Top 5 Ways to Control Corporate Travel Cost

January 10, 2023

Travel managers are superheroes in the business world, helping keep travelers safe while saving their companies money. But, according to two surveys sponsored by Deem, (IDC, GBTA), travel managers are now being challenged to balance controlling business travel program costs with making sure travelers have a good experience.

What helps travelers have that positive experience? The surveys also say that half of travelers prefer to book their own trips using an online booking tool (OBT). Most business travel programs do offer an OBT, many of them with at least some mobile app options. But to keep travelers using the OBT, that itself also needs to provide a great experience.

This is why we created Etta. Our traveler-centric software is an intuitive, accessible, and powerful booking tool that travelers want to use. At the same time, it’s a comprehensive, flexible business travel program solution for travel managers—one that helps control travel and expenses.

Travel and expense management Top 5

Etta helps travelers stay in control of their trips and helps travel managers stay in control of travel program expenses. When fewer than a third of travel managers say that cost containment is their travel program’s greatest strength, Etta can be the travel management tool needed most. 

Here are just five of the ways Etta helps travel managers control business travel program travel and expenses while it’s providing an outstanding user experience:

1. Increase adoption and help negotiated rates

While most travel managers can easily handle negotiating rates with suppliers, they may not have enough online booking tool adoption to give them the data, and therefore leverage, they need.

Increasing user adoption is what we had in mind when we created Etta as a traveler-centric business travel software platform. Because when travelers love and use their OBT, travel managers get the information they need to arm them for rate negotiations.

Corporate travelers want the same intuitive experience they get with consumer online booking tools. We used that as a benchmark, but we made sure Etta is more. We used human-centered design principles to create our award-winning user experience. We minded guidelines from the Worldwide Web Consortium to ensure Etta is accessible for as many travelers as possible. 

We also included a broad range of content sources, included visual indicators to help influence traveler behavior, and even incorporate sustainability and travel safety features in the booking flow, where travelers need it most. 

Two cellphones showcase two of Etta's traveler-friendly features, Travel SafetyCheck and EcoCheck.
Business travelers love Etta's traveler-friendly features like SafetyCheck and EcoCheck.

Etta has won numerous awards to date, including Fast Company’s Innovation by Design 2022, American Business Awards (2021, 2022) and usability awards from technology user review site (See what they’re saying about Etta here.) 

2. Give them what they want — points

Any traveler who takes more than just a few trips each year understands the allure of loyalty points. After all, who doesn’t want free upgrades and perks that make travel a better overall experience? (Free airport lounge passes? Yes, please.)

But when travelers book their trips outside of the company’s online booking tool so they can keep collecting their points, travel managers lose the ability to control corporate travel costs as well as provide duty of care and other concerns.

Etta solves this by enabling travelers to store all of their loyalty memberships in their profile. Airlines, hotels, everything. So any time a traveler books their trip in Etta, those numbers are automatically applied to their reservations. 

Travelers don’t have to think about locating their memberships or making mistakes when they’re entering long strings of numbers into each booking. They get all the points they’re owed, and travel managers get better adoption and compliance.

3. Use ticket credits & avoid fees

Unused tickets are difficult to track. And even when you can track them, you still spend more money when you need to contact a travel management company to apply them to a trip. Now multiply that by all the trips being taken. That’s potentially a lot of money spent to use tickets that were already paid for.

Etta solves this with Automatic Ticket Exchange. Whenever a traveler has unused tickets available, Etta automatically applies them when a new eligible trip is booked. There’s no extra effort needed by travelers or travel managers to keep business travel expenses in check.

4. Ride hail to the rescue

Hotels, flights, and car rentals are generally easy for travel managers to see in any online booking tool. But one big area of business travel that’s been hidden is ride hail. 

This popular and convenient way to get around is available in most places business travelers go to. But it leaves travel managers in the dark about exactly where and when their travelers are.

This is why we integrated Uber for Business with Etta. Once a company has its Uber for Business account connected to Etta, travelers can reserve a ride with all of their other trip bookings. There are a lot of benefits to this, from automatic pick-up adjustments if a flight is late, for instance, to providing insight for travel managers into both ride expenses and traveler location for more proactive duty of care.

Cellphone screens displaying the Uber for Business with Etta interface.
Cellphone screens displaying the Uber for Business with Etta interface.

5. Keep your money by making only one site

Many companies have complex business travel programs. Different groups of travelers need different permissions, and when they’re distributed globally, require even more ways to manage them separately. 

Most online booking tools make travel managers create a new site for each different traveler group, with all the associated implementation and integration fees. But Etta does it better. We call it Single Site Builder.

WIth Etta, different groups of travelers can have different rules that are all managed from one dashboard. Travel managers save time and money when they don’t have to pay for a new site for each traveler type.

Of course, travel managers do so much more than control business travel program costs. Using advanced technology to help travelers and control spending is a smart way to free their time, allowing them to show their value in other ways.

To see Etta in action, get started with a demo today.

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Diana Rose Brandon
Director, Marketing Content

An accomplished business writer and creative professional, Diana heads up content for Deem’s many content areas including PR, social media and blogs. Her background includes creating visual and written stories for the travel, consumer electronics and technology industries. Diana is a story junkie who loves to travel. When she isn’t writing, you can usually find her reading, playing word games or behind a camera.

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