An old axiom when it comes to business travel is that if you’re not hearing any complaints, things must be going well. But while employees might not be complaining, it can be difficult to know for sure if you’re getting the most out of the travel management company (TMC) you work with.
At The Travel Team, we understand that the difference between a great TMC and a just-okay one is often more subtle than a missed flight connection or incorrect booking. That’s why we’ve put together a list of five traits of a top-quality corporate travel program partner.
They prioritize personalization.
When it comes to managed travel programs, personalization is key. Having a good TMC means more than just smooth booking. It means having a team that proactively engages with you, regardless of your size. It means knowing who your travelers are, the cities and hotels they frequent, and what they require to make the corporate travel experience tailored and exceptional.
A good TMC doesn’t assign you a new account manager every other month or have your point of contact be one of fifty. They give you the one-on-one time you need to be well serviced and feel valued.
They’re proactive problem-solvers.
Being able to solve problems is an important responsibility for any TMC. A good TMC should be anticipating issues and working to resolve them before they affect you or your travelers. This means:
- Reaching out to travelers with pertinent information to help them plan the best course of action rather than waiting for travelers to reach out to them
- Knowing where they’ve traveled to and where they are at all times to identify and better assess travel-related issues such as delays or emergency situations
Whether major or minor, the last thing your travelers should feel is blindsided by inconveniences or helpless in stressful situations.
That said, forethought shouldn’t be limited to disruptions or travel issues. A good TMC is equally proactive in presenting opportunities to improve your travel program such as making policy recommendations and pointing out where you could be saving or avoiding costs.
They provide insightful vendor management.
One of the benefits of working with a TMC is having access to detailed travel data that otherwise wouldn’t be available to your company. But having these reports is only one half of the equation.
The value of a good TMC is not just in providing detailed information for you to comb through but in the analysis and recommendations that come with it. Your TMC should be making time to show you where you can streamline processes and which vendor relationships can be nurtured to avoid unnecessary costs and improve your travel experiences.
Good reporting should never leave you feeling confused about how you could be optimizing your time and spend.
They are readily available to meet your needs.
The pandemic has brought with it its own set of challenges. With global travel at standstill for months, all TMCs have had to restructure. But this shouldn’t be affecting your business.
At the best TMCs, you never feel the effects of cutbacks. Turnaround times on your requests are handled promptly, and your calls are returned by a representative who is familiar with your business.
With the right travel partner, you always have direct access to decision makers.
They embrace the latest tech.
Online booking tools (OBT) like SAP Concur are the lifeblood of any good travel management program. That’s why having a TMC that understands the system you’re using and can provide optimization solutions (as well as fast online support) is important to getting the most out of SAP Concur Travel.
Furthermore, when that TMC is a certified partner, you can rest assured that you’re benefiting from the full range of what SAP Concur Travel is capable of—because neither your travel software nor the support you receive should leave you feeling frustrated.
Why it might be time for a change.
If you feel like any of the above characteristics are missing from your current travel program, it might be time to see how a fresh perspective can transform it and alleviate the headaches you only thought were par for the course.
Questions about how the right TMC can take your travel program to the next level?