COVID-19 brought important changes to organizations and their travel management process – changing travel policies, restricting travel, communicating updates and changes to travelers more often than ever, ensuring travelers’ safety and managing risks… A lot has happened in the past few months. The responsibility of organizations now is showing empathy to their employees and providing tools to make their job easier and safer. For a job that includes the stress of traveling, managing travel, or arranging travel, providing the right tools to assist all parties will bring peace of mind and relieve unwanted anxiety. Optimize your travel management process with these 7 tips below.
1. Increase Online Adoption with an Easy-to-use Booking Tool
Using an online booking tool (OBT) allows travelers to take advantage of negotiated deals with preferred vendors, will cost less money per transaction, and has the advantage of collecting data efficiently. When a company uses an OBT platform, they’re ensuring the traveler gets what they need, saving the time of the travel arranger, and cutting out unnecessary steps by having everything in one convenient place. When choosing your online booking tool, keep in mind the simplicity of the user interface. An easy-to-use tool will certainly encourage travelers to use the tool and benefit from its advantages. Plus, the organization can better manage their travel spend and travel program if travelers all use the same online tools. It’s a win-win situation.
2. Review Travel Policies and Make Them Easily Accessible to Travelers and Travel Arrangers
Keeping travel policies up to date will ensure anyone who travels is aware of guidelines and acceptable accommodations. All of these components should be included in any company’s travel policy: price guidelines, group guidelines, which trips need pre-approval, and which person to contact for approval. Adopting a platform that makes these policies and guidelines easily accessible will improve the experience for the traveler. Many organizations have their travel policy as PDFs, saved somewhere on their Intranet, making it difficult for travelers to find it when they need it. The ability to have travel policy easily accessible at time of booking on the same platform will save travelers and travel managers a lot of time and ensure compliance. A travel management platform like Zii has a travel policy widget that helps travelers know and stay within policy when they book a trip.
3. Make Self-Reporting Easy with Data Updated in Real-Time
Companies using traditional tools to manage business travel experience a lack of visibility on travel data. Organizations need full visibility in real-time to quickly identify savings opportunities and manage risks efficiently. That’s why utilizing an integrated travel management tool can change the way organizations handle travel and impact their bottom line—no more waiting for reports that take several days to produce and hours to understand. When travelers are utilizing online tools, data is updated in real-time as they go. With Zii, travelers can access analytics relevant to them and download the data instantly in just one click.
4. Have an Incentive to Increase Compliance
Every company has a travel policy, but we all know travelers’ interests are not always aligned with their company’s. Some simply don’t know their travel policy or have just taken a glance at it and proceeded to book with what they think are the guidelines; others book with no regard for policies or procedures. Therefore, it becomes crucial for companies to use tools and incentives that can automatically guide employees to the company’s best practices. This cuts out the need for constant approval, emails, questions, and the hassle of going over several pages of travel policy guides to find crucial information.
A growing tendency right now is to use gamification and gain sharing. If the travelers make a decision that saves the company money, the gains are shared between the organization and the traveler. At Zii, we decided to take a different approach. We use social influence to encourage better behavior. When booking a trip, the traveler or travel arranger is assisted with the travel policy widget, highlighting the options that fall within policy and the ones that don’t. Making a decision will impact the employee’s travel performance, making it easier to detect outliers and high spenders. The real-time visibility that Zii provides on compliance and the cost of non-compliance drives behavior towards improved performance. By shedding light on the impact of a decision, Zii enables employees and managers to take action and encourages better behavior. The numbers always tell the story.
5. Manage Risk and Protect Your Travelers
Safety is the most critical issue in the world today. With travel being one of the worst-hit industries during COVID-19, it is more crucial than ever for companies to exercise a duty of care to protect traveling employees. Stress is high for those who travel for business and without them, many businesses wouldn’t be where they are today. It’s of utmost importance that these employees are recognized for what they do and feel their employer is protecting them.
Adopting a robust duty of care solution is on the top priority list for many organizations. They need to take the necessary steps to protect and optimize their travelers’ safety by making use of a tool that enables geo-tracking, easy communication to travelers, and other safety features. The additional cost is easily covered by the savings generated by the increased efficiency and improved behavior resulting from the use and monitoring of traveler scores. This type of risk management will change the game for businesses and employees.
6. Simplify Communication Processes Between Travelers, Travel Managers, and Travel Arrangers
As corporate travel starts to resume, communication will be key to ensure new travel policies are followed, unused credits are finally used, and everyone is aware of important travel program updates.
Simplifying communication and processes to ensure that all parties are clear on every step that has been taken is crucial. Using a single tool to facilitate communication like this can minimize the chance for confusion drastically. When travelers know where information is, the process is streamlined to become quicker, more efficient, and easier for everyone.
7. Use a Comprehensive Travel Management Tool Like Zii
Using a comprehensive travel management tool that integrates with your online booking tool, provides a one-stop duty of care solution and real-time reporting will optimize your travel management process.
Zii is an all-in-one platform with tools and insights to make travel management easy for you. By connecting all the dots in travel management – be it booking, managing expenses or credit card reconciliation, reporting or supporting your duty of care – Zii provides an easy solution that enhances the travelers’ experience while having a real impact on your bottom line.
If ever there has been a time for a change, it’s now. Companies and organizations everywhere have been forced to adapt. One more change in the right direction will make incredible improvements to the traveler’s satisfaction and the company’s finances.
Welcome to the new revolution in corporate travel management.