By: Mark Dauner, Travel and Transport, Inc.
Today's corporate online booking tools offer business travelers power, personalization and convenience that couldn't have been imagined just a few years ago. Corporate self-booking tools like Deem offer the tools and resources that travelers have become accustomed to in the leisure travel space, balanced with added features that travel management programs require. Your corporate travel management company (TMC) should play a major role in taking your online booking program to the next level.
As Deem recently stated in a post at Travel and Transport’s website, “It’s important to build a robust support system for the lifetime of your travel program. Consider working with a travel management company who can provide consultation on your technology needs."
This consultation and support system should be realized in three very important areas:
Online bookings should be fully integrated into your TMC’s technology stack, including unused ticket management, mid- and back-office quality control and reporting systems.
If your TMC offers travelers a mobile app and a portal, it should integrate closely with the online booking tool. This, of course, means direct links and single sign-on between applications, but it doesn't stop there. Your TMC's mobile app should offer features that enhance the traveler experience and support them while they're traveling. Travel and Transport's Dash Mobile app, for instance, puts features like trip sharing, online check-in, trip alerts and reminders, language and culture information, personal travel integration and more in the hands of travelers. It also lets users cancel trips, look at alternate flight options and instantly connect with a travel advisor when plans change.
Those features, when added to a great online booking system like Deem provide travelers with virtually everything they need to make business travel successful.
Your TMC should have experts on hand that know your online booking tool inside and out; with first and second level online booking assistance in-house as well as always-available fulfillment support. They should know exactly what to do when issues arise and offer consistent communication and updates when needed.
Your travel management company should have a strong partnership and direct communication in place with your online booking provider in order to achieve prompt and effective solutions. The ability and capacity to automate solutions for common issues in order to increase your touchless transactions and lower transaction costs is also key.
An online booking solution like Deem is packed with features and benefits for travelers and travel managers that make it must-have technology. A good corporate TMC has experience implementing online booking solutions for many travel buyers and has built the expertise and infrastructure necessary to take your online booking performance to the next level.
Ultimate performance requires an online booking expert in your corner that can supercharge your system by ensuring that policies and preferences are tuned and configured with precision. They can make program recommendations, provide benchmarking and insights from analytics, help to guide supplier negotiations and much more. They will have the expertise and support system in place to maximize your company's online booking adoption, but they'll also have travel advisors ready to assist.
When it's time to implement an online booking tool, or to change online booking tools, be sure to ask your travel management company how they can help deliver the integration, support and expertise you need to ensure success.