The pandemic has wiped out most business travel and brought about profound changes to customer behavior, making it necessary for travel management companies to reinvent themselves going forward.
Most importantly, they need to digitize the process of travel procurement and focus exclusively on providing travel consultancy to corporates. This is because 52% of business travelers have already taken a trip in the new normal, according to a poll we conducted.
Also, corporations happen to be high yield customers with frequent travel requirements and the willingness to pay extra for last-minute bookings.
Here is how TMCs can go about digitizing travel procurement and catering to corporate travelers in a way that maximizes their revenue.
Embracing technology for travel procurement
One of the first things that corporate travel managers need to do is use a booking platform that allows travelers to book tickets for themselves. In this way, you can avoid the countless emails from unsatisfied customers filled with travel requests, queries about itineraries, issues with flight bookings, cancellations, last-minute changes, etc.
Digitizing the process is especially prudent if a group booking is involved, where a new variety of scheduling complications arise.
Moreover, corporate travelers will appreciate it a lot if there is an automated system to check if the bookings align with company policy. Also, while catering to corporates, you can provide them with the flexibility to instantly access frequent flyer rewards and pick service providers of their choice, which would be challenging without a digital solution.
Pain-free travel consultancy
Companies, which are confused about whether or not to return to business travel will benefit from expert guidance. This makes travel consultancy an excellent way for TMCs to generate optimal amounts of revenue. Notably, travel management companies can help corporates optimize their travel expenditure with a variety of insightful reports.
Besides, TMCs can provide integrated expense management services that both corporates and travel agents benefit from. When there is an integrated solution in place, corporates and travel agents can have complete control and visibility over their expenses without spending too much of their time tracking paper receipts or updating excel sheets.
Ensuring policy compliance is another excellent way to help corporates as they return to business travel. Depending on the employee level, various controls can be applied, such as pre-approvals for all trips, limitations on budget, etc.
TMCs are also responsible for ensuring that all the company's needs are taken care of during the trip, meaning they need to provide corporates with hotel bookings, car rentals, etc. These services go a long way in boosting the revenue of a TMC.
Other than this, the TMC of the future can play a remarkable role in providing CFOs and the management of the company with real-time data on their employee/ department-wise spending habits that will let them make substantial changes. It is worth mentioning that corporates can make use of information from TMCs to become aware of any KPI that is important to them.
As travel consultants to corporates, TMCs can also eliminate other repetitive tasks that are time-consuming for the companies. For instance, the travel management company can enforce travel insurance requirements, provide guidance based on the destination, and even handle customer support requests.
Business travel has undoubtedly taken a massive hit in recent years, pushing many TMCs to the brink of closure. However, travel management companies can bounce back relatively soon if they can digitize travel procurement and make corporate travelers happy with cost-effective packages and excellent service.