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The secret to getting ahead? Travel tech that has change in its DNA 

Change is scary. But on the other hand, staying the same won’t achieve better results, quickly stales your outlook, and won’t keep you ahead of what’s next. That’s why agility is core to what FCM brings to clients; taking on the ‘scary’ parts of change, so our clients can focus on building and maintaining the best travel programme for their organisation.  

A major ‘scary’ element we take head on is travel technology.

The method behind the magic 

Travel managers want to improve, iterate, and innovate their programme operations. The goals may vary, with anything from cost savings to employee retention being a motivating factor. They're also looking to keep many stakeholders happy, from the travellers themselves to travel bookers, their own team and the bosses.  

But these different targets caused the FCM team to think differently about what kind of travel technology we wanted to build. It needed to be people-first, managers, arrangers, and travellers. It needed to be powered by feedback, with any necessary changes derived from our clients’ pain points and problems. And this spirit exists in Platform to this day, driving some of the most innovative features.  

Cutting-edge communication tools 

Travel is about people, so a top priority for any travel technology should surround how users will use the tech to communicate with each other or with support. We identified a few major gaps in modern travel tech platform comms, and we sought to fill those gaps with some agile partnerships of our own.  

Chat and proactive alerts  

First, we wanted to create a chat experience that: 

  • Keeps everyone informed of trip information and alerts  

  • Enables travellers to quickly ping a chatbot for simple queries  

  • Matches users with a live agent for more complex requests 

We started off this process by acquiring SAM :], an intuitive bot that alerts travellers with timely updates to their itineraries, like a last-minute gate change, or more serious disruption updates via safety & risk integrations. SAM is the perfect digital assistant for business travellers - we’ve been told on more than one occasion that SAM’s real-time updates have “saved” a trip or two.  

Paired with the Platform’s live support features, like agent chat, travellers have access to an easy-to-use and flexible support framework for any of their travel needs.  

A screenshot of FCM platform
Pop-up messaging

Another communication innovation is the FCM Extension, born from start-up technology we fully acquired in 2021. A simple, easy-to-install and customisable browser plugin that pops up while the traveller is in the booking process, providing them with contextual information, instructions, and updates.  

The Extension has been used creatively by our clients, with redirect alerts appearing across thousands of consumer sites including all the popular online travel sites by: 

  1. Detecting when a traveller is browsing on an out-of-channel booking site 

  2. Automatically sending a pop-up notification reminding travellers of information such as:  

  • More sustainable travel options 

  • Preferred suppliers 

  • Links to important resources 

  • Unused ticket reminders 

To top it all off, the pop-ups have an engaging design, with travel managers able to customise the text within the alerts and use eye-catching elements like humorous GIFs. FCM’s product team is trialling the use of ChatGPT to help clients write these notifications quicker and more effectively.  

Altogether, you have a communication tool that works smarter, not harder. In three months alone, Extension is sending millions of these redirect notifications. That’s a lot of leakage avoided, and time saved.  

FCM reporting

Developing inroads for efficiencies  

Powerful reporting for meaningful impact  

We wanted to make sure that the FCM Platform was a place where travel managers could uncover all the ins and outs of their programme’s operations, so it was essential that the reporting and analytics tools could rise to the occasion.  

By 2023, we had migrated all of our customers data and reporting to a Microsoft PowerBI framework, unlocking programme visibility like never before. This gave clients access to thousands of new data points, along with vibrant visualisations that truly let them see how their programme was performing.  

It took ‘seeing is believing’ to a whole other level, building trust and transparency between us and our clients: They didn’t need to rely on us to tell them what was going on with their programme, they had the tools at their fingertips to discover what was going on for themselves and take meaningful action.  

AI: the new frontier  

Now, in 2024, no conversation regarding efficiency can be had without talking about artificial intelligence (AI). We’re proud to say that the FCM Platform has boasted robust AI capabilities since its launch in 2021, first with AI-powered reporting that operates like a search engine, and now with OpenAI integrations within the FCM Extension. 

Our goals for AI culminated in the creation of FCM’s AI Centre of Excellence, where we place extra emphasis on finding new useful ways to apply artificial intelligence to our technology to ultimately make travel managers’ and travellers’ jobs easier.  

In conclusion… 

Staying ahead of change meant never being satisfied with the status quo. For us at FCM, it meant embracing every opportunity to solve trending customer pain points with technology solutions that just worked. And all of this resulted in a travel platform that supercharges how the modern cope at travel professional and business traveller works.  

Join thousands of travel professionals around the world that decided they needed travel tech that: 

  • Has everything they needed, and nothing they didn’t 

  • Empowers them to make a meaningful impact  

  • Adopts a new approach to innovation. 

This is supercharged travel technology.  

Book your personalised FCM Platform demo today. 

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