Home Data & Expense Travel management cos must embrace high-tech while maintaining high-touch services

Travel management cos must embrace high-tech while maintaining high-touch services

4 min read
View original post.

The role of travel management companies is evolving, driven by the rise of new technology and the changing demands of business travellers.

Whereas once TMCs functioned primarily to process bookings, now they must harness data and tools such as artificial intelligence, predictive analytics and chatbots to provide value to their customers throughout the travel experience.

These are some of the conclusions from Harnessing Technology to Empower Your People, a report from Advantage Travel Partnership based on findings from the 2017 Advantage Conference and Business Travel Symposium and a “Buyer Research Survey” conducted by the Institute of Travel Management.

“Through continuous discussions with members and research undertaken with travel buyers from ITM, we noted that technology strengthens the service of a TMC,” says Neil Armorgie, CEO of WIN and global product director for Advantage.

“Human interaction remains the vital ingredient that business travelers and clients are ultimately looking for. Technology enhances this partnership making for a more seamless relationship and therefore achieving better productivity for the client, which ultimately helps them grow their business.”

According to the research, 87% of travel buyers are excited about the future of travel technology, but 76% said they are looking for help from business partners to keep them up-to-date on new developments.

TMCs should look to fill this role by making strategic investments in new technology and qualified staff, creating an appropriate balance of “man and machine.”

The paper states, “As much as new technologies will automate process-driven tasks, business travel continues to be an industry dominated by people and relationships, and the ability to deploy people into more creative roles should be an excellent opportunity to further personalize the travel experience.”

As they develop new solutions, TMCs should put themselves “in the shoes of their customer,” to create a positive, personalized experience throughout the journey, from the booking to airline and hotel check-ins, to renting a car, making restaurant reservations and providing recommendations for tours and attractions.

TMCs should also keep in mind that technology use cuts across age categories, with both millennials and baby boomers embracing technology in booking and during their travel.

The paper suggests TMCs identify travelers not by age but by state of mind: “The largest proportion of business travelers today can be branded as a ‘Modern Traveler’ – those who look for convenience, connectivity and the ability to replicate their leisure experience in a business environment. The Modern Traveler can have a short attention span but is able to process information quickly.”

Comments are closed.

Check Also

8 Business Travel Tips from Frequent Fliers

View original post.Traveling on the job might sound like a fun way to see the world, but t…