Are You A Travel Agent Interested In Venturing Into Corporate Travel?
Here Are A Few Things You Need To Know To Kick Start Your Idea.
The era we live in today is travel centered with companies sending out more of their staff abroad to connect and network with potential clients. The focus of travel is now on the traveler and the level of productivity and satisfaction he/she draws from each trip taken. Corporate travel has become a lucrative industry. In this regard, travel agents need more insights concerning corporate travel.
Corporate clients prefer using corporate travel agencies more as compared to the regular travel agents. This is because corporate travel agencies with online systems allow corporate travelers to have access to real-time flight tracking, travel alerts, visa procurement information, currency conversion rates, and the complete information regarding additional travel costs.
Corporate clients have certain expectations from corporate travel agencies which these agencies should be aware of in order to offer satisfactory services to these clients. Let’s have a look at some of these expectations:
- Comprehensive Information Regarding The Travel Industry
Being in the travel industry, corporate travel agents are expected to have a vast knowledge about the trends, particularly in the corporate sector. Corporate travel is different from other types of travel. Agents should be well informed about business travel, corporate travel insurance, accommodation needs, meetings and conference hall procurement, and the full spec of activities that corporate clients engage in during travel.
This information should help them serve corporate clients with the level of professionalism expected.
- Negotiable Charges
Corporate clients expect corporate travel agencies to offer subsidized charges for their services. These agencies are usually linked up with flight agencies, hotels, car rentals, and meeting facilities which allow them to get subsidized costs which in turn they can channel to their clients. Discounted prices for business travelers come with added privileges such as VIP check-in lines, flight and room upgrades.
Corporate clients expect agents to be able to negotiate their charges and at the same time offer quality services without compromising on comfort and class. Corporate travel agents should be skilled enough to be able to meet this expectation.
- Handling Unexpected Or Emergency Changes
Corporate clients frequently make changes for flights such as canceling or rescheduling and these changes come with additional charges when done by airlines or other service providers that process plane tickets.
With corporate travel agents, however, these changes can be done at minimal or no charges whatsoever. Corporate clients expect these travel agents to be able to facilitate these changes at minimal or zero costs. Agents should be able to effectively meet this expectation.
- Easily Accessible Emergency Contacts
Travel comes with many uncertainties which sometimes need to be addressed with urgency. Business travelers have the expectation that they can be able to quickly contact travel agents and have the issues sorted out in the quickest way possible.
Corporate travel agents should be able to meet this expectation by having open contact lines that clients can easily dial and get quick responses. They should also be able to professionally solve any problem arising with their clients and keep them satisfied throughout the entire travel process.
With the rise in corporate travel over the years, corporate travel agencies venturing into this business should seriously consider certain important factors in order to maintain a competitive edge within the industry. Let’s look at some of these factors:
- Traveler’s Safety
Corporate clients expect that there be strong safety measures in place to ensure the security of their business travelers when they travel. Corporate travel agencies should uphold their security standards. To ensure that this happens, they should establish viable connections with hotel security, airlines, travel insurance providers among other security protocols.
- Embracing A Travel Policy
Corporate travel agencies should adopt a travel policy that applies to all corporate travelers. This policy should be a standard by which services are offered and improvements on business travel are done. The adoption of a travel policy means better travel services and more customer satisfaction.
- Automation and Flexibility
In order to improve the ease of processes, corporate travel agents should automate their processes of corporate travel. They should have platforms such as mobile apps, updated websites, active call lines, and social media platforms that make it easy for business travelers to make inquiries, book tickets, make hotel reservations, and receive travel alerts as well as be able to check conversion rates of currencies. All this should be easy and quick to do.
- Focus On Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions (MICE)
The meeting industry is growing by the day and corporate travelers have fully banked on it. Corporate travel agencies should consider embracing and implementing different procurement methods to offer meeting facilities to business travel clients.
- Care Duty
Corporations place a high level of emphasis on risk management. Corporate travel agents should have policies and superior technology such as Concur Risk Messaging to be able to monitor their traveling corporate clients’ location and in the event of an emergency, especially when traveling in regions affected by terrorism, send alerts and offer alternative travel plans as needed.
If you own a travel agency and are interested in venturing into corporate travel, be informed that this sector is growing rapidly and is quite lucrative. With the above facts to consider, you are guaranteed to venture in, get potential corporate clients, offer the best services possible, and receive high ratings from clients as well as referrals. So don’t hold back, go corporate!!!