Many travel management companies use technology to simply enhance existing tools for online booking, expenses or reporting, rather than to drive innovation for the business traveller’s experience. It was this disconnect that fueled the imagination of travel managers at FCM to pioneer a specific traveller-focused mobile application, the Smart Assistant for Mobile, or Sam for short.
When the idea was conceived back in late 2015, the brief for Sam was clear: create a mobile application for both Apple’s App Store and Google Play that will put business travellers' needs first and put all the information, documentation and advice they need in one place in a fun, friendly, informal and easy-to-use way.
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FCM's mission was not to create another itinerary app. For Sam to work, it had to have personality and purpose, replicating the one-to-one personal service offered by FCM’s own experienced travel consultants. It was crucial to create an emotionally-satisfying experience, not just another dry piece of software. Sam had to feel like someone real when meeting the needs raised in our research, such as having a lack of information, not knowing what was going to happen if there was a problem or disruption and also to combat the traveller feeling alone or helpless.