Personalisation key to business travel success, reports find

Communication will be key to servicing customers
Communication will be key to servicing customers

Two reports released at the Business Travel Show today will focus on how personalisation with communication and ancillary services will be those that best serve business traveller needs.

Amadeus’ new report, named Amadeus Business Travel Insights: Business travel gets personal, said that an increased need for connectivity and communications means companies should offer constant contact with business travellers to ensure they are well-informed as possible.

Keeping on top of information will also make trips less stressful for business travellers and provide a more personalised service.

This also includes knowing what customers like, with 62% of business travellers preferring to book ancillaries in the corporate booking process, with many looking for efficiency as a priority followed by internet connectivity.

The report said: “Change remains a constant – and changes during travel can be stressful. Customer communication and real-time updates need to be prioritised by travel providers, corporate travel departments and TMCs as disruption to journeys during the winter of 2013-2014 in North America and the United Kingdom demonstrate. The always-connected traveller demands an always-informed strategy of keeping travellers in the know.”

Ancillaries make travellers happier

Both the Amadeus and another report from airport lounge provider Priority Pass reports suggested travellers would be happier if they were allowed to enjoy some perks every now and again.

Ancillary sales would also help travel companies to personalise the travel experience for each individual traveller.

Priority Pass found business travellers have dropped extras such as upgrades and airport lounge passes since seeing a cut in budgets, with 46% of those on stricter policies now using low-cost carriers to save money.

Both reports found around 40% of business travellers had seen a cut in travel budget and agreed that this had an impact on the amount of trips taken.

In the Amadeus report one in 10 believe fewer trips has a negative impact on customer satisfaction, while 21% say cuts make them less willing to travel.

In addition 71% of those surveyed by Priority Pass said they would be willing to travel more if they were given a few perks along the way.

“Our research shows that even modest benefits can make a real difference to staff effectiveness and morale and make them feel more valued – to the point that if more benefits were offered they’d be more prepared for trips to be longer in duration,” said Priority Pass general manager EMEA Errol McGlothan.

“We know that travel budgets will not be reverting back to pre-2008 levels in response of this increase – and neither should they.  As travel frequency rises an emphasis on prudent allocation of budget against demand will be key. The provision of low-cost ancillary benefits relative to the types of journey undertaken and that help ease some of the strains on travellers will empower travel managers to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach and make informed policy decisions centred around productivity and value.”

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