20,000 travelers or 200, your needs may be different in type and scale, but not one is less crucial than another.
First, you should have access to information and knowledge. Newsletters or blogs from your TMC are here for that. And your account manager should be able to answer your questions and put you in contact with an expert. Think about start-ups for instance. If things go according to plan, you can expect to grow.
Let's take the example of one of our clients, Top Hat, an education software organization. They started out with only a few travelers but were hopeful their travel program would need to scale. They succeeded. They partnered with us at the beginning of their business travel journey and were able to build travel compliance into their corporate culture as they grew.
As in many start-ups, Top Hat’s travel manager isn't only dealing with travel. He needed guidance with best practices, travel expertise, and advice on how to roll out features and policies. As he’s built the travel program into a global policy, he’s relied on us each step of the way. He combined these insights with the data pulled from his Egencia portal to evolve his travel policy.
This strategy eliminates the need for intensive change management. It's been key throughout their growth into a company with offices in Canada, the US, and Australia. “We were able to open the Australian office with a lot less anxiety knowing how well the travel program was working within our North American offices,” the travel manager said. Read more.
The best travel management companies offer great software and great service
At the end of the day, when everything goes well, features can be enough. Travelers and travel manager are able to book, approvers can sign off on requests, and you're able to run your travel reports. But what happens when something goes wrong? Or when the unexpected happens? A TMC is a wide ecosystem of features and services for every travel stakeholder.
Talking about services, customer support will be the first thing that comes to mind. It's important because these travel experts help your travelers solve issues every day. But what about account management? Your account manager knows you, your company, your priorities, and your travel policy. They're available to help you meet your goals. They can put you in contact with the right peope, whether it's car or hotel providers if you’re looking at negotiated rates, consulting experts if you need help reviewing your travel program, or meeting and events specialists for your next convention.
All these additional services are available to bring value to your travel program. So what should you focus on? Technology? Features? Customer service? Account management? Don’t settle for anything less than what you and your travelers deserve — the best of each. Find out how our business travel solutions can deliver what you need.