Playing the Long Game

By Brent Blake, President, Acendas Travel

 

It’s been said that in business you win some and you lose some. 

I’ve been around long enough to know you don’t dwell much on the losses. But I have to admit it sticks with me a little longer when a current client decides to take its business elsewhere. It doesn’t happen often and when it does, it is usually the result of a purchase by a company with an existing travel arrangement or a change in leadership from the outside. 

Because we invest extensively in creating lasting relationships, even when we see a client opt for a new management company, we do not close any doors. As a result, we have had a considerable number of companies over the years “return” to Acendas Travel. This happened a few weeks ago when a former customer with considerable international travel reached back out to Acendas Travel to see if we would have interest in taking back their business.

There was no “we told you so” moment and we didn’t “tighten the screws” with higher fees for our services upon their return to Acendas. We completely understood the new ownership wanted to review its options. We did not agree with the initial decision to leave us, but honestly it offered the opportunity to demonstrate the superiority of our value proposition over a large national brand.

We have never purported to be anything that we are not. We are the small to medium enterprise brand of BCD Travel, the world’s third-largest purchaser of traveler. We have the backing of BCD resources, but retain the autonomy and flexibility that enables us to be nimble and create customized travel programs. That arrangement allows us to maintain long-term relationships that are based on open communication and mutual trust. 

There are certain moments in time where the travel industry has been jolted by a significant fundamental change. The Covid-19 pandemic is one of those. We’re still feeling the repercussions. Have we changed the way we do things? Most certainly.

But what hasn’t changed is our focus on creating lasting relationships and working together to create a win-win outcome for Acendas Travel and its business partners.