Earlier this month our team huddled to discuss a few issues that would hit hard a typical business traveller and came out with a few recommendations to help him or her reach the destination with health and humour intact. We couldn’t wait to produce those in this week’s blog and we believe there is always advice to make your business travel easy, not queasy!
Approval of travel plans:
One of the biggest pains for a business traveller is the time it takes to get approval for travel from their manager or the business unit head. If the manager is busy or on leave or on business travel himself or herself, the approval will get delayed. If there is no approval, the travel desk won’t issue the tickets. Apart from making the traveller’s life difficult, this also increases travel costs for the company. With every hour delayed in booking a ticket, the prices keep jumping. So, how do you avoid this delay? You need an automated system that guarantees a response with a stipulated time. This is made possible by specifying a timeout value for approvers to respond and taking contingency actions if there is no response within a stipulated time!
Access to curated travel content:
Another area of pain for the traveller is the frustration around getting a ticket or booking in a preferred airline or hotel. While the user may prefer a certain airline, the corporate policy may not allow him or her to book on that. If the bookings are handled by the travel desk, this leads to frustration for both parties. How do you avoid this? By providing full access to the employee on the flights available and clearly showing the user’s entitlement. By providing the curated content to the traveller at the time of booking, one can avoid unnecessary hours spent in the back and forth communication between the traveller and the agent.
Getting little rewards for corporate travel:
There are many a time you have fumbled in your wallet, desk drawer, purse, or e-mail inbox frenetically scouring to retrieve your Hilton HHonors loyalty program or United Airlines MileagePlus account number, and that starkly reminds yourself that you should have registered for a loyalty program tracking platform. If the bookings are made by agents, these details are often missed by them, leading to the user getting frustrated. Loyalty cards offer seamless experience by adopting a system that keeps track of them and inserts them automatically whenever a booking is made.
Auto trip planner:
For frequent travellers, one of the pain points is having to provide all their preferences, flight, hotel and other details every time one makes travel arrangements. For instance, travellers end up specifying the specific flight, hotel and car pickup address every time they travel to the same destination. Ideally, travellers would like to say that they need to be at a certain place at a certain time, and they would like a personal assistant to make all travel arrangements knowing all their preferences. This doesn’t mean companies need to provide personal assistants for all employees! By adopting travel automation platforms that learn about travellers’ preferences as they travel more, travellers will be able to achieve this easily.
Avoiding Receipt Clutter:
Most business travellers dread one thing when they travel on business – it is usually about filing expense reports on time and with all relevant receipts. Wouldn’t it be great if you are able to file your expense reports once you return from your business trip simply by clicking a few buttons, instead of having to deal with the “receipt clutter”? What if the system allows you to capture expenses as and when the expenses are made – either online or by the user by simply clicking a picture of the receipt? To top it all, what if the expense management system manages the approval process automatically and you get your reimbursement soon after you submit your expense reports?
All this and more is provided by Tripeur, an end-to-end corporate travel automation system that gets better as you go along.