With an influx of household AI assistants from Amazon and Google, and news of a billionaire sending a car into space, expectations of technology are rocketing ahead.
But how do such advances translate to TMCs? And more importantly, what will clients expect in the future?
Major consumer-facing brands are obsessed with providing the best user experience and easy-to-use interfaces. Traditional B2B booking tools haven’t necessarily kept pace with these changes. However, a more consumer look and feel to booking tools can provide significant dividends to businesses.
A personalised, intuitive user experience for individuals, combined with a customisable offer for organisations, is the most effective weapon when it comes to fighting leakage. With a new generation who’ve enjoyed quick and easy online shopping all their lives entering the workplace, TMCs who can satisfy those requirements will be best placed to help their customers more easily manage their business travel.
For years, the industry has used the GDS for airline bookings and customers have paid fees for the ‘privilege’. Direct connects have provided a much-needed revolution in distribution.
Travellers can now book fee-free with several major airlines and have all the options they need at their fingertips - everything from adding luggage after booking to increased legroom, or even the ability to strip the fare down to the bare minimum, with no extras, to cut costs.
The next generation of TMCs must use direct connect as standard to meet customer demand.
Engaged and motivated staff
Paying reservation agents commission or incentives on bookings doesn’t give customers the service they deserve.
The role of a TMC is to save a business money on its travel, so account managers should be focused on their customers’ interests, rather than promoting options based on whether or not they are receiving an incentive from a particular provider.
Furthermore, reservations agents are much more engaged and motivated if they can demonstrate absolute integrity, without worrying about their personal finances.
Customers want quality advice, support and savings tailored to their needs and by knowing their decisions don’t impact directly on their agent, they can be confident they are making the right choice every time.
The future is now
We are convinced these steps are the key to the next generation of TMCs. At Click Travel, we have incorporated all three and are seeing the benefits on a daily basis.
This post was written by Jill Palmer, CEO of Click Travel. Jill will be participating in the Business Travel Show conference session ‘TMCs – are we paying them too little, or too much, and with the right model?’ in the Pillar Hall at 11.30 on 21 February.
Click Travel will be exhibiting on stand B650 with its next-generation travel management platform, travel.cloud