Time and again, research shows supporting business travelers’ needs and wants may be the key to not only building your brand but bolstering recruitment and retention initiatives as well. It all boils down to business traveler satisfaction. If the staff who are supporting your company on the road aren’t happy, it turns out nobody’s happy — not the C-suite, not your finance department and most certainly, not your road warriors. Why? Business traveler satisfaction has a direct link to employee retention, as well as business traveler productivity, company profitability and organizational growth.
While achieving business traveler satisfaction might seem like a lofty goal, business travelers are clearly dictating what they want and need to not only do the job right when they’re on the road but to happily keep coming back for more.
What do business travelers want?
Research shows a direct link between keeping business travelers happy and a company’s bottom line. That’s why Fox World Travel has invested in understanding traveler need through Net Promoter Score® surveying of all travelers. “By asking every traveler about their experience, we’ve learned what’s most important to them and use that knowledge to ultimately improve the traveler experience,” says Mia Beltran, Brand Manager at Fox World Travel. Over time, and feedback from 34,000 travelers, here is just some of what Fox has learned.
1. A travel policy that supports business traveler satisfaction is good for business
It turns out business travel satisfaction has a strong correlation to employee job satisfaction. In fact, research by the Global Business Travel Association shows that in North America, 79 percent of business travelers report that the experience they have during business travel affects their job satisfaction. Among millennials, that number jumps to 88 percent. What’s more, potential employees look for a travel policy when considering a new employer, with 59 percent of respondents in North America reporting that a company’s travel policy influences their decision. It makes sense, then, that companies invest in developing a comprehensive travel policy and consider partnering with a travel management company for help.
Through NPS® surveys, Fox World Travel has seen the difference an effective travel policy can make. “If we get better in tune with what our travelers want—really understanding the traveler and their needs—it can contribute to a travel policy that can help travelers be more productive and keep them on the job longer,” explains Beltran.
As it turns out, meeting business traveler needs and wants can improve travel policy compliance. Research findings show a strong connection between business traveler satisfaction and adherence to a travel policy. In fact, among companies who report a 90 percent compliance rate with air travel, 93 percent of travelers said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their travel programs. Bottom line: it pays to invest in a travel policy, and it also pays to find out what business travelers want at your organization. Fox World Travel can help achieve both objectives to build a traveler experience around the findings.
2. Safety support is essential
Simply put, employees want to feel supported when they’re traveling. In fact, safety support is a top concern among business travelers, according to the Traveler Happiness Survey from Business Travel News.
To that end, having a duty of care policy in place can do wonders for traveler satisfaction, as travelers will have peace of mind that comes from knowing their company cares about their safety and wellbeing.
At Fox World Travel, supporting duty of care needs is a core capability. “We have the tools to help them better support their travelers, so travel managers know where their travelers are at a moment’s notice,” Beltran said. “And if there’s something happening in the region, the travel manager has the ability to send helpful information to those travelers.”
So whether your travelers are facing a regional incident, weather-related issues or even a twisted ankle, they know care and the support are just a call away.
3. Access to reliable internet and data is key for productivity
So much of the business world depends on reliable internet access and data. But the truth is, those necessities are not guaranteed when on the road. As a result, productivity can plummet as frustration grows. And while internet service may be a no-go, your employee’s deadlines are full speed ahead. So, not surprisingly, Survey, after survey has shown access to reliable internet, is one of the most important trip factors to business travelers. Working with a trusted travel management company can help to ensure your staff are flying on airlines and staying at hotels where they have access to this essential, and too often taken-for-granted, amenity.
4. Convenient flight times and hotel locations drive satisfaction
When your employees are juggling work and home life to make the most of business travel opportunities, they’ve got a lot on their minds. What do business travelers want? Travelers have told Fox World Travel the importance of the overall itinerary in the business travel experience. They want travel to be efficient, so they can make the most of their time on the road and get back home for personal obligations. By working with a trusted travel management company, the travel experience can be customized to ensure these pain points are minimized or eliminated altogether, reducing traveler friction and increasing satisfaction.
5. Having a travel management company with the right tools can help you get there
At Fox World Travel, listening to the customer is a key ingredient in building business travel success for clients. “When we get feedback about something that went wrong with the booking experience, we get in touch with the traveler to solve the issue, and then learn from it so it doesn’t happen in the future,” says Beltran.
Fox’s focus on the customer experience has addressed one of the biggest pain points for travelers that emerged from customer feedback: major travel disruptions. While disruptions naturally occur and are often out of the travel manager’s hands, Fox World Travel addressed the issue by focusing on what could be controlled. Fox partnered with FlightGlobal to innovate a technology solution that proactively notifies travelers of potential disruption and offers alternative options while providing agents with the same information. The result: otherwise stranded or delayed travelers can book their plan B, often before others at the gate even realize it’s an option.
Supporting business traveler needs and wants for a brighter business future
As research done by Fox World Travel and other leaders in the travel industry shows, business traveler happiness is a boon for business, along with recruitment and retention efforts. And while many company travel managers may have a lot on their plates, working with a trusted travel management company can not only alleviate some of the responsibilities of corporate travel booking but also forge new solutions for the common pain points business travelers experience.
“Business travelers want travel to be easy, and that’s what we’re here to do,” Beltran said. “By focusing on the traveler experience, we can identify ways to make travel easy.”