An effective, modern business travel solution needs to offer two distinct service delivery methods for booking travel – offline and online. Both have their place (and their own benefits), and when done right, the two work together in tandem to provide a seamless solution.
At Gray Dawes, we take the symbiotic approach of offline and online one step further as our own travel consultants utilise the very same booking engine to fulfil offline bookings that our clients use for online travel management.
This means bookers and travellers can see trips booked offline in exactly the same place as any booked online. It also allows clients to start a booking themselves online and then have it picked up by their dedicated team of Travel Consultants offline, should they need a little support.
Perhaps seen as the more traditional approach, offline travel booking provides a bespoke and high touch service with an expert business travel consultant taking care of all travel booking requirements for you. You start by making an enquiry via email or by calling one of the team of expert travel consultants to talk through your requirements directly.
This is particularly useful for multi-point journeys or those where you have a specific set of unusual requirements that may otherwise prove tricky to book yourself using an online booking tool. With a wealth of experience, your business travel consultant can provide you with real peace of mind over your booking and can support you in understanding more complex travel requirements and restrictions, how to apply for relevant visas and so on.
Booking online is the way to go for any straightforward trips that you feel confident about. Online booking tools, like our own YourTrip, have come a long way. They now offer a great range of travel tools at your fingertips providing quick, easy and convenient access to book travel.
Plus with corporate travel policies built in behind the scenes, you can be confident that your booking will remain compliant with your programme as the tool will filter out anything out-of-policy.
The best online booking tools also offer access to the greatest range of fares and, thanks to there being no requirement for that high-touch service, offer a lower fee for those simple point-to-point trips, compared to booking offline.
This ability to save money on a corporate travel programme is one of the key reasons why improving online adoption is so important for companies.
Booking in-policy with your travel management company is fundamental to driving an efficient travel programme. In an ideal world, every client managed by a TMC would sign up and immediately all of their travel would start to be booked through them.
Of course, that’s not always the case and what’s known as ‘leakage’ can occur as travellers opt to ‘do it themselves online’. Sometimes, travel is booked through different channels outside of the TMC. This can happen for a variety of reasons that could include internal miscommunication about the TMC/travel booking process, people just being used to booking travel in other ways, or even those actively avoiding the TMC, thinking they can get a better deal by “going direct”. Not only is this more likely not the case (as TMCs have access to a wider range and often specially negotiated rates) but also bookings made outside of the TMC increases risk for both traveller and the business as they circumvent traveller tracking and duty of care tools.
So first and foremost, driving adoption of the TMC is absolutely essential for every business engaging with a travel management company and company that wants to meet their duty of care requirements to their staff. Given the lower fees associated with online booking, it’s then critical that online adoption is monitored and promoted in order to drive the best ROI and savings.
Again, sometimes extra education about the available online booking tool is all that is needed to help drive that online adoption upward. A close relationship and effective communication between the business and the TMC helps to bring everyone along in understanding the benefits that using an online booking tool can bring.
Top 5 Benefits of Online Adoption
1. Save time – your employees are able to book some of their own travel through an online booking tool, therefore freeing up your own time.
2. Save money – by gaining access to corporate rales, discounts and the best deals… plus lower fees!
3. Travel policy compliance – by only displaying rates from preferred suppliers.
4. An end-to-end solution – ability to book everything from air to hotel, rail and car hire.
5. Book on the go – all you need is an internet connection.
Offering clear guidance, training sessions and open forums for discussion and questions allow travellers and bookers the opportunity to understand how best to utilise the online booking tools available to them to realise the benefits they can bring.
YourTrip is our very own online booking tool. Have complete control over your business trip, from your front door to the office and back again. Whether you need to book flights, accommodation, transfers or much much more!
Stay Safe… book your business travel with a TMC
In addition to helping you get from A to B, booking via a TMC helps ensure both employer and employee avoid risk and meet their duty of care obligations to one another.
High Touch, High Tech
An exceptional personal service is something that Travel Management Companies have strived for since their inception. With the emergence of machine learning and Artificial Intelligence, we examine how TMCs can continue to deliver a high-touch personal service in an evermore digital world.
YourTrip – Ancillaries
YourTrip, our powerful online booking tool, offers so much more than just the plane and train services you’re used to. Infact, YourTrip has the capability of handling almost every part of your trip, from booking hotels, car hire, ground transport, EU rail, Amtrak and car parking – all within the app and all compliant to your company’s travel policy.