FCM commits to lead clients through the COVID-19 crisis

How will buying behaviour change in the future?

FCM Travel Solutions today officially launched its first pledge to customers on the road to business travel recovery.

As part of the brand’s commitment to lead the way out of the COVID-19 crisis, FCM Travel Solutions has announced it will be launching four pledges to customers, that will set the benchmark for the ‘new normal’ for business travel over the coming months.

In its first pledge, FCM promises travellers that ‘we will give you the facts’. As part of this pledge, FCM has launched a dedicated online travel resource hub, an in-depth ‘State of the Market’ survey and a comprehensive whitepaper, Unlocking Business Travel through Data and Technology.

The travel news resource hub will give travellers all the information needed to make informed decisions about their upcoming trips and travel with peace of mind.

The news resource is also available through the FCM chatbot, Sam. This Smart Assistant for Mobile, or Sam for short, is a travel assistant in your pocket, powered by artificial intelligence. Now more than ever before, having access to reliable and up-to-date information, is crucial for travellers and travel bookers.

Even prior to the COVID-crisis, Sam proved a game-changer for clients with many saying it provided critical assistance to them during a trip. The chatbot is simple and intuitive to use and will guide travellers through the new COVID-19 business travel landscape.

FCM believes that the right technology will be critical in allowing travellers to navigate through  the crisis, by making business travel management simpler, faster and more efficient. That is why FCM launched FCM Connect, a suite of products, presonalised to the traveller and the company needs. It includes solutions such as FCM Connect Secure which provides 24/7 access to a host of intelligent travel risk management tools.

In order to have all the facts available to customers, FCM is in the process of conducting an in-depth global ‘State of the Market’ survey, which will be released in phases over the coming months. This is an ongoing research project including customer polls in phase one and two, which will be followed by further in-depth customer interviews and focus groups over the next two months.

The first phase of the survey indicated, among others, that a large number of companies saw the need to revamp their travel policy post Covid-19 but were unsure what needed to change. Of those that did indicate areas for travel policy change, "health and hygiene" and "duty of care" considerations were the two dominant categories.

The survey has been instrumental for FCM to understand if and how clients in each market and industry sector will start to travel again – and their primary concerns and objectives when they do so. It has provided valuable insights on how FCM can provide the best level of support.

FCM also wanted to provide first-hand feedback on the travel experience in a post COVID world, which is why FCM Team Leader Mummy Mafojane took to the skies herself. She documented her experience in a series of videos which address the airport experience, the boarding of the plane, the car rental procedures as well as the hotel experience.

“This first pledge in which we promise our customers to give them the facts is important for companies to maintain control over a very chaotic business travel landscape,” says Bonnie Smith, GM FCM Travel Solutions. “South Africa is turning a corner in the COVID-19 crisis, as the government is preparing to ease lockdown measures, restart the economy and bridge to a new phase of growth. Business travellers have been taking to the skies again, gradually resuming their road warrior duties.”

“With the return to ‘normal’ comes justified concern. That is why FCM Travel Solutions is commiting to a number of pledges for its customers, ranging from information to expertise, cost control and change management. Through these pledges, FCM promises to lead the way out of the crisis and sett the benchmark for the ‘new normal’ in business travel,” Smith concludes.