When it comes to managing your corporate travel program, you want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Of course, you also want your travelers to have an excellent experience and be well taken care of.
The travel industry has certainly changed over the years, with more internet travel sites, online booking tools, and mobile products storming the marketplace. Many travel buyers now believe they must choose between the simplicity of booking online and managing their program via mobile-friendly products or the quality service delivered by dedicated travel agents and attentive account managers.
Fortunately, that assumption is far from the truth. That’s right, it’s a MYTH! You can book online and still have a team of travel management professionals at your disposal.
For example, just as online booking tools do their part to streamline and simplify travel, the right TMC can provide 24-hour travel agent service, emergency support in the event of travel disruptions, and consulting services to help you negotiate car, air, and hotel contracts, as well as support to increase online adoption and improve program compliance.
Online Booking & Mobile-Friendly Products
The right TMC will not only configure your online booking tool to fit your travel policy, they will have an online help desk ready to answer any questions you have and communicate outages, as well as work with the OBT to help correct any issues. They may even have their own suite of products that will make managing your travel program on the go that much easier.
World Travel, Inc., for example, works with clients to increase online adoption, even though it reduces service fees. We’re a reseller of all major online booking tools, and we offer our own suite of tech products that simplify travel management.
24/7/365 Travel Agent Service
Even if you have or are working towards a very high online adoption rate, it’s important to have travel agent support when you need it.
For example, what if you have a VIP traveler, like a C-level executive, who prefers to book travel through an agent? Or, what about emergency support? Not only should your TMC proactively contact you and your travelers when major travel disruptions are expected, but the right TMC has its own agents available at all hours. Your agency should be open for business when you need to do business, and not via an outsourced or offshore service, or with “nickel and dime” fees that discourage your travelers from using the service when they need it.
The right TMC will have excellent travel agent service available 24/7/365 to assist you in the event of emergency or if you just need to change or cancel a reservation.
Business Planning & Consulting Services
Besides encouraging online adoption and program compliance, an attentive account manager can help you identify other cost-savings opportunities within your travel program. They can also help you set goals for your program and work with you to help you achieve them.
At World Travel, we also have a consulting services department, a hands-on, high-touch team, who will work with you to optimize your supplier agreements and assist with your annual negotiations and RFPs for airline, hotel, and car contracts.
Of course, this article is not an end-all-be-all list of services (there are many more), but it is based on a few of the most popular services World Travel provides. Whether you hire World Travel or a different TMC, just keep the following in mind: you don’t have to choose between quality service or the simplicity and cost-savings of booking online. You can have both!
I’m curious to hear from some of our readers, though. Have you ever felt the need to choose?
If you have any questions or stories to share, drop us a line below.
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