Wednesday 19 February 2020

*GUEST BLOG* Mix people and platforms to build a high-performance travel programme

No matter how many objectives you’ve mapped out for business travel in 2020, you’ve only got one goal: to run a successful corporate programme. I’m here to tell you that four managed travel strategies will get you there, no matter what success looks like for your company and programme.

1.       Engage your travellers.
2.       Take good care of them.
3.       Let data drive your decisions.
4.       Create a scalable programme.

These four strategies require both great people and innovative technology. That’s not news to travel buyers. A recent survey by The Beat shows 87% of travel buyers value professional and responsive agents above all else. But digital capabilities aren’t far behind: 85% of travel buyers say getting accurate and timely programme data from their travel management company is critical.

At BCD Travel we’re constantly thinking about how best to configure the talents of our people and the ingenuity of our technology to meet corporate travel programmes changing needs. Those four strategies are at the heart of everything we do.

Engage your travellers

Traveller engagement is about balancing business objectives with traveller-friendly booking options and frictionless trip experiences. The aim is to gain travellers trust, inform their choices and, ultimately, increase traveller productivity while cutting programme costs.

Strong engagement tactics treat travellers like the consumers they are—reaching them with targeted merchandising and informative messages that show up at the right time. Engagement influences travellers booking and spending decisions, and it gets results. In just three months, our client Finastra, a U.K.-based financial technology firm, saved more than US$650,000 through traveller engagement.

Take care of your travellers

The coronavirus, Brexit and the wildfires in Australia all serve as timely reminders that we can’t eliminate hazards faced by business travellers. But we can mitigate them with a modern risk-management model.

On the people side, providing travellers with emergency numbers answered 24/7/365 is invaluable in building traveller confidence that you’ll take care of them. But you can’t just wait for that call. You must leverage digitalisation to locate and communicate with travellers in a crisis.

Domino’s harnesses the capabilities of BCD’s DecisionSource®, TripSource® and SolutionSource® platforms to increase the safety of employees, whether they're traveling for business or commuting to the office. A bonus: Duty of care improvements boosted booking compliance by 21 percentage points in one year.

Drive better programme performance with data

Any decisions you make for your programme should be backed by data. Period. That’s why we care so much about the quality of the data we collect and consolidate. It’s also why we make booked data available to our clients in just 30 minutes. That ensures your dashboards and reports are accurate and actionable in the moment.

RELX, a global information and analytics firm headquartered in London, relies on BCD to consolidate third-party data worldwide. Hear from RELX’s travel leader about how high-quality data enables insights and innovation.

Build a tailored programme with scalable platforms

Your business is unique. Your travel programme should be, too. What if you could create a programme tailored to your company culture and policies? One that offers:

·        The best travel content available, at the best rates, from multiple sources
·        A consumer-grade traveller experience driven by profile-based recommendations and service
·        Reporting and intelligence that allows you to make quick, informed decisions

A platform approach makes all of this possible by allowing you to integrate and distribute new technologies, content and suppliers with agility.

BCD is a full-service digital provider. Over the past five years, we have put 35% to 40% of our earnings back into the company to invest in our people, technology and infrastructure. That enables us to build flexible, open platforms primed for what’s next; partner on industry advancements; and meet clients’ changing needs without ever losing sight of what really matters: running a successful programme that keeps your travellers moving safely and smoothly so your business grows.

I’d love to talk about how your travel programme is adapting to change. Meet me at the Business Travel Show, 26-27 February, Booth B320. See you there! Register for a free visitor pass

This blog was posted by Heather Wright, vice president of Global Product Marketing at BCD Travel.


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