The last few years preceding the Covid-19 pandemic, corporate companies were increasingly excited about online booking tools are ready to give technology a chance at arranging their travel requirements. That trend has now changed. With the wildly fluctuating cost of travel, the complications of travel planning, and the ever changing travel regulations, businesses are finding that corporate travel agents are an absolute necessity. Even even small and mid-sized companies who once considered hiring a TMC as an added expense, now consider them a good strategy.
Some of the factors for this change in trend include the impact a good travel consultant can bring to the corporate travel budget — from better inventories and a team that can negotiate and get this done for you. They can get you airfares and hotel accommodations with the agency relationships and buying power rates not available to the general public. It also takes the hassle out of the employees having to search and make their own decisions when it comes to complex bookings. Besides, a corporate travel advisor brings the element of customer service back to business travel. When emergencies arise, it’s nearly impossible to find someone who knows what’s going on and who can actually get your plans back on track.
So you need an agent, but how do you know which one is the right one for you? In today’s changing business travel landscape, you need the right service, support, and solutions from your travel agent or TMC. Here are some of the key attributes that you should be looking for while choosing yours:
1. Know Your Agent
You need your travel agent to be flexible, scalable, and understanding of your business needs. This is perhaps the most important quality that you should look for. A good RFP process is advised. Aim for a long term relationship. It’s important to get to know your agents. Make sure they are stable and secure in their own business in order to effectively service yours.
2. Experience and Approach
Understand their hiring process. Do they hire experienced professionals? Can they guide to with good solutions? The best agents for you will be those that understand your business and industry, or are already experienced handling similar clients and can make suggestions that benefit you without you having to ask.
3. Tools and Network
Learn how your agents are currently booking and what channels are available now and in the future. Investigate the platforms they offer. Understand the technologies they use and compare their pros and cons with respect to your business requirements. Also consider their regional and global presence, weather directly or through partnerships or alliances.
4. Fees and Service Commitments
Get in to the details on their Service Level commitments. Go through the proposed SLAs in detail and clarify the details. For example, do they offer 24/7 service, or how does their afterhours service work? How can their regional or global network benefit you? What happens if the SLAs are not being met? Would there be penalty clauses? etc. You should also consider the details of their service fee structure — are they transaction or fare based?
Consider More Than One
Most organizations, especially the larger ones, stick with one agent thinking of the complexities associated with communicating and procuring from multiple agencies. But having more than one agent serving you can bring benefits in multiple ways. It lets you leverage the expertise of more people while also giving you access to more inventory and deals. You will have agents competing to get you the best deals every time. With a right stack of agents — for example. three agents with local, regional and global presence — you are guaranteed best service at best price every time.
For sure there are the challenges in communicating with multiple agents, going through multiple options and then keeping track of all that. Not to mention collecting reports from all of them and having to collate them all to make sensible report. Getting authorizations and keeping track of who ticketed what and so on can be stressful.
However that is where BizTripz can help. BizTripz streamlines and organizes the entire processes of connecting with agents and procuring from multiple agents, and then turns them into a single process that is easier than managing the whole travel program with a single agency. The benefits are many:
✓ Trip requests are easily created and searchable anytime from anywhere
✓ See quotes from multiple agents side by side and choose the best
✓ Easily manage traveler profiles, get document reminders reminders, and more
✓ Get pre-trip authorizations and cost approvals in line with your travel policy
✓ One-touch, realtime reports of your travel spend and trends
✓ Track unused tickets and services and action them more effectively
✓ Stay up to date with travel news, alerts and industry updates
✓ Know where you travelers are, easily connect with agents, mobile app for travelers, features are many.
BizTripz is a complete travel management system that is exclusively built for the corporates helping them connect with multiple travel agents / TMCs and easily manage the entire process of procuring travel while helping them reduce costs and stay in control. Like to know more about us and how BizTripz can help you? Let’s Talk.