Balancing higher traveler satisfaction ensuring all travel costs are being recovered and controlled, is a major objective for many modern businesses, and updating your travel policy to be current with today’s technology is essential to achieving that balance. This balance will likely require making a few minor adjustments while keeping an eye on where your travelers are booking their trips. With today’s reporting capabilities, it is important to encourage your travelers to book online via SAP Concur, or via a travel consultant. This will allow TI to track as much as possible during the search process. Through identifying traveler buying behavior patterns, we will help you implement new ways to shift their decision making and recover costs. Here are three tips to revitalize your travel policy and provide even more flexibility to your travelers.
1. Provide more options to reduce your costs.
Identifying how to balance your current preferred hotel rates while increasing the opportunity for future leveraged agreements will, in the end, prove very profitable for you. It is important to make sure that you meet any minimums within your preferred agreements. Once you are comfortable this will be met, consider adding a few additional properties as preferred in the same area within your booking tool. This will continue to encourage your travelers to book online, and increase your leverage for negotiating a lower rate either at your original preferred or potentially at another nearby property. Key to savings and security is that all hotel bookings be placed through your online booking tool or through your TI travel consultant.
2. Rethink the lowest “logical” rate – with logic.
The variables in calculating the lowest logical air rate should weigh a variety of factors. These factors include schedule and carrier preferences, non-stop vs connection, and loyalty status. Although everyone would prefer a non-stop, consider amending your policy to requiring a connection if savings is more than $200 (or whatever amount you deem appropriate).
Communication is also critical to cost savings. As more and more loyalty programs provide free bags and early boarding, make sure your travelers are taking into account the holistic cost of the trip to ensure their convenience, while also saving your company unnecessary ancillary fees.
3. Take advantage of online booking tool customization to control costs.
While policy is meant to be followed, your culture may not be one that embraces mandates – preferring “guidelines.” In this instance, it is important to optimize process flow and efficiency of the tool to lead the traveler to purchase in a way they will appreciate and your company will benefit. TI will customize your settings to include the appropriate level of travel compliance – either by approval escalations, warnings, or reminders in the event that the traveler is booking outside of policy. We also check every itinerary to automatically identify and recapture unused tickets. This will encourage the traveler to book via your online tool, feel as though they have the freedom to choose which reservation works best for them, and be reminded that there is a budget in place.
TI supports SAP Concur as our exclusive online booking tool – delivering the customization you need to update your travel policy while maintaining compliance and lowering your costs.