Innovation Hub Goes Global
Our hugely successful Innovation Hub – the round table debate events which fuel our client-led service strategy – returned this month; our first since we launched our ALWAYS ON ‘follow the sun’ global model at The Business Travel Show. This gave us the perfect opportunity to discuss with our client representatives the future of business travel on a truly international scale.
On Wednesday 19 July, we invited a select few of our clients to the luxurious Leonardo Hotel at St Pauls in London. There we spoke about our global-focused strategy and gave an exclusive deep dive into our new YourTrip, TripSure, and brand new PORTAL interface, before opening up the floor to the room.
This emphasis on client-driven strategy is fundamental to Gray Dawes, helping us craft our client-focussed roadmap that truly meets the needs of today’s business traveller. And this day did not disappoint!
Our clients are at the centre of everything we do. They are the beating heart to our business travel brains – a guiding force that helps to shape our services and mould our future. So, we’re always keen to have their input. At Innovation Hub we get to hear what our clients think about our technology first-hand: What does our technology do well? What are we missing? How does our ‘follow the sun’ strategy measure up? And most importantly: What can we do to improve?
What We Learned
The biggest challenge impacting the immediate future of business travellers is COST.
All of our guests spoke about the growing importance of adopting cost-saving measures into their travel programmes. The paradigm has shifted; as the cost of travel rises, companies are less likely to increase their travel budget to meet demand in favour of spending the time to seek out savings. Our customers agreed that while presenting a business case to secure additional business travel funding still has its place, they would first consider asking our travel consultants to be creative with their travel itineraries and solutions in order to find cheaper prices.
We discussed how to control travel costs in episode 3 of our Travel Talks webinar series, which you can still watch on-demand.
The most important part of any travel programme is SERVICE.
We asked our clients to rate the importance of different elements within a travel programme. The response was heavily in favour of great service above all else; something that’s always guaranteed with Gray Dawes! Businesses were more likely to invest in a travel programme if the level of service exceeded their expectations, whether that be a result of quick response times or the friendly professionalism of their dedicated travel team.
This sparked discussions about our new ‘follow the sun’ service model and our new global team. We spoke about how we have ditched the traditional out of hours archetype to make way for an ‘always on’ approach – when our UK team goes to sleep, any enquiries are picked up by our American outfit, then they hand over to our people in Australia, forming a perfect circle of service continuity.
Our suite of travel technology was also a hot topic of discussion at the Innovation Hub. Much of the talk revolved around our upcoming in-house innovation: PORTAL, a bespoke environment built with the travel manager at heart – a fully secure doorway into our entire suite of travel tools and technologies unlocked with a single sign-on (SSO).
Our customers were treated to a sneak peek of the platform and we couldn’t have wished for a better response. They praised its clean, easy-to-use interface and loved how one login was enough to manage an entire business travel operation. There was a particular buzz about the client-tailored functions of PORTAL, not least its ability to display personalised information for each and every user, with defined access permissions for travel managers, bookers, arrangers and travellers.
Want to take part in the next Innovation Hub event?
Give us your feedback
Do you have any feedback about our technology or services? Talk to us about your objectives and priorities for your travel programme during the remainder of 2023.
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