Travel platform and communication centre? Why not!
How we communicate with each other has come a long way since email and SMS. And we’re not just talking about Zoom and Teams, but the way that we support and lift each other especially in times of a crisis.
Because if we’ve been taught anything over the last year, it’s that communication is important. Over-communication can make travellers tune out of what you’re trying to get across, so it’s important to be relevant, extremely clear and use the right channel at the right time.
When it comes to business travel there’s many situations where procurement, HR or finance teams need to quickly and efficiently update their employees with important information, including:
- A new or updated travel policy.
- New TMC, technology or supplier information.
- Trip itineraries, information and updates – usually automated.
- Risk alerts and notifications if there’s an incident.
- Crisis communications to travellers when there is a concern for their safety.
We’ve moved way past telling travellers which gate their flight is departing from and what the weather will be like. Now we’re deep into the realms of who, what, where, why, how and what we communicate when there’s a serious risk or a sudden change, such as a border closure. Global issues need a solution that works anywhere around the world, no matter where you are or who is on the other side helping.
While your travel platform may have consolidated risk news and alerts into one place, and you know where travellers are thanks to tracking features and maps, what about after that? There is always the support of an expert travel consultant team, even in emergency and outside of the office 9-5 hours. But travel managers often want to contact travellers directly themselves. Email and SMS still tend to dominate this arena. Those quick go-to communication channels are engrained into how we talk at work, aside from the old chestnut of just picking up the phone or a quick Teams message. But in the midst of an emergency, it’s not ideal to be scrambling for those contact details on top of the pressure you’re already under.
It needed to change. That’s why when we developed the new FCM Platform, it also became a communications centre for travel programme managers and travel bookers. Messages can be sent directly to individual or multiple travellers directly in the FCM Platform, with space for your own instructions and advice. Travellers are notified and will know exactly what to do.
During research for our new platform we received significant feedback from our clients about how they want to communicate with the travel community. Bookers, travel managers and other key stakeholders within the company wanted a simple and effective way to get messages out quickly.
- Michel Rouse, Chief Product Officer, FCM
While you are probably immediately thinking about disruption caused by the pandemic, just think how you might support a traveller if there’s a flight delay or nearby protest. It’s in those moments that travellers need reassurance and support from their travel team, backed by tech that makes everyone’s lives easier...and less stressful.
When you think about how technology should help travellers, it’s really all about making sure they have the best and easiest trip possible, accompanying them throughout the journey.
If we start with a mindset that is all about their wellbeing and how they are supported from booking, while on the trip and when they’re coming home, we naturally develop technology that streamlines the way the interact with all of the tools in their travel ecosystem. Whether it is direct communication from the company, digital assistance provide by Sam :], or even live chat with an agent, travellers have a single point of access to ensure they get the help they need, when they need it.
- Michel Rouse, Chief Product Officer at FCM
By combining tech with the support and expertise of our travel consultants, travellers feel reassured and confident that someone has their back during those stressful and pressured situations. Message, chat, email, SMS, phone; it’s a mix of globally-connected technology and people that keeps your travellers safe and moving, no matter where they are in the world.