Business travel booking is one of the crucial and challenging aspects of corporate travel management. Travel managers must boost their experience and safety by allowing work travelers to book their choice of flights, hotels, car rentals, and other travel products. At the same time, they need to ensure that employees save money on business travel booking.
Many companies and startups these days simplify and streamline the complex process by implementing business travel solutions. The travel booking software allows employees to choose and book the desired travel products without violating organizational travel and expense (T&E) policies.
Also, they help employees save money by getting negotiated rates and using special deals. However, travel managers boost software’s functionality and performance through customization and personalization. We will discuss some tactics travel managers use while implementing customization and personalization in travel booking software.
11 Tactics for Implementing Customization and Personalization in Travel Booking Software
1. Implement Custom T&E Policies
Travel managers control business travel costs by defining travel and expense (T&E) policies. While configuring business travel solutions, they implement custom travel policies. Also, they implement granular policies to ensure that each employee can access the relevant rules and guidelines.
The custom policy implementations make the software show and recommend the right travel products to each employee. Also, the software ensures that no employee increases costs by booking out-of-policy travel products
2. Define Custom Approval Workflow
Employees often incur unnecessary expenses by booking business trips without getting the required approvals. While configuring the travel booking software, managers ensure that an employee starts booking only after his business travel request is approved by the appropriate authority.
They make it easier for employees to send business travel approval requests by defining a multi-level approval workflow. The custom workflow makes it easier for employees to send approval requests to the right authority directly using the software.
3. Enable Access to Customized Travel Inventories
The travel booking tool facilitates self-booking by enabling employees to access a travel inventory. However, it always customizes the travel inventory according to the travel destination and organizational T&E policy. Hence, each employee can book his choice of travel products at negotiated rates without violating preset policies.
4. Allow Employees to Compare and Choose
Along with providing access to a customized travel inventory, the software allows employees to compare flights, accommodations, and other travel products based on accurate information. Also, an employee can use the travel booking solution to book his preferred travel products directly without visiting multiple websites.
6. Extending Travel Choices
Travel managers understand that travel choices and preferences of employees vary according to their demographic characteristics. For instance, both millennial and Gen Z employees prefer direct flights to connecting flights to remain stress-free. But Gen Z employees prefer homestays and similar unconventional accommodations over hotels. While configuring the travel booking software, managers extend travel choices by supporting diverse travel products and self-funded upgrades.
7. Make Personalized Recommendations
New-age business travel solutions use artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms. They leverage revolutionary technology to understand the travel choices and preferences of individual work travelers. Travel managers facilitate travel data analysis by allowing the software to access historical employee data. The personalized recommendations made by the software help travel managers meet the expectations of modern work travelers.
8. Support Multiple Languages
Most companies these days operate in distributed and global work environments. The travel booking software implemented by a company is accessed by both onsite and remote employees. Travel managers make the software accessible to each employee by enabling multi-language support. Hence, an employee can use the software seamlessly despite not being proficient in English.
9. Deliver Seamless Payment Experience
While making business travel arrangements, employees use a wide variety of payment methods. For instance, some employees use their personal credit cards instead of corporate cards. Likewise, many employees these days prefer digital wallets to online banks and conventional cards. Travel managers personalize the travel booking experience of employees by making the software support a wide range of currencies and payment methods.
10. Integrate with Business Tools
In addition to customizing the travel booking solution, travel managers these days integrate it with expense management, accounting, and other business tools. The integration boosts employees’ experiences by accelerating travel expense reimbursements. Also, the integration enables the business travel solution to personalize their experience by accessing and analyzing complete T&E data.
11. Provide Information and Assistance
Employees travel to new business travel destinations regularly. They need information to choose and book the best business travel products. Likewise, they need assistance to compare their preferred travel products. Most business travel solution providers these days offer 24/7 customer support.
Employees can communicate with a customer support executive by making phone calls, sending emails, or using instant messaging apps. The on-time assistance helps them evaluate their choice of travel products. Also, they can gather useful information that helps them book better travel products.
12. Generate Custom Reports
New-age business travel solutions support custom report generation and scheduling. Travel managers can use the dashboard provided by the software to generate custom reports based on employees’ T&E data. They leverage the feature to generate custom reports using parameters like destination, project, department, and employee level.
Also, they can make the software generate and update these custom reports by defining schedules. The custom reporting feature makes it easier for managers to make important financial decisions like making budgets and forecasting cash flow. Travel managers use these reports to find opportunities to reduce average business trip costs in several ways.
Business travel solutions come with built-in features to streamline one of the cost-intensive steps in corporate travel management. In addition to promoting self-booking, they create opportunities for employees to access extensive travel inventories and save money. However, travel managers customize the travel booking software to prevent T&E policy violations.
Likewise, they personalize employees’ business travel booking experience by making the software recommend the appropriate travel products. While configuring business travel solutions, travel managers can implement customization and support personalization in several ways. However, the personalization and customization tactics still vary across organizations.
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