Top Qualities to Look for in a Travel Management Company
Corporate travel management is a challenging task. This is because it is a job that requires you to manage the various aspects of your business trips in a seamless manner, such as:
- Booking your accommodation
- Arranging for on-ground transport
- Booking your flight tickets, etc.
So, if you are tired of the hassle and stress of managing all your business travel needs, it’s time to partner with a corporate travel management company (TMC) that can do the heavy lifting for you.
But with so many options, how do you decide which company to opt for?
The key is looking for certain qualities in these companies that align with your expectations.
Whether you are looking for the first time or choosing a replacement, these qualities can help you vet through your options and select a company that will match your requirements well.
This is why we shall discuss the top qualities you should look for in a corporate travel management company (TMC), which will help you to:
- Streamline your processes
- Save time and money
- Ensure a smooth and safe travel experience for your employees
Top 10 Qualities to Look For While Choosing a Corporate Travel Management Company
Here are the top 10 qualities you should consider while choosing a corporate travel management company to manage your business travel needs:
1. A Diverse Range of Travel Options
A company with an extensive range of travel options is the kind of company that you should choose. This is because you might never know where your employees might need to travel in the course of their professional life.
Additionally, a diverse range of travel options will allow you to choose the program that best matches your travel needs.
Many corporate travel management companies use the Global Distribution System (GDS) to source travel inventory.
It presents a wide range of travel options from different vendors, each with its various packages and pricing. The more pricing options they have, the better it is for you.
2. Duty of Care
Duty of care is a business’ moral and legal obligation that refers to caring for their employees when they travel for business purposes. Businesses ensure this by devising strategies to mitigate any possible risks associated with travel.
The best corporate travel management companies have experts and resources to develop and implement a robust duty of care plan.
They provide risk management services and help prepare your employees for emergencies, such as:
- Real-time tracking
- Planning contingency actions
- Providing immediate assistance in cases of emergency
- Educating your employees
- Offering round-the-clock support
3. Special Perks
Another quality you should look for is TMC’s ability to provide special rates and perks owing to their travel management software which helps them source unique deals.
Additionally, since TMCs often maintain robust relations with hoteliers, etc., they are better placed to help your employees avail of special discounts and conditions.
Therefore, look into the nature and kind of connections your corporate travel management company has.
4. Real-Time Insights and Updates
Most tech-savvy TMCs use special travel management software to provide real-time updates to employees and businesses.
All the travel analytics are available on a single dashboard, allowing you to view, analyze, and manage your expenses.
Some of the insights or updates you can receive are data on your employees’:
- Spending habits
- Budget savings, etc.
These insights can help you improve your finances and revise your travel plans accordingly. In addition, the software lets employees stay on top of:
- Policy compliance
- Safety guidelines
- Itinerary-specific updates
5. Personalized Experience
The success of a business trip also depends on how comfortable and safe your employee feels.
This is why you should look for corporate travel management companies specializing in providing personalized experiences for your employees.
This helps make the experience smoother and more pleasant for the employees while complying with your business policies.
6. Exceptional Support Services
Business trips can happen at any time of the day or night.
Therefore, it’s essential to have access to support whenever you need it. An excellent corporate travel management company provides round-the-clock support services.
This is especially crucial if your employee travels to a high-risk zone or abroad, which would require them to be able to access immediate support in case of an emergency.
Another crucial part of these support services is risk management. Choose a TMC that has the necessary risk management and mitigation procedures in place.
7. Reduce Travel Costs
A travel management program’s primary goal is to reduce travel costs and save money and time. Therefore, the TMC you choose must have a proven track record of delivering cost savings.
Check whether the TMC uses strategies such as:
- Negotiated rates
- Preferred partnerships
- Low-cost carriers, etc., to save your time and costs
Some of the best TMCs also use AI travel assistants which are embedded with their travel management software to compare your travel expense data with industry standards and recommend the areas where you can save more.
8. Data Security and Compliance
Data security and compliance are at the core of robust corporate travel management practices.
When you hire a TMC, you will share sensitive information such as:
- Traveler profiles
- Credit card information
- Itinerary details with them
Therefore, you must ensure that your TMC has robust security protocols in place and adheres to industry standards for data protection.
Another essential quality to look for is policy compliance. Employees can often unintentionally violate company policies, so you must choose a TMC which actively takes measures to reduce compliance violations.
9. Booking Experience
The booking experience can make or break a business trip. Your employees should know what they are getting while booking their trips. From giving a list of all the amenities included to additional services, there should be complete transparency.
Look for a TMC that provides a streamlined, user-friendly booking process that makes it easy for your employees to book travel quickly and efficiently.
Additionally, you must check for hidden refund costs and provisions due to canceled bookings, which will prove helpful in the event of such a thing happening.
10. Experience and Technology
Technology and experience go hand in hand to achieve a good travel experience. Therefore, choose a TMC with experience and technology for corporate travel management.
An experienced TMC will ensure you get the best duty of care plans and travel programs. At the same time, their cutting-edge technology will help you save time and money, automate processes, and perform risk management.
Selecting the right corporate travel management company is, therefore, essential for any business that wants to:
- Optimize its travel program
- Save costs
- Provide its employees with an enjoyable and safe travel experience
By considering the qualities discussed in this article, you can choose a TMC that is reliable, flexible, data-driven, and customer-focused.