Most companies have travel management policy with the best program in place but individual travellers may like to get on their own way. Why?

Companies that outsource travel management companies or TMCs still see their travellers taking their own route when it comes to booking flights, hotels or indulging in ‘bleisure’ or operating out of travel policies. They might be lured into booking a low-cost airline directly on an airline website or hosting a hotel conference directly with an upscale local property. They can also be easily carried away by deals, discounts and offers on travel industry websites. But truth be told, it is much cheaper and efficient to book through the organization’s designated channels. Read on to find out five simple hacks that boost loyalty to the travel policy this year.

    • Monitor employee booking trends:

      Check for travel trends regularly to identify booking patterns. Do you find out-of-policy bookings and official process ofttimes? If so, it is high time you retrospect why they are occurring in the first place. Perhaps travelling to a new place where there aren’t no corporate rates can only increase travel spends over the long haul. Travel managers should consult with end users and collate feedback for their reasons. In case they may appear somewhat valid than they think.

    • Project the bigger picture:

      The traveller may well be patting on the head for booking directly on the service provider’s website and saving a few bucks per ticket. But this mustn’t be regarded as a means to an end without weighing the other benefits: traveller security, location tracking, management information, crisis management and negotiation with preferred suppliers and vendors for cost-cutting.

    • Key is transparency:

      Problems in transparency can freely afloat when end users turn a blind eye to a company’s travel policy. The reasons, however, may include complicated approval policy, lack of privacy, lack of shared benefits and inflexible terms and conditions —they all need to be adjusted suitably to establish adherence benchmarks.

    • 24 x 7 services:

      Do your end users get to use online booking tool 24×7? Do they get the help of a support team? Not all travel management policies allow you to book outside of work hours, let alone confirmation of tickets or assistance outside of office hours.  Does your travel policy fail to accommodate the needs of travellers wanting to book their travel at 6am at the weekend or 9pm in the evening?

  • Ensure that the travel policy has got user-preferred content covered:

    Once you come to know that your users have made booking outside of the designated channels, ask them and get an honest feedback whether they could have done directly via travel management too. Does the travel management tool have all user-preferred content covered? Does it have content of all potential vendors and suppliers covered?

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