Travel is an inseparable part of organizations. Whether it’s for sealing crucial deals, attending industry conferences, or nurturing client relationships, businesses rely on travel to stay ahead.
Corporate travel platforms are powerful tools that make business travel possible by streamlining booking processes, enhancing traveler experience, and ensuring policy compliance.
However, a recent survey found that 57% of travel managers must find their current booking platforms suitable for their long-term needs. While the right platform can unlock benefits, the wrong one can lead to inefficiency, frustrated travelers, and increased costs.
So, how can you select the right platform? Read on to find the answer.
Features of Corporate Travel Platforms
A corporate travel platform has several features that make your business travel easy and your travelers satisfied. Here are some of them:
- The platform offers robust expense tracking capabilities to monitor and manage travel expenses.
- It allows you to configure travel policies and set budget guidelines per your requirements.
- It offers advanced analytics that helps you optimize your program and reduce costs.
- The platform offers seamless integration with third-party apps utilized in your organization to streamline processes.
- It provides a wide range of options while offering personalized recommendations to all your travelers based on their travel history.
- It helps you reduce travel costs by offering pre-negotiated rates, employee incentives, and discounts.
Factors to Consider While Selecting a Corporate Travel Platform
Choosing your travel platform is a significant decision. Whether you’re replacing your platform or selecting one for the first time, here are the factors you should consider:
One of the most critical aspects of business travel is policy compliance. Your travel platform should have an automatic policy compliance feature that verifies all travel plans.
If a plan does not comply with the policies, the software will alert your employees to make the necessary changes. It should also allow you to customize the policies for different employees.
Many platforms only display the packages that comply with your travel policies, which helps increase policy compliance.
While traveling, your traveler needs 24/7 access to support services. Accessing expert support within a few taps offers greater security and peace. This is especially important for international travelers.
Therefore, choose a platform that provides 24/7 travel support in multiple languages at no additional cost. No matter the time or location, your traveler can contact experienced people with their problems and get a solution as soon as possible.
A wide range of inventory is a must-have for business travel. It gives your employees the freedom to choose the most comfortable option. Your travel booking software should provide an extensive inventory of hotels, flights, and transportation in different price brackets.
It can get this information from different sources, including NDC, GDS, and direct suppliers. Moreover, the platform should also offer information from all airlines. This will allow your employees to book emergency flights.
Another thing to consider is the availability of negotiated rates, loyalty offers, and exclusive deals to encourage employees to save costs.
The best corporate travel platforms are user-friendly and can be used with little or no training. To ensure all employees can use your software quickly, check whether it has an intuitive interface. An intuitive interface offers superior customer experience and instant access to all aspects of a travel plan.
In addition, the platform should also be available as an app. Phone access allows employees to review their itineraries, make changes, and check policy updates while traveling. They can easily create and submit expense reports through their phones without worrying about carrying their laptops everywhere.
Duty of Care
As an organization, you have the moral and legal responsibility of ensuring your employees’ safety when they travel for business. And the right travel platform can contribute significantly to ensuring that.
Therefore, the software should list only safe accommodation options that comply with WHO and local guidelines. Hotels with questionable security should be excluded from the list. The same also applies to transportation options and companies.
Another aspect of how travel platforms can help you in your duty of care is through the live tracking feature. This feature lets you locate all your travelers in real-time and provide immediate emergency assistance.
The world we live in thrives on data. And business travel is no different. Getting advanced reports on your travel spend can help you revamp your travel programs, from reducing costs to achieving greater policy compliance.
Your travel program should provide advanced analytics and KPIs, including metrics like most preferred vendors, last-minute bookings, etc. You can use this data to assess your program’s effectiveness and identify improvement areas.
You can also look for a platform that shares data in easy-to-understand visuals. Visuals make it easier to identify trends and make informed decisions.
Every corporation has a unique travel program based on its requirements, budgets, and preferences. Choose a travel booking software that can be customized to meet your specific guidelines and needs.
For example, if your travel program aims to reduce costs without sacrificing quality and comfort, your software should have an extensive inventory.
The platform should seamlessly align with your organization’s approval process. Whether you require multi-level approvals or specific expense reports, it should work harmoniously with your policies.
It goes without saying that the best corporate travel platforms help you save costs without affecting quality. One way to achieve this is by choosing a platform that provides access to global travel inventory. It should also let you see real-time prices of hotels and flights.
A platform can also help you save money by offering corporate discounts, automating manual processes, and pre-negotiated rates. Some platforms also use gamification to encourage your employees to choose economical travel options.
With the corporate travel market ready to reach $2,997.2 billion by 2030, it is clear that business travel is going nowhere. The more your business expands, the greater your need for corporate travel platforms.
Choosing the right platform can improve efficiency and keep your employees satisfied. Consider factors like user-friendliness, reporting capabilities, personalization, inventory range, and support while selecting the software.
Choosing the best travel platform is about ensuring it meets your unique requirements. Therefore, remember to request a demo and use it yourself!