Why your travel programme needs an effective technology strategy
Multi-platform online booking, mobile first, chatbots, wearables, blockchain - the pace of technological change today is sometimes dizzying. But while disruption is old news in consumer travel, corporate travel has been slow to catch up.
Having a robust travel technology strategy is a challenge for corporate travel managers. But the very circumstances that make having a robust travel tech strategy so challenging are also exactly the reasons why having such a travel tech strategy is so important.
The starting point for any travel tech strategy is the same three questions in any strategy development:
- Where are we now?
- Where do we want to be?
- How do we get there?
Technology will probably feature in your first answer. It may well feature in the third answer. But it should never be part of the answer to question two. Technology isn’t an answer in itself; no matter how fashionable or shiny. Travellers’ needs must be your first consideration. People, culture and need must be as much a part of defining your starting point or baseline as is the existing technology.
Surveying travellers about current processes and policies will provide an insight into where there are existing frustrations. This should be an opportunity to see what needs fixing and identify where there are opportunities for (continuous) improvement.
While this survey might be part of developing a travel technology strategy, it shouldn’t focus only on travellers’ perceptions or desire for technology. However, part of the challenge for travel managers is changing consumer expectations. Travellers expect booking corporate travel to be as easy as it is to book personal travel. Inevitably, technology must play a part in meeting these expectations.
The Skift Travel Megatrends survey 2017 found that more than two-thirds of business travellers questioned book corporate travel for themselves. The same survey has tracked steadily increasing use of Airbnb in business travel for the last four years.
This is what makes the need for a robust travel technology strategy so important. By having a strategy in place with a clear roadmap that is addressing travellers’ pains and making the corporate travel booking process easier and more streamlined, travel managers can also address one of their own major pain points: the problem of non-compliant travel spend.
What’s more, by increasing compliant spend on the corporate travel platform, travel managers gain greater visibility over all travel spend – enabling them to identify further opportunities for cost savings and process improvements.
Of course, what your travel strategy will look like will depend greatly on the current technology situation, people, culture, processes, number of travellers and travel spend. But there are some characteristics that a good, robust travel technology strategy should boast:
- Firmly rooted in clearly defined and identified travellers’ needs
- Aligned with business objectives
- Populated with Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound (SMART) goals and objectives
- Based on proven technology
Travel Counsellors offer a range of technology solutions to support corporate travel managers to meet travellers’ needs, streamline processes and access accurate and real-time reporting – from the MyTC travellers’ app to our flexible online reporting tools. Contact us today to learn more about improving your technology solutions.
Give us a call on +44 (0) 161 464 5350 or fill in the form below and let us call you back.