'The right features at the right price point'By Emily Parker-Woodland
How Lola.com has helped Botkeeper streamline corporate travel management – and save money in the process
Meagan Dignan is the Employee Happiness Manager at Botkeeper, a company that provides automated bookkeeping support to businesses by using a powerful combination of skilled accountants alongside machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).
The Challenge: Increasingly complex travel needs.
Like many scaling companies, Botkeeper’s travel needs seemed to balloon overnight.
Not only was the team growing, but the company was also starting to invest more heavily in event marketing, even creating a Brand and Events Coordinator role so Botkeeper could have a presence at events all over the country.
This growth was exciting, but it also began to put a strain on Meagan, forcing her to dedicate more time to managing increasingly complex travel logistics. Not only was she booking, managing, and adjusting other employees’ travel, she was also struggling to juggle their unique preferences and logistics — preferred airlines, rewards programs, seat preferences and more.
It didn’t take long for her to reach her breaking point. She knew she needed a better, more efficient way to manage Botkeeper’s corporate travel
“I was doing my best to book things quickly and for what I thought to be a good price. There just weren’t enough hours in the day to also record everyone’s specific preferences and make sure each employee was happy with their flight times.”
In fact, the hardest part for Meagan was dealing with the unpredictable travel complications that were cropping up more frequently. When someone’s flight was delayed or cancelled, they called Meagan for help. She, in turn, would call the airline or hotel on the traveler’s behalf to resolve any issues. When the company was smaller, this process was unwieldy but not critical.
But as the company grew, she had to find a way to help travelers book and adjust their own travel.
“It was easier for the traveler to take control of the issue, but they didn’t see it that way. They hadn’t made the booking so why should they be the one to call support? It was a mess.”
Meagan began wondering if there was a solution out there that could help her streamline the travel management process.
The Solution: A super simple way to give control to travelers themselves
Luckily, Meagan’s CEO had some experience in this area. When she asked for his guidance, he told Meagan about a super simple travel app he’d been using for his personal travel: Lola.com.
He was a huge fan of the easy-to-use app, and loved the streamlined way it allowed him to keep everything in one place.
Hoping Lola could be the answer to her travel-management prayers, Meagan did a little research, and found that the corporate travel platform offered everything she was looking for:
- A way for employees to book travel on their own.
- The ability to set a travel policy so employees understood what they were supposed to book.
- Visibility into what was being booked so she could step in if needed.
With those features (and a transparent, cost-effective pricing model) Meagan knew she had found a winner.
“I wanted something that was easy for me and the travelers to use. We’re a start-up so I’m also very careful about how I spend company money. Lola offered the right features at the right price point.”
Lola also offered something she hadn’t even thought much about: 24/7 support for her travelers, whether the needed to rebook a cancelled flight or change a hotel reservation at the last minute.
In fact, Lola’s 24/7 support feature became Meagan’s favorite aspect of the platform.
“The customer service at Lola is unlike any customer service I’ve experienced anywhere. It’s great.”
Benefits: An easy way to save time and money on corporate travel
Saving money on travel was always important to Meagan. She knew that whatever solution she chose not only had to help her in terms of efficiency, but also in terms of the bottom line.
Before Lola, Meagan spent a lot of her time comparing prices across many different websites. With Lola, the comparison shopping is as easy as putting in a route and watching the results stream in, organized just the way she wants them. In this way, Lola has taken the guesswork – and tab hopping — out of finding the best options.
She admits she is not a travel agent and does not have expertise in that area, so she is very glad that Lola’s pulls all the flight options into one platform where her travelers can easily see what is within policy, and still fly their preferred airlines and earn loyalty points.
“Our travelers prefer to book their own travel with options that fit their preferences and schedule, and now they can do that and I can still have a hand in the process when I need to.”
Not only does Meagan love using Lola, but the travelers love it as well. The team feels more confident about the travel process overall, and appreciates knowing what they are allowed to book. It’s made booking travel a quick and painless process.
“Our employees want to do what’s right for the company, and Lola has made it super easy for them to do so. Even our less tech-savvy employees have been able to get up and running on Lola with no issues. It’s such an easy process to roll out.”
Meagan has gotten a ton of time back in her day so she can focus on other things. Plus, as the Employee Happiness Manager, Meagan feels great knowing that she was able to implement a system that her team loves. All of the stress she used to feel about the travel process is gone.
“I just wish I could scream from the rooftops, Lola is great!”