Recently, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Foundation published a study, in partnership with Sabre Corporation, recognizing the extremely stressful facets of business travel. The study polled road warriors around the world regarding top perks or amenities that influenced their business travel experience. In North America, 62 percent said a convenient and comfortable hotel, 54 percent said non-stop flights, 40 percent said booking flexibility, 39 percent said paid-time-off for long trips, and 29 percent said carrier type. Since the top amenity that influenced a road warrior’s experience regards hotel preferences, a company should ensure the property meets their requirements, which is a key step to enhance traveler satisfaction and overall experience.
Additionally, the study asked what optional purchases road warriors are making to improve their experience, even if they were not being reimbursed by the company. The top five responses were; airplane/train Wi-Fi, hotel high speed internet, seat upgrades, international mobile call and texts, and early boarding. Road warriors stated that these purchases were frequently made to be more productive while traveling. Of those who bought upgrades, the study inquired which amenities were purchased. By investigating how frequently travelers purchased these amenities and services on their own and the applicable fees, travel managers can recognize opportunities in addition to cost savings (Cost Savings Page LINK), which should be incorporated during supplier negotiations to bring increased value to the travel program.
Solutions to improve the traveler experience
Communication influences the traveler experience. Safety, transportation, and information about the location were top answers for travelers to help lower stress. Comprehending the best way to produce and make these forms of information available to travelers is important. Many put travel details on a corporate intranet, some conduct regular webinars or email information, though others surveyed do not have a proactive communication process. Instead, they will wait until a traveler has communicated directly with questions.
Moreover, the business travel experience has become more significant with the increase in mobile technology, and apps that enhance productivity and traveler satisfaction. From the capability to book travel via online tools, to using email to communicate with staff worldwide, to improving the travel experience with a mobile app, to completing online expense reports – technology has developed into an essential aspect of a travel manger’s function.
Travelers in the survey implied that several technological services would improve their travel experience with automatic location information, mobile options for payment and expense reporting, itinerary management apps, and safety tracking app rounding out the list. The youngest groups surveyed, Millennials and Gen-X, were anticipated to be interested in mobile amenities, whether for payment or expense reporting, to enhance their travel experience.
Not surprisingly, business travelers recognize numerous technology segments that can improve their travel experience. We are in a more mobile environment where travelers demand access to information on the road, as well as being able to complete tasks they were incapable of achieving via mobile device years before. Introducing the appropriate technology will support and improve the tasks travelers must complete to prepare for and manage their travel.
What technology and other processes can a company utilize to enhance the traveler experience? The following are some strategies:
- Question travelers to recognize their distinct requirements.
- Work with executive team and department managers to assess program needs.
- Implement technology to assist with managing trips during travel, as well as provide correct trip information to travelers and travel managers in a timely manner.
- Examine traveler technology requirements through the entire trip cycle.
Want more information on business traveler’s challenges and how you can save time while engaging and retaining employees? Read our first blog in this series, Business Traveler Zen Part 1: Save time, Sanity and Employee Retention.