As business travel booking becomes more important for compliance and cost savings, many think the booking experience is lagging behind other modern technologies. Here’s how to fix that problem.
Most business Travelers spend their days using modern technologies created by rapidly scaling startups and huge corporations. These startups and corporations have dedicated massive amounts of time, energy and effort into designing sleek user experiences with little friction. Unfortunately, the business travel booking experience has fallen behind these other technologies.
Business travel booking is falling behind at a time when it’s more important than ever before to be at the forefront. Companies need Travelers to use their booking tools for cost savings, risk management, and other benefits to both the employer and the employee. What is your business travel booking experience like? If you suspect or know that it’s not what it should be, here are 5 ideas for fixing it.
1. Invest in Quality Tech
You often get what you pay for in this world, and business travel booking platforms are no exception. If you choose the lowest bidder when selecting a tool, you’ll likely find that the tool is dated and that your Travelers are slow to adopt it.
Adoption is essential. When your Travelers adopt your booking tool and create trips within compliance, you’re able to create massive amounts of data that can be used to improve travel program performance. When Travelers use your booking tool, they also access price monitoring services and cost avoidance features. Altogether, compliant booking can save your company thousands over the course of a year. Ultimately, an investment in quality tech is likely to pay for itself in savings over time.
2. Spend Time Training and Onboarding
It’s not enough to simply launch a new booking platform. Your Travelers are creatures of comfort and familiarity. If they don’t receive proper training and onboarding, they are unlikely to adopt the technology.
During training and onboarding, make sure to address why you’re launching a new booking tool — and why it’s so important for team members to adopt it. For example, some of your team members may find airfares that at first glance look as though they are lower than what’s available through your booking tool. But there are likely additional fees through the third-party platform, as well as additional savings through your own booking tool, that team members don’t see at first glance.
When you communicate why and how to use a new booking tool, you’ll get greater buy-in from your team members.
3. Solicit Feedback About the Experience
Training and onboarding shouldn’t be the end of your booking tool launch. Instead, open up channels of communication and feedback with your Travelers so that they can report on the user experience. While not everything will be fixable, there are likely things you, your TMC or your tech. vendor can do to help improve the experience.
But you’ll never know about your team member’s pain points unless you ask. Create clear channels for feedback and communication, and regularly remind your Travelers about these channels.
4. Track Adoption Rates
Keep track of the adoption rates with any new booking tool. You’ll want to know 2 things here:
- How many Travelers have adopted the tool and started booking within policy?
- Why have some Travelers not adopted the new tool?
Bullet two above relates to the third point in this post: It’s important to get feedback from your regular Travelers on the booking experience. Asking Travelers why they have not adopted a new tool could unveil important insights or opportunities to improve the user experience.
5. Don’t Forget Mobile
Today, users of technology expect they will be able to use an application on their computer and on a mobile device. They also expect to be able to communicate via phone and email, but also via text messages and chats. If your booking platform does not offer a mobile option, you will struggle with adoption.
The good news is that the industry is moving toward a mobile mindset. If you find booking tools that do not offer mobile and that have no plans to offer mobile in the future, there are likely better options available.
Connect With the Best Travel Technologies
At JTB Business Travel, we work with the best travel technology partners in the industry. We help companies identify the best tech partners for their businesses, and we even provide support during implementation. We use a common-sense approach to business travel when supporting and making recommendations on your travel technology needs.
Get in touch to learn more about the best travel technologies for your business.