Business travel challenges are unavoidable. But, with the right approaches, you can overcome them to maximize your program’s potential.
Business travel is an absolute necessity for many organizations. Without it, they wouldn’t be able to meet with prospects, close sales, keep existing clients happy, make strategic decisions, etc. But business travel challenges can be discouraging — if you don’t know how to navigate through them.
Most business travel challenges fall into a limited number of categories. Here’s a look at 5 of the most common challenges, plus ideas for how you can overcome them.
1. Managing Risk
When it comes to business travel challenges, managing risk is at the top of our list. All organizations have a duty-of-care responsibility to their traveling employees. The collection of strategies and tactics that organizations use to live up to that responsibility is known as risk management.
Risk management means knowing where your Travelers are in the world at any given moment, plus having an actionable plan in place to get your Travelers home safely should a natural disaster or civil unrest develop. Risk management also means having a plan for employees who fall ill, get injured or experience another threat to safety and wellness when traveling on behalf of the company.
Most travel management companies (TMCs) offer duty-of-care and risk management services. They offer these services because organizations rarely have the in-house capabilities to fully manage risk to the expected level in today’s environment.
This will be a common theme among these 5 challenges. In most cases, working with a TMC gives you access to the specialized knowledge, capabilities and resources needed to maximize your travel program.
2. Monitoring Prices
Travel prices are dynamic. You look at flights one day, and they are exceedingly more expensive than they were just the day before. No one can effectively monitor travel prices on their own. What you need is technology that ensures your Travelers are getting the best value possible when they book trips.
The good news is that most organizations now use some sort of booking tool, and those booking tools almost always include price monitoring features. How do you identify the right booking tool with price monitoring for your business? This is another area where TMCs come in handy. A TMC can recommend travel technologies that best fit your program and its objectives.
3. Navigating Trip Disruptions
Flight cancellations and other trip disruptions are a pain when you travel for leisure. But, when you are traveling for business, they can mean a missed sales opportunity, an empty lectern at a conference, or an existing client that churns. When this business travel challenge is overlooked both the Traveler and the Company pay the price.
The best TMCs provide service before, during and after travel. That middle part is essential: support during travel. When you’re sitting at an airport and a flight gets canceled, your TMC starts working to book you another flight while everyone else is racing toward the ticket counter. When your hotel is oversold, your TMC gets you a room at the property next door. And, when your rental car company is out of sedans, your TMC gets you a bigger, nicer vehicle.
When your Travelers try to navigate trip disruptions on their own, they are left scrambling like everyone else. When you have a TMC on your side, your Travelers get a proactive advocate who works to make things right.
4. Avoiding Unnecessary Costs
Travel-related costs can really start to pile up. Some costs are relatively easy to track and manage, including anything that’s incurred through a booking tool. But meals, ride-share and taxi costs, fees and other incidentals are difficult to manage and avoid.
Find a TMC that offers advanced cost avoidance, which better tracks all your expenses so that you can ultimately manage and avoid as many of them as possible.
5. Capturing and Analyzing Data
What gets measured gets managed. Are you effectively capturing your company’s travel data so that it can be analyzed — and ultimately used to improve your program? If not, you are behind the times.
A TMC can help implement the tools and technologies needed to capture as much travel-related data as possible. This data will be essential in helping you uncover opportunities for savings, as well as for demonstrating travel-related ROI to the organization’s decision-makers.
The TMC That Sees You Through Any Business Travel Challenges
At JTB Business Travel, we specialize in walking alongside our clients as they experience travel-related challenges. We can help your organization manage risk, monitor prices, rebook after trip disruptions, avoid unnecessary costs, and capture essential data. As your TMC, we bring a common-sense approach to business travel that delivers results for your organization.