By Brent Blake, President, Acendas Travel
As business leaders, sometimes we tend to ignore national trends because we believe we are “different than the others” or insulated from what is happening elsewhere.
But in terms of corporate travel, no one can afford to have their head in the sand anymore if they are ignoring the fact that the traveler is now calling the shots in travel programs and policy. This might sound scary because there is an appearance of loss of control. But the reality is this trend is an opportunity for companies to strengthen operations and differentiate themselves. According to surveys and research by several travel industry organizations, restrictive travel policies at best are a nuisance for staff members and at worst, a factor in low staff morale and high-turnover.
The GBTA Foundation forecasts that by 2020 the global business travel market will be $1.6 trillion annually. Travel is good for building business, so it only makes sense that travel programs should be seen as a facilitator of success, not a detractor. That is why Acendas Travel works with its clients to make certain all parts of a business’s travel program are weighed against the impact on team members.
Recently, Acendas Travel implemented a process supported by technology to track travelers and proactively communicate trip delays and disruptions 24/7. Despite the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other automation technology, the human touch is still important. Take a trip disruption, for example. Would your travelers rather speak to an agent to rebook on the next flight or should they trust an automated tool to get it done right? If your company is not receiving proactive crisis management services, then it would be wise to investigate security solutions options.
A significant aspect of Acendas’ work is to help corporations develop travel policies that support a positive and productive work environment. It should be noted that a “worker-friendly” policy does not have to equate with spending more money. By listening to a company’s needs, we can address issues in a feasible manner. However, it would be a huge mistake to be penny-wise and pound-foolish by eschewing a better policy because of a slightly higher expense. The policy should be viewed as an investment in building and retaining a quality workforce. Is it possible for a company to put travelers first without adding costs? Yes, in fact our clients are more frequently looking to revise travel policies with the goal to not only have happier, but more productive travelers.
We launched our mobile app to meet the needs of our clients and their travelers. Acendas Connect is our must have mobile application for business travelers that personalizes the experience. Travelers can book their next trip, check their travel policy, and receive communications to avoid travel delays and disruptions. Additionally, via our mobile app, Acendas offers online booking tools that provides clients with extensive inventory of options for airlines, hotel and car. Want to know how to keep road warriors happy? One simple step is to provide mobile apps that allow travelers to manage and support their trips. Additionally, there are several methods recommended to reduce “friction’ in travel and enhance the traveler experience, which mainly focus on mobile technology apps and appropriate policies.
Acendas offers tools that streamline business travel. Our solutions include online booking tools, journey monitoring technologies, automated quality control processes, mobile app, and expense tool integration. These technologies were created with the demanding requirements of a road warrior in mind, who just wants to book trips and not worry about the small stuff; as well as the shift to manage the “friction” in travel. This simplification of travel will not only enhance traveler satisfaction, decrease costs and save time, but it is also a means to increase efficiency and traveler confidence.