Business Travel Experience: It's a Matter of Customer ServiceBy Jeanne Hopkins
What can you do to make sure that your employees' travel experience is a positive one?
We talk a lot about traveler experience these days. Most companies rely on travel for business growth, but from where your traveling employees sit (hopefully not in Basic Economy), travel is no luxury.
Doing everything you can to ensure their trips are convenient and comfortable – a positive experience – goes a long way toward achieving traveler happiness as well as corporate travel goals.
There’s plenty of advice out there about how to boost traveler experience within the confines of your company’s policies and budget. Check out our own Lola.com blog to find a wealth of helpful information.
But we think you should consider this, too:
Travelers (and other staff involved with travel) are customers, too, so giving them a great travel experience is really just a matter of customer service.
Think we’re just a bit wacky?
- Customers earn your company revenue.
- Customers have different types of wants and needs.
- Customer loyalty increases their lifetime value to your company.
- Customers are cheaper to retain than to recruit.
- Customers spread the word about your company’s great products or services.
- Customers expect to have personalized interactions with your company.
- Customers can be a source of innovation – bright new ideas or approaches to product/service development.
- Without them, your company would not exist.
Now read the list again, substituting “employees” for “customers.”
In fact, they not only bring you every benefit on that list, great employees foster greater customer happiness and success. They do it every day in the office, and they do it when they’re on the road.
So . . . how can you better serve these very special internal customers – your travelers?
Among the hottest customer service trends for 2020 you will find these items that speak directly to enhancing traveler experience:
- Mobile-friendliness is a must
- Self-service tools are in demand
- Real-time support is expected
- Personalization is more personal than ever
We predicted it!
Leave it to our Lola.com team of travel + tech experts to foresee the future and spot these most important trends for travel-centric companies. We created a corporate travel management platform that touches on each priority (and more).
- Mobile-friendly? Nothing says “on the move” like a solid company travel program. A fully-integrated system puts everything travelers need right at their fingertips. But this doesn't only benefit travelers. The jobs of Executive Assistants, travel managers and the finance department all become easier when travelers are able to control their itinerary and expenses from their phone.
- Self-service? Corporate travel policies are step one to saving money on business travel, but how can you make sure your employees are actually complying with the policy? Flexibility and clear communication are the most important components. When travelers search for flights and hotels in Lola, each option is clearly labeled as "In policy" or "Out of policy".
Our platform also ensures flexibility by allowing travelers to easily self-book within these policy guidelines. Travel managers can track everyone and everything all in one place, and the folks in accounting can access accurate, complete data for budget planning and analysis, whenever they want.
- Real time support? Duty of care means having a plan when things go awry on the road. Lola.com combines AI with live, in-office human support to provide full time assistance for employees while they’re away. (And, by the way, that AI + human hybrid approach is another customer service trend for 2020.)
- Deep personalization? It’s that flexibility thing again. With your well-crafted corporate travel guidelines embedded into Lola.com, your travelers have choices to make good choices that match their own travel style, comfort, and convenience. And your company’s T&E budget? It’s all good, too.
Providing policies, tools, and perks that boost traveler experience is no different than providing tools and resources employees need to do any other part of their job. You’re setting them up to succeed and, ultimately, the company will be the biggest winner. It’s easy to accomplish that goal. All you have to do is focus on internal (traveler) customer service.