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By Nicole Adonis, GM FCM Travel Solutions While most companies focus on bottom-line costs, the easiest to measure and understand, value will determine the health and well-being of a company in the long term. However, value is harder to measure and to understand. What each consumer finds valuable depends not only on their personal preferences but the context in which the product or service is used.
Business travellers are not unlike standard consumers. Although they consider price when booking business travel arrangements, travellers will go rogue if they can find a choice outside travel policy stipulations that better meets their needs or an option that they perceive to be of more value. The question is, what do business travellers deem valuable? Guided by feedback from its Client Advisory Group, FCM Travel Solutions develops new concepts and features that offer value to business travellers by addressing their common pain points.
The TMC gauged booking class preferences, flight times, low-cost carrier usage, single flight legs, travel over weekends and other metrics. Often, Managers are asked to model specific programme enhancements that would make travellers happier and be valuable to them, for example, moving flights from economy to premium economy on heavily-travelled routes, the cost of a minimum standard of nightly hotel rates and improvements to car rental programmes.
FCM found that, in some instances, changing an element of the policy to give travellers greater allowances resulted in higher traveller satisfaction and created great value for business travellers, while cost increases to the programme were minimal. If these changes to the programme would be positive, it can then be implemented. Around-the-clock support is another factor that ranges high on the list of traveller values. Although the assistance of a human travel expert remains a non-negotiable, new user-friendly technology such as chatbots can help ease traveller friction further by giving business travellers real-time advice and in-trip suggestions around the clock.
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What do business travellers really value?