As your employees navigate the complexities of travel in today’s world, you’ll need to be sure that they’re fully supported. Part of that means doing all you can to help them make informed choices, especially when safety issues arise. Another big component is removing as much friction from the entire travel experience as possible — from booking to making sure they feel comfortable and cared for on the road, to paving the way for a smooth return.
Read this checklist or download a copy to make sure you’re ticking all the boxes.
- Three simple ways to help travellers to stay in compliance by booking within your corporate travel policy
There’s no question that it’s important for your company to have a strong policy that reflects your overall company goals in terms of savings, business travel risk management and even sustainability. However, when following those guidelines becomes cumbersome for travellers, it can start the journey off on the wrong foot.
- A modern, intuitive user experience — The first key to compliance is making sure that your travellers use Egencia to book their travel. The best way to do that is to give them a user experience that’s familiar and easy to use. Booking business trips should be as enjoyable as booking a holiday.
- Seamless integration across devices — In today’s mobile age, it’s imperative to give your travellers a seamless experience that carries through from desktop to tablet to smartphone. This way, they can stay connected and up to date, no matter what device they’re on.
- Traveller-centric search technology — Your travellers shouldn’t have to scroll through page after page of search results when booking. Egencia’s booking tool should do the heavy lifting for them. For instance, Egencia’s Smart Mix technology prioritises search results based on intelligent weighting of variables like stopover time and baggage costs. It also uses machine learning based on a traveller’s previous selections — and those of his or her colleagues — to continuously hone performance. That means your travellers are more likely to find their ideal flight or hotel on page 1 rather than page 18, saving both time and effort.
- Three ways to easily manage online cancellations, refunds and rebooking
In today’s dynamic environment, it’s crucial for travellers to be able to easily manage changes to their itinerary on the go. Here are three essential services you can use with Egencia:
- Cancel and rebook on any device — Your travellers should be able to cancel and/or rebook a flight, car hire or hotel from any device, and trust that the credit or refund is being facilitated by Egencia. Streamlining this step will save your travellers both time and hassle when plans change.
- Apply airline waivers and unused tickets to new online bookings— When your travellers have to cancel their flights due to a change of plans, they shouldn’t have to hunt down vouchers or wade through complicated procedures to apply their unused tickets to new bookings. When travellers book on Egencia, unused tickets are displayed directly in the search results, along with the option to apply the value to a future booking.
- Intuitive online assistance to take care of the details — A callback function — like AssistMe from Egencia (in the United States) — allows your travellers to request a callback from a travel counsellor within minutes with just the touch of a button, to help with cancellations, refunds or rebooking.
- Three ways to help your travellers make informed booking decisions
A big part of supporting travellers’ well-being and addressing your duty-of-care obligations today is making sure that your travellers have the safety tips they need to make informed decisions. The following three elements are key to achieving this:
- Travel advisories concerning COVID-19 information — With entry restrictions and quarantine rules for countries, states and even cities still quite fluid, it’s important that travellers have a reliable source for pandemic-related restrictions and guidelines. Travellers can enter their origin and destination into the Egencia® Travel Advisor for current information regarding travel restrictions, entry requirements and post-arrival quarantine mandates, as well as required PPE and health documentation. Having reliable details specific to their itinerary gives your travellers peace of mind.
- Hygiene badges displayed on booking screens — Many suppliers are implementing enhanced health and hygiene practices, and some are even working with government and industry agencies to establish best practice protocols. These companies can now upload their badges and measures directly to Egencia so that travellers see them when booking. This level of transparency, built right into the booking process, makes it easier for travellers to evaluate their choices and ultimately make decisions they’re comfortable with.
- Integrated policy-related restrictions — Providing travellers with relevant information is part of the equation. However, it’s also important for you to be able to restrict certain destinations or actions by updating your travel policy directly within the booking tool. For example, this could mean restricting certain destinations due to an outbreak, or restricting the number of travellers allowed on the same flight. That way, travellers see those options flagged as out of policy when they’re booking.
- Three ways to provide your travellers with robust support options and emergency assistance services
No matter how thoroughly we plan, things sometimes go awry when we’re on the road. Now more than ever, travellers need to feel supported, reassured and cared for when they’re away from home.
- Real-time flight disruption notices — When travellers are on the go, they need to know immediately if there’s a potential disruption ahead, whether due to a flight cancellation, inclement weather at their destination or another scenario. Egencia pushes real-time alerts to travellers through the Egencia app, visible on both the home page and My Trips screen.
- In-person help available 24/7/365 — Although apps are fantastic for empowering employees, there are still times when a human touch is needed to provide reassurance and solutions. Egencia has thousands of experienced travel consultants who speak more than 32 languages and assist across 60 countries, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
- Easy-to-reach help — When travellers hit a snag on the road, they don’t want to dig around for support phone numbers. They need to be able to reach help quickly and easily. On the Egencia app, travellers in the United Kingdom can click the AssistMe button and get a callback from a travel consultant, usually in less than two minutes.
- Three ways Egencia provides your travellers with robust payment and reimbursement options that limit the impact to their personal cash flow
Supporting travellers’ well-being doesn’t end once they close out their itinerary. There are still expenses to be handled. Egencia provides support to your travel management programme’s payment needs with:
- A centralised payment solution — Using central payments or virtual cards reduces the amount your travellers have to pay out of pocket. Egencia has partnered with Conferma, a leading financial services company, to offer Egencia customers Client Central Payments for hotels, thus reducing your travellers’ need to wait for reimbursement.
- Centralised invoices for each itinerary — When travellers do have to compile an expense report for a trip, Egencia (when the merchant of record) has all invoices for each itinerary accessible on one screen. This saves travellers time and hassle and allows for faster submission of reimbursement requests.
- Integration with expense management applications — Egencia integrates transactions from our booking tool with some of the top expense management applications. This helps to further automate the expense reporting and reimbursement process.