In conversation with ...
Tim Besselink, senior product owner. Booking.com for Business
Tell us about your session in one sentence?
The aim of our session is to inspire businesses to apply a more data-driven, test-and-learn approach that delivers deeper insights into traveller behaviour and enhanced traveller satisfaction, all while staying on budget and within company policy.
What is the single most important piece of advice/information buyers will take away from your talk?
Providing a great experience for travellers isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s actually the key indication of the overall health of your travel programme. As technology continues to evolve, so are traveller expectations—and in order to keep up, understanding what contributes to the best end-to-end experience for your travellers will give you the advantage. Stay nimble, don’t be afraid to experiment, and most importantly use traveller satisfaction as your guide.
What’s the biggest challenge facing buyers now and why?
Business travellers now expect the same level of flexibility, ease of use and freedom of choice that they are accustomed to when they book a holiday. For buyers, budgets, oversight and duty of care are some key concerns. The great news is that these interests don’t have to compete with one another. From our perspective, with the right approach, inventory and tooling, you can deliver an incredible experience for your travellers and stay within policy.
What’s the biggest opportunity they should be taking advantage of and why?
Learn from your travellers. The more you understand about their expectations and challenges, the better insights you’ll gain into why and how they book their trips. Data is your best friend in this regard and can help you to pivot accordingly, maximising value both for your travellers and your business.
Why is it important to have a summit dedicated to buyers in the Nordics and Benelux?
Every market has its own unique characteristics and challenges. This summit gives us a great opportunity to connect with our contacts and really hone in on the specific needs of our customers in the region. For buyers, it’s also a great opportunity to network with their peers from throughout the region and share ideas, best practices and their common challenges.
What does being traveller-centric mean to you? How does it benefit buyers?
Everything we do at Booking.com is based on what works best for travellers. We don’t believe in our own gut instincts or opinions. We believe in data and use it to make even the tiniest of decisions, whether it’s optimising the colour of a button or optimising how we display property photos. In fact, at any given time we’re running over a 1,000 of these tiny experiments on our website and mobile apps in order to make sure that we’re constantly doing what’s best for travellers. If it doesn’t help people find what they’re looking for faster and with more confidence, it’s not on Booking.com. To that end, this enables us to remain incredibly flexible and adaptive to the ever-evolving demands of our customers. Our fanatical devotion to data and traveller centricity is a huge asset to buyers. They can trust that we’re always optimising and improving our product in measurable ways to make their travellers happier.
Why are you looking forward to BT Summit Amsterdam?
We love being able to speak face-to-face with travel buyers. We always learn so much and come away with a mountain of ideas to continue testing and adapting our product to even better meet their and their travellers’ needs.
Tim will be presenting a keynote presentation called Powering Business Travel Through Customer Driven Technology: 09:30 - 10:00, 27 September at Business Travel Summit Amsterdam. Book your free place now at amsterdam.businesstravel-summit.com
The session synopsis is: Listening to, responding to and building for customers - a look at how Booking.com is shaping the future of business travel through relentless customer-focused innovation and constant product evolution to meet business traveller needs and support corporate travel change.
Tim is Senior Product Owner at Booking.com where he is responsible for leading product development for the business’s Booking.com for Business division. Bringing over 10 years’ experience in online product development, Tim oversees development teams focused on rapid innovation.
Prior to joining Booking.com, Tim served as Product Manager for Hyves.nl / Telegraaf Media Group for over two years, where he was responsible for defining product strategy and specifications as well as analysing results for smarter solutions and products tailored for maximum customer impact.
Earlier in his career, Tim was a Consultant at Jungle Minds where we worked to actively help clients optimise for improved business and communication outcomes leveraging digital strategies and user experience projects.
Tim studied Business Communication at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.