In our recent Travel Management Priorities survey, more than one-third of the travel managers CWT surveyed said developing a mobile strategy will be a priority in 2014.
This is a good start, and it’s important because the growth in travel apps aimed at consumers makes it tempting for travelers to book outside of policy and outside of your established booking tools and channels.
Mobile is a new channel for buying and managing travel but as a travel manager, the basic goal remains the same: providing convenient, safe and cost-effective travel services to employees. The right mobile apps can help travel managers move their strategies forward.
Some stats, and then tips below:
Consider any new app’s impact on compliance. Not all apps are created equal. While mobile services can offer greater traveler satisfaction through instant access to services, this should not come at the expense of traveler safety or savings if out-of-policy bookings are encouraged. Some apps support compliance better than others.
Capture data on bookings made outside preferred channels, using an app such as CWT To Go. This can improve reporting and make supplier negotiations more effective.
Clarify your policy. Travelers need clear guidelines on recommended or authorized apps and devices. Some companies let employees use their own devices but you can recommend apps for them and even pre-install recommended apps on company-issued devices.
Share information with your travelers. Text messages and the latest TMC apps offer an effective way to get crucial contextual information to travelers (details of arrival and departure gates, flight status updates and ground transportation options).
Don’t forget mobile communications for safety and security. For example, travel managers can use CWT Safety and Security to quickly reach out to travelers in emergencies by text message, email or voice and track their responses. The sender sees confirmation of sending, as well as whether each recipient has replied and how, on a constantly refreshed dashboard.
There are more tips and more details in the full Travel Management Priorities 2014 report, where you can find out more about the other priorities: savings; driving growth in online adoption; streamlining end-to-end processes; promoting the travel program; redesigning travel policy and reinforcing corporate social responsibility.