How To: Choose a business travel management company – don’t settle for software OR service – give your travelers both!

Importance of decision-making when choosing a service provider

Looking at an ocean of travel management companies, what is the right wave to bet on? Looking only at features, you’re missing a critical piece of the puzzle. What will your travelers do when technology cannot solve their problem?

On the flip-side, a niche provider of more “personalized service” could hurt your travel program roll out. Is this personalization made possible thanks to non-standard developments? Will it be scalable in wider geographies?

The corporate travel marketplace is big enough. Ask for both cutting-edge features and customer service for you and your bookers.

How much does your travel management company collaborate with you?

TMD Friction understands the importance of continuous improvement. The automotive braking manufacturer has integrated this value into all their business practices. They were looking to partner with a travel provider sharing the same values.

Working with Egencia, they have developed a strong relationship with their account manager. This exclusive relationship was key to make sure they have the features and support they need to gain the most value out of their travel solution.  As a result, in the first six months with Egencia, they’ve reached 80 percent online adoption, and cut their transaction fees by half. Watch the video.

Include business travel compliance into 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 none is less crucial.

First, you should have access to information and knowledge. Newsletters or blogs from your travel management company are here for that. Besides, your account manager should be able to answer your questions and put you in contact with an expert.

Talking about startups for instance, if things go by 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 partnered with Egencia at the very beginning of their business travel journey. This way, they were able to build travel compliance into their corporate culture.

As in many startups, Top Hat’s travel manager is not only dealing with travel. He needed guidance with best practices, travel expertise, and advice on how best to roll out features and policies. As he’s built the travel program into a global policy, he’s relied on Egencia each step of the way. He combined these insights with the data pulled from his Egencia portal to evolve his travel policy real-time.

This strategy eliminates the need for heavy change management by waiting to be at a crisis point. This has been key throughout their growth into a company with offices in Canada, the US, and Australia. According to their travel manager, “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 best travel management companies offer both great software and great service.

At the end of the day, when everything goes well, features can be enough. Travelers and arrangers were able to book, approvers to approve, and you were able to run your travel reports. But what happens when something goes wrong? Or when the unexpected happens?

A travel management company is wide ecosystem of features and services for every travel stakeholder. Talking about services, customer support will be the first thing coming to your mind. And indeed, they are important. They help your travelers solve issues every single day.

But what about account management? Your account manager knows you, your company, your priorities, your policy. And he’s here to help you achieve your goals. He can put you in contact with the right person. Car or hotel providers if you’re looking at negotiated rates. Consulting experts if you need help with your whole travel program. Meeting and events specialists for your next convention. All these additional services are here to bring value to your travel program in the long run.

So, what do you focus on? Software? Features? Customer service? Account management? Don’t settle for anything less than what you and your travelers deserve – no compromises.

Want to see how it feels when a business travel solution offers you everything you need? Call Egencia today and request a demo to check our features. We will also answer your questions on our services.