We are seeing it every day – business travel is growing and service expectations are high. Travel Incorporated is focusing our attention on the needs of our clients, their travelers and how we jointly understand that business travel needs are fundamentally changing.
Our past experiences are invaluable, but we must put our attention and passion to how we move forward – together.
In a recent industry editorial, the article stated that due to the influx of travel and challenges to the overall industry infrastructure that supports them, ‘corporate travel professionals are needing to manage expectations among their traveling population and senior executives, revising and/or retraining their travelers on policies and procedures, and preaching patience.’
Described as an ‘unprecedented situation’, we couldn’t agree more! Never in the history of the airline industry has business fluctuated to the extent that it has. Nor has the entire United States (let alone global) working population decided to reconsider how/if they want to work and then how that new way of working materializes.
At TI, we, along with all of the airline call centers and other travel management companies across the nation that support business travelers, are experiencing longer hold times due to more questions during the call experience, fewer online bookings, increased cancellations and weather related impacts.
We are fortunate to have a culture of associates that love to service our clients – from the technology division, financial services, account management and travel consultants – it is our passion to exceed your travelers’ expectations. However, we can all agree this presents a challenge given the above factors. Speaking of factors, let’s address these as compared to prior years:
- We have expanded our team of travel consultants to over 90% of pre pandemic levels and continue to grow as we know future demand and acquisitions, new clients and organic growth is on the horizon.
- Our current booking volumes are at 77% of 2019 volumes with a shift in online to call volume exceeding 23% more calls.
- The greatest impact of hold times is that the average call is taking 59% longer to complete! Travelers have more questions, and we ensure they are comfortable and that all are answered to their satisfaction before ending the call.
- As a percentage of bookings, fewer online bookings are being made. Many travelers are either choosing to not book online or simply want the confidence of speaking to a professional.
We know that emergencies happen, impacts to itineraries need addressing and short notice requests for travel are now a part of the status quo. How we help your travelers during these times, as well as when travel planning is not immediate, can dramatically impact a positive service experience. We have drafted the below Infographic, which we are happy for you to utilize within your own travel portals and our TravelHub.
While we understand there are frustrations, we also appreciate the kind words from our travelers…
In order to avoid unnecessary frustration or even regret, we will achieve success through our combined and disciplined efforts.
For a print version of the above graphic please click HERE.
As business travel continues to evolve – so does Travel Incorporated. We continue to enhance our mobile self-service tools, push notifications and duty of care features for your travelers and travel stake-holders. Our priority in operations is the expansion of our training department to expedite and continue with our associate mentoring, coaching and counseling program. Jointly, we will weather the post COVID return of travel.
We are excited about what the future of business travel holds for all of us. Thank you for your continued partnership.