The secret to making travel policy compliance second nature
Regular business travellers are both savvy and independent - so how should companies enforce their travel policy without taking an overbearing approach?
At FCM Travel Solutions we believe the answer lies in empowering your travellers, rather than dictating to them.
With so many channels now available for travellers to book their own flights, accommodation and transfers, the temptation to DIY is always there. The key to driving travel policy compliance is to start with a tailored travel program that works with, not against, your company’s culture, travel patterns and travel behaviours.
“Business travel has become much more traveller-centric over recent years,” explains Melissa Elf, General Manager Australia, FCM Travel Solutions. “The key to gaining traveller acceptance of your policies is to offer choice and flexibility, within boundaries. By giving your travellers autonomy to choose travel options that meet their personal preferences, you can effectively drive in-policy bookings and increase traveller satisfaction.”
So while mandating your travel policy is vital, there are many ways to embed compliance into your program without being heavy handed.
- Let technology be your enforcer. Using an Online Booking Tool makes policy compliance automatic, by only allowing bookers and travellers to see and select preferred fares and suppliers.
By adopting the very latest technology tools, you can streamline processes for your travellers and also increase traveller engagement. Mobile apps such as Sam:] – FCM’s pocket travel assistant help organise all details of a business trip, while giving travellers ownership of their itineraries.
- Train travellers on how to best use the travel technology that is available to them. Get travellers on board by showing them the app’s benefits - such as flight delay information, gate change notifications, baggage carousel details and destination weather reports.
Stay relevant by working with, instead of against, the latest trends in the market. A significant percentage of travellers want to embrace the sharing economy by using services such Uber and Airbnb, so build them into your program.
- Make sure your travel policies are clear and concise, leaving no room for misinterpretation.
Talk up the benefits. Explain that driving booking volumes through preferred suppliers builds loyalty that can lead to exclusive extras for travellers including free upgrades, breakfasts, parking and complimentary Wi-Fi.
- Educate travellers on the reason why certain policies are set in stone. Sometimes travellers think they are doing the right thing by booking a cheaper airfare, but it can end up costing the company more in the long run.
Make sure everyone complies with your travel program and understands your company’s expectations, from the CEO down. If everyone is on board there will be less temptation to diverge from the policy.
- Emphasise the importance of your company’s duty of care and how policy compliant bookings make it easier to ensure traveller safety and to manage crisis situations should they occur.