As your employees navigate the complexities of travel in today’s world, you’ll need to be sure they’re fully supported. Part of that means doing all you can to help them make informed choices, especially when safety issues arise. Another big component is removing as much friction from the entire travel experience as possible — from booking to making sure they feel comfortable and cared for on the road, to paving the way for a smooth return.
Read this checklist or download a copy to make sure you’re ticking all the boxes.
- Three simple ways to help travelers to stay in compliance by booking within your corporate travel policy
There’s no question that it’s important for your company to have a strong policy that reflects your overall company goals in terms of savings, business travel risk management and even sustainability. But when following those guidelines is cumbersome for travelers, it can start the journey off on the wrong foot.
- A modern, intuitive user experience – The first key to compliance is making sure your travelers use Egencia to book their travel. The best way to do that is to give them a user experience that’s familiar and easy to use. Booking business trips should be as enjoyable as booking a vacation.
- Seamless integration across devices – In today’s mobile age, it’s imperative to give your travelers a seamless experience that carries through from desktop to tablet to smartphone. This way, they can stay connected and up-to-date no matter what device they’re on.
- Traveler-centric search technology – Your travelers shouldn’t have to scroll through page after page of search results when booking. Egencia’s booking tool should do the heavy lifting for them. Egencia’s Smart Mix technology, for instance, prioritizes search results based on intelligent weighting of variables like layover time and bag costs. It also uses machine learning based on a traveler’s previous selections — and those of his or her colleagues — to continuously hone performance. That means your travelers are more likely to find their ideal flight or hotel on page 1 rather than page 18, saving both time and hassle.
- Three ways to easily manage online cancelations, refunds and rebooking
In today’s dynamic environment, it’s crucial for travelers to be able to easily manage changes to their itinerary on the fly. Here are three essential services you can use with Egencia:
- Cancel and rebook on any device – Your travelers should be able to cancel and/or rebook a flight, rental car or hotel from any device, and trust that the credit or refund is being facilitated by Egencia. Streamlining this step will save your travelers both time and hassle when plans change.
- Apply airline waivers and unused tickets to new bookings online – When your travelers have to cancel their flights due to a change of plans, they shouldn’t have to hunt down vouchers or wade through complicated procedures to apply their unused tickets to new bookings. When travelers book on Egencia, unused tickets are displayed directly in the search results, along with the option to apply the value to a future booking.
- Intuitive online assistance to take care of the details – A call-back function — like AssistMe from Egencia (in the United States) — allows your travelers to request a callback from a travel counselor within minutes with just a touch of a button, to help with cancelations, refunds or rebooking.
- Three ways to help your travelers make informed booking decisions
A big part of supporting travelers’ wellbeing and addressing your duty of care obligations today is making sure that your travelers have the safety tips they need to make informed decisions. These three elements are key to achieving this:
- Travel advisories concerning COVID-19 information – With entry restrictions and quarantine rules for countries, states and even cities still quite fluid, it’s important that travelers have a reliable source for pandemic-related restrictions and guidelines. Travelers can enter their origin and destination into the Egencia® Travel Advisor for current information about travel restrictions, entry requirements, post-arrival quarantine mandates, and required PPE and health documentation. Having reliable details specific to their itinerary brings peace of mind to your travelers.
- Hygiene badges displayed on booking screens – Many suppliers are implementing enhanced health and hygiene practices, and some are even working with government and industry agencies to establish best practice protocols. These companies can now upload their badges and measures directly onto Egencia so that travelers see them when booking. This level of transparency, built right into the booking process, makes it easier for travelers to evaluate their choices and ultimately make decisions they’re comfortable with.
- Policy-related restrictions woven in – Providing travelers with relevant information is part of the equation. But it’s also important for you to be able to restrict certain destinations or actions by updating your travel policy directly within the booking tool. This could mean restricting certain destinations due to an outbreak, for instance, or restricting the number of travelers allowed on the same flight. That way, travelers see those options flagged as out of policy when they’re booking.
- Three ways to provide your travelers with robust support options and emergency assistance services
No matter how thoroughly we plan, things sometimes go awry when we’re on the road. Today more than ever, travelers need to feel supported, reassured and cared for when they’re away from home.
- Real-time flight disruption notices – When travelers are on the go, they need to know immediately if there’s a potential disruption ahead, whether due to a flight cancelation, inclement weather at their destination or other scenario. Egencia pushes real-time alerts to travelers through the Egencia app, visible on both the homepage and My Trips screen.
- In-person help available 24/7/365 – Although apps are fantastic for empowering employees, there are still times when a human touch is needed to provide reassurance and solutions. Egencia has thousands of experienced travel consultants who speak more than 32 languages to assist across 60 countries, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
- Easy to reach help – When travelers hit a snag on the road, they don’t want to have to dig for support phone numbers. They need to be able to reach help quickly and easily. On the Egencia app, travelers in the United States can click the AssistMe button and get a call back from a travel consultant, usually in less than 2 minutes.
- Three ways Egencia provides your travelers with robust payment and reimbursement options that limit impact to their personal cash flow
Supporting travelers’ wellbeing doesn’t end once they close out their itinerary. There are still expenses to be handled. Egencia provides support to your travel management program’s payment needs with:
- A centralized payment solution – Using central payments or virtual cards reduces the amount your travelers have to pay out of pocket. Egencia partners with Conferma, a leading financial services company, to offer Egencia customers Client Central Payment for hotels, thus reducing your travelers’ need to wait for reimbursement.
- Centralized invoices for each itinerary – When travelers do have to compile an expense report for a trip, Egencia (when the merchant of record) has all invoices for each itinerary accessible on one screen. This saves travelers’ time and hassle and allows for faster submission of reimbursement requests.
- Integration with expense management applications – Egencia integrates transactions from our booking tool with some of the top expense management applications. This helps to further automate the expense reporting and reimbursement process.