‘If I had a dollar for every time I’ve told them, I’d be rich.’ Getting employees to follow an organisation’s policies when booking business trips is a challenge for corporate travel managers the world over.
Some employees are familiar with specific agents and refuse to entertain the idea of working with anyone else, others won’t use the chosen travel management tools. You’ve told employees time and again they must adhere to written guidelines, to the common refrain: ‘Yes, I’ll do it next time’. But when next time comes around, they still resort to their old ways to book corporate travel.
If this sounds familiar, your corporate travel buying process is broken. The good news is there is a way to end the frustration and fix your process.
'I'd rather find my hotel and airline rates, thanks'
Only about half of all hotel bookings go through the proper channel, research shows, and the desire to find an individual hotel or airline rate is one of the most common reasons ‘mavericks’ will ignore procedure. Travellers have different preferences when making reservations — some book directly on the hotel website while others like to use aggregators like Kayak.com — which causes fragmentation in policies, expenses and data.
Hotel rates fluctuate and can often be higher than what the travel manager budgeted for, creating extra pressure on them to trim those costs. When travellers search for better rates on their own, and choose not to book preferred hotels or flights, they create compliance issues. Ubiquitous loyalty programs also entice employees to stick with them, rather than choosing the business’ preferred option.
'our corporate travel tool is too cumbersome'
Corporate travellers are busy and have little time for dealing with complex systems. They want the technology they use to manage travel and expenses to be quick and easy. The growing array of mobile apps and online tools — and their increasing sophistication — is also shifting user expectations towards a simpler technology-driven process.
'manual expense reporting is time-consuming'
Yes it is. So it might surprise you that 69% of organisations still send paper receipts to their finance departments and 58% compensate employees using cheques. It’s important costs are reported accurately, on time and without fuss so employees can receive reimbursements efficiently. Using a manual process makes it much more difficult than it should be for employees to submit expenses, causing frustration for employees and creating compliance risks. And that’s when it goes well. Receipts are often lost or reimbursements sent to the wrong person, which breeds more frustration and less compliance among travellers and increases the workload for travel organisers, leading to longer processing times and higher costs to the organisation.
help is at hand
An effective travel management platform streamlines end-to-end processes and provides the freedom and flexibility to make changes instantly, wherever you are. Managing approvals should be timely and painless, and submitting expense reports effortless and efficient.
In short, technology should be making the lives of business travellers — and corporate travel organisers — simpler, not harder.
Travelport Locomote is an intuitive corporate travel platform that empowers travel managers to drive change and achieve a quantum leap in program efficiencies. We’re a seamless end-to-end corporate travel platform with a range of workflows and features that consolidate the entire travel process and can manage everything from planning, approving and booking corporate travel to reporting in one intuitive platform.
To see how Travelport Locomote’s corporate travel platform can help you rein in the mavericks and improve a broken corporate travel buying process, book in a product demo today.