Thursday 30 January 2014

GUEST BLOG: Let the games begin

Business travellers are booking out of policy – we know that. One half of hotel reservations are made outside the approved booking tool*, and 59 percent of business travellers reported booking at least one major part of their latest trip out of policy**.

They’re generally not doing it to hurt your company. In fact, 79 percent of business travellers reported they booked out of policy to get a better deal**. The problem is, those deals aren’t necessarily better. On average, travellers who book out of policy spend $2,881 more on business trips than they needed to**. Travellers want to do right by their company but don’t always know how. For example, corporate negotiated rates can help to keep costs down, but travellers can’t access those rates if booking directly with an airline. In addition to lost savings, out-of-policy bookings can result in fragmented or incomplete data that can make locating travellers during a crisis more difficult, weaken negotiations with suppliers and hinder smart decision-making.

So, what are your options? You can let it continue. You can look for open booking technology that lets travellers book however they want while aggregating your data. Or you can implement a modern engagement strategy that connects travellers with your travel programme and goals using gamification mechanics. By sitting on top of your current booking platform, this is likely the fastest, most efficient and most fun fix.

Compliance isn’t top of mind for today’s travellers. Gamification – a modern, incentives-based engagement strategy that uses competition and collaboration to motivate desired behaviours – can help align the interests of your employees with your company’s cost and compliance aims. Rather than using penalties to enforce policies, modern engagement effortlessly educates travellers on how and why to make smart travel decisions, and uses friendly competition, badges, points and leader boards to encourage them to book within your policy.

 How Modern Engagement Helps Travellers
  • Set goals 
  • Track and improve performance 
  • Receive real-time feedback 
 How Modern Engagement Helps Companies

  • Promote desired behaviours 
  • Improve traveller satisfaction and loyalty 
  • Improve traveller experience 
This post was written by Alicia L. Tillman, Vice President, Deal Consulting and Business Services,
American Express Global Business Travel who are exhibiting at the Business Travel Show 4-5 February 2014. Register now at 

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