Raise your hand if you want to go on a business trip.
That’s many of you, of course. Wait a minute… I also see some hesitation. Traveling for work is fun. The thrill of a top-notch conference, the excitement of meeting new people or simply, the joy of staying at a superior hotel with overstuffed pillows and buffet breakfast. All that on the company dime. A sweet deal, isn’t it?
Not always. Business travel is also mentally and physical taxing. Often, road warriors and seasoned business travelers do their upmost to avoid their next on the road unless the rewards are guaranteed. Plus, corporate travel often demands a set of paperwork tasks everyone dreads, such as collecting receipts and expense reports.
If your travelers feel out of sorts they will be less productive, and even less compliant with travel policy. Keeping traveling employees engaged and happy should be a top priority for travel managers and corporate travel programs.
Personalization to drive traveler engagement
In the digital age, consumers want to feel their interests and preferences are taken seriously. Travelers are no different. Their expectations have changed and demand of their work trip a similar experience to that of their leisure travel. Therefore, personalization is at the core of a satisfactory travel experience.
For travel managers, personalization means knowing and understanding how employees wish to travel in order to be able to provide a more tailored travel program. In practice, this translates into changes in policy to include ridesharing services or outlines for bleisure trips.
Personalization is not only about offering the services travelers wish, but also offering these services the way they want to receive them. For example, providing tools for mobile booking and the right apps to be productive on the road.
The three pillars of a traveler engagement strategy
Rather than just pushing policy, companies should engage and influence travelers to change behavior, which eventually will turn into higher compliance rate and savings. There are three main strategies to keep your travelers engaged:
- Information – Make sure travelers know your policy well. What’s the process for booking a business trip? How much can they spend? Inform them before the trip, but also assist them during the trip.
- Empowerment - Most employees want to be good corporate citizens. However, sometimes they’re unsure as to what the right decision is. Help them choose wisely and make smart travel-related purchasing decisions.
- Involvement – Ask your travelers for feedback and suggestions, making them participant of travel-related decisions.