Five practical strategies to differentiate your Travel Management Company from the competition
Posted by Mike Atherton on 06 May, 2015
As if it’s not hard enough just winning new clients these days, you then have to keep them happy or they will soon be lured elsewhere. To that end, you should ensure there are positive differences between your Travel Management Company and the competition. This will help your TMC flourish, rather than merely survive.
The competition and indeed new service benchmarks are increasing all the time. Existing TMCs are coming under pressure from new OTAs and even from (forgive the George Bush-ism) the “consumerification” of business travel.
You will only win the loyalty of your clients’ and travellers’ by delivering consistently high levels of satisfaction.
Let’s look at five practical ways you can achieve this by offering even greater support to your corporate clients and their employees.
1. Produce great itineraries.
Travellers and travel bookers still rely on their itineraries and love having all the information they need in one document. Rather than sending dull GDS or generic documents from multiple suppliers use an integrated document delivery service that is trip centric, not supplier centric. Each time your customer refers to this ‘Super Itinerary’ they will be reminded of the value your TMC adds.
2. Offer to book extra services.
In addition to travel and accommodation, offer some thoughtful extras, like making dinner reservations, booking show tickets, or arranging parking or limo services. This really adds value to your offering. Automating the delivery of these ancillary services means you don’t need to deflect your consultant from managing the next booking. With the right algorithm you can deliver a ‘zero touch’ personalised traveller experience and make additional merchandising revenue. When this is integrated with your travel itinerary, the traveller enjoys a comprehensive 3600 service.
3. Help your clients help their employees keep safe.
Invest in a travel risk management service that’s part of your total offering. Don’t give your clients away with referrals to “one size fits all” risk providers. Embed duty of care reporting of itineraries, traveller locations and communications as part of the total care package you offer all your corporate clients.
4. Create a self-service travel information portal.
Easy access to relevant, real-time travel information is really valuable to the business traveller and their employer. Make your travel booker’s life a lot easier by giving them access, via a portal, to quality, complete and accurate reports about their employee travel plans, online and mobile.
5. Have a one-click contact strategy.
Make it easy for the consultant and traveller to make contact when on the move. For the traveller, you can offer the basic mobile ‘click-to-call’ app, all the way up to full interactive messaging. This makes the traveller feel their consultant is with them all the way and gives you the opportunity to be proactive with communicating. Rethink your post-booking contact strategy to one that supports your relationship with the client.
Choosing the right technology and delivery partner is key to making these suggestions work. And while they do not guarantee a client remaining loyal, they do provide clear blue water between your TMC and the competition.