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8 Questions to Ask When Selecting a Corporate Travel Platform
October 18, 2022
By Andrew Sheivachman
Categories Sustainability,Travel Management
Choosing the right travel technology and service provider is more important than ever before.
Nearly two-thirds of travel buyers said their current online booking tool isn’t fit for their medium- or long-term needs, according to a recent Institute of Travel Management survey. Seventy-five percent said their current provider doesn’t even listen to their needs.
If your organization is looking for a new corporate travel platform, or looking to find a partner for the first time, it’s vital to ask the right questions to find a technology platform that provides savings, simplicity, and an unparalleled traveler experience.
In this blog post, we will discuss the most important questions to ask when considering a new corporate travel platform. We will also show you how Spotnana can help you build a simpler and safer travel program that empower travelers with choice within the structure of your global travel policy.
Do you provide business travelers with a consumer-like experience?
It can be hard to get business travelers to use their approved corporate travel platform. We are all used to booking travel online in our personal lives, and business travelers expect that quality of experience.
Traditional corporate travel tools, though, don’t empower travelers to book the trips they want. Limited search results, missing airlines and hotel chains, and dated user interfaces compel travelers to book outside their corporate travel program.
If your current provider doesn’t offer an online booking tool, or if their online booking tool is hard to use, it’s time to find a new platform.
Booking tools built on a modern technology stack like Spotnana bring a powerful but easy-to-use interface across both desktop and mobile devices to business travel for the first time.
Travelers can enter their preferences like preferred airlines and seating configuration in order to receive personalized search results. Powerful filters allow travelers to find the exact travel option they want. Even out-of-policy bookings are shown in search, to provide the peace of mind that the traveler is seeing all available options at the best prices.
Do you have the widest travel inventory and best pricing?
Travelers sense when they’re not seeing the best deals during their travel search. They’re trained to hunt for the best options when booking trips in their personal lives and this behavior carries over to business travel.
Most corporate booking tools hide content and availability, making travelers book outside their travel platform in order to find the options they want. In other cases, booking tools are missing content like flights from low-cost carriers and regional hotel chains that may be the most affordable and convenient options.
In order to offer the widest inventory of travel options at the lowest prices, your corporate travel platform must pull in inventory from a variety of sources around the world and make it easy for your travelers to find.
Spotnana provides comprehensive travel inventory from a wide variety of sources including global distribution systems (GDSs), aggregators, direct connections with suppliers, NDC, and more.
This means your travelers always have access to global travel content at the best possible prices, all within the structure of your corporate travel program’s policy guidelines.
Is your platform flexible enough for our travel program?
Every corporate travel program is different. There are a variety of reasons why your company might want to customize its travel policy, from cutting costs to promoting safety. It’s important to find a corporate travel platform that can accommodate the specific guidelines of your program.
If your goal is to build a travel program that keeps costs in check while providing world-class service to your travelers, flexibility is key. Travelers need to be able to search and book on both mobile and desktop, while receiving help from experienced travel agents whenever they need it.
A one-size-fits-all travel policy, likewise, is less effective than one that supports the needs of your different types of travelers. Your road warriors may need to be able to book business class flights while others may need rooms in five-star hotels to host guests or prospects.
Spotnana allows you to set granular policy guidelines for different groups inside your company. Our policy engine is also dynamic, allowing upgrades based on pricing even if certain fare classes or hotel types are out of policy.
This granular control over policy and pricing means your company can find the right balance of cost savings and traveler satisfaction while providing your travelers the flexibility to book the best trip for their needs.
Will you charge technology fees even if we don’t travel?
Most travel management companies and online booking tools charge fees even when travelers don’t use their services. This can be a major deterrent for companies looking to control costs or expand their travel program.
Spotnana only charges a flat fee per trip, so you only pay us when your travelers hit the road. There are no additional fees based on how complex a trip is, how many times a traveler contacts one of our experienced agents for service, or how many travelers are using the platform.
We believe this aligns our interests with yours – we only succeed when your travelers are happy and actively booking trips.
Are you capable of working with our corporate sustainability guidelines?
More companies are looking to reduce their environmental impact, and travel is often a major area of focus. If your company has sustainability goals, it’s important to find a corporate travel platform that can help you meet them.
Spotnana is committed to helping our clients achieve their sustainability goals. We offer a variety of features to help your company offset its carbon footprint, including the ability to set a sustainable travel policy that prevents travelers from booking flights with high carbon pollution.
Travelers are also prompted with the estimated carbon emissions from the flights they book, providing them with insights into the ramifications of their choices.
We also offer reporting tools to help you track and measure your progress towards meeting your sustainability goals, giving you real-time insight into the progress your program is making.
Do your agents operate on the same platform as our travelers?
Most travel management companies operate with both online and offline channels due to the legacy system their technology stacks are built on. Desktop and mobile online booking, for instance, works on a separate system from the traditional phone-based agency operations.
This means that online bookings made by travelers may not be serviceable by travel agents and bookings made by calling an agent may not be visible or adjustable by travelers online. This disconnect causes travelers to wait on hold for hours to reach an agent with the correct access to adjust their trip and can cause trips to not show up in a traveler’s online booking tool or app.
Spotnana eliminates the concept of online and offline bookings by providing travelers and agents with a single, unified cloud-based technology stack. All booking and traveler profile information is available to our travel agents, making it easy for travelers to request and receive 24×7 service via chat, phone, and email.
Spotnana’s global platform has also eliminated the concept of after hours service, which traditional travel management companies use to charge clients extra for service outside of normal business hours.
How do you support global travel programs?
While it’s normal for companies to operate in many countries around the world, travel management widely remains segmented by country due to the regulatory and licensing issues that govern travel selling.
If a company has offices in ten countries, for example, that often requires ten different travel management companies, a variety of online booking tools based on market needs, and separate third-party integrations for things like HR feeds and expense management.
This approach leads to inconsistent service for travelers based on their location along with data fragmentation that makes it difficult to have a clear, real-time understanding of a company’s travel program.
Since Spotnana is built with a cloud-based infrastructure, all of a company’s global travelers are serviced on the same platform regardless of where they are based. This grants travel managers a clear view of their organization’s global travel, from employee location to travel spending, in real-time.
With all employees on one platform, it is simple to set granular travel policy rules for offices, departments, and even individual travelers from one central dashboard. This approach also enables global sustainability tracking, access to a wide range of global travel content, and a consistent experience for business travelers across geographies if they move between countries.
How do you deliver a personalized travel shopping experience?
Corporate travel has lagged behind leisure travel in delivering a personalized shopping experience to travelers. With corporate travel’s focus on cost-savings and policy guidelines, business travelers are used to booking trips that are inconvenient or booking outside their policy on a consumer site.
Research has shown that 71 percent of consumers now expect a personalized shopping experience. This has major implications for policy adherence and program leakage in corporate travel.
Spotnana’s global platform is built to provide personalized travel shopping within the structure of an organization’s travel program and policy guidelines.
Travelers using Spotnana can set their preferences for elements like seat location, preferred suppliers, number of stops, and more to find the options they really want when they shop. These personalized elements sit inside a display that reflects an organization’s negotiated rates and policy rules.
Spotnana also has the ability to show flight seat maps that reflect a traveler’s loyalty program entitlements, allowing users to select seats based on their status during the booking process.
Our agents have full access to traveler preference and past booking behavior, allowing them to make intelligent personalized decisions when booking for a traveler or adjusting a trip
Want to find out more about how Spotnana is simplifying travel with a personalized shopping experience? Get a demo here.