The Digitalization of Travel
The Digitalization of Travel
New solutions for a new world
Remember the days before COVID? Even though we like to look at the pre-COVID era as a time of calm and stability, the truth is that even before COVID-19, the global workforce was undergoing a massive transformation. Younger-generation employees started entering managerial positions — transforming company culture, processes and systems.
Comfortable with technology, digitally-savvy employees started introducing smart, tech-driven solutions to enhance and simplify the workplace. They were eager to embrace technology that would increase work flow, productivity and cost efficiencies.
Enter COVID-19, and the adoption of technology sped up dramatically. As Kate Smaje, Senior Partner at McKinsey, explains:
“COVID-19 has launched the greatest behavioral change in our lifetime. We vaulted five years in the adoption of digital in just eight weeks. This great digital migration has forced every company into a massive experiment in how to be more nimble, flexible and fast.”
In the travel industry, COVID-19 greatly fueled innovation. Travelers are now moving along their travel journey seamlessly, with an enhanced online booking experience, contactless check-in and handy digital wallets. Soon, they’ll enjoy easy biometrics in airport security (i.e. facial recognition and iris scanning) and digital health passports.
It’s only fair that as a travel manager, you expect the same levels of innovation as your travelers. Facing incredible uncertainty in air travel, you're looking for innovations such as AI-enhanced OBTs, blockchain and virtual reality to help you navigate disruption with ease.
FCM’s rebrand, which launched March 2021, is a reflection of this positive change and commitment to innovation — and an exciting response to the rising need for a simpler, more streamlined user experience.
Putting You in Control: Content, Costs and Customer Service
A new world calls for new, more efficient solutions.
1. A fast, consistent user experience
Clunky booking tools are a thing of the past. Travelers are no longer willing to put up with slow, cumbersome systems. In fact, they demand the same level of user experience (think instant gratification) in the workplace as in their personal lives. If booking technology is slow or clunky, they will simply head elsewhere and avoid using company tools to book their travel. Travel bookers also expect seamless, consistent user experience — even if they’re using a range of OBTs and service providers across their travel program.
The FCM Travel Platform will offer a globally-consistent user experience for digital itineraries, duty of care, reporting and approvals alongside handy plug-and-play functionality. This means that you can integrate your preferred OBT into the platform, instantly putting a wide range of travel content (matched to your budget and travel policy) at your fingertips.
What's more, the FCM Platform will deliver a full omni-channel experience, allowing bookings, approvals, the uploading of health certificates, boarding passes and more across all devices — be it your laptop, tablet or mobile phone. This means you can browse, book, approve trips, view itineraries, receive updates and alerts, reconcile expenses and generate reports whenever and wherever you are.
2. Highly-connected customer service
As a travel manager, it's important to you and your travelers that your TMC provides proactive, 24/7 support.
FCM’s virtual assistant, Sam, is now available across the entire FCM platform. Sam provides rebooking suggestions, itinerary updates, travel alerts and more. As Sam continues to evolve, its features will include predictive capabilities designed to solve problems before they even begin.
FCM’s ‘always available’ promise means that your travelers can access Sam’s live chat 24/7, or be connected to an your designated travel consultant whenever needed.
With Sam, you can also gather and analyze data from travelers on the road, including insights around likes and dislikes, queries, traveler friction, traveler preferences and travel behavior and more.
3. Safer travel
The health and safety of your travelers is a top priority in this ever-evolving, and sometimes unpredictable, world.
With FCM’s risk management tools, you're able to customize a safety dashboard tailored to your needs, ensuring that vital information (including your travelers’ contact details, current location, onward itinerary and destination alerts) are all in one place.
With traveler tracking, proactive alerts, updates, and an FCM team readily available to support — you can feel confident that your travelers are supported 24/7.
4. A sustainable ‘reset’
Throughout the wave of COVID-19, many companies have re-examined their values, purpose and policies.
For FCM, sustainability is top of mind. Environmentally-conscious travel is no longer an option; it's a responsibility.
We are happy and eager to work with you on integrating carbon offsetting tools (including a carbon offsetting tracker) into your travel program, and will gladly engage with your team around greener solutions to help you achieve your company’s individual environmental and sustainability goals.
The future is fast – and flexible
For TMCs to thrive in this ever-changing business travel landscape, innovation needs to be embraced. Not for the sake of innovation itself, but to enhance the customer experience, address common pain points, smooth out traveler friction and empower teams on the road.
On our side, this means implementing a cutting-edge, intuitive platform which delivers a consistent user experience across all devices. Rolling out globally in 2021/2022, the FCM Platform that will adapt and grow with our clients into the future, seamlessly.
Combine this with 24/7 support and unbeatable customer services, and your travel program is ready for whatever comes next.