Sending your employees all over the country or the world requires a lot of moving parts, and you’re at the center of them all. Corporate travel agencies can help reduce the stress of planning as well as be a resource for your employees once they’ve embarked on their trips. If you’re looking for a corporate travel agency, here are eight key questions to ask up front that can help you find the right service provider.
#1: Which account manager will be assigned to our company?
It’s key to have your representative at the travel agency be someone who not only knows the travel industry but will take the time to learn about your account’s specific needs. And while you’re checking on their industry knowledge take note of their professionalism and diligence. The ideal account manager will be responsive and provide quick, accurate answers to your most important planning questions.
#2: Do They Offer Assistance Setting a Travel Policy?
Having the right corporate travel policy in place takes a little time and effort. If they throw a template at you without suggesting alterations to match your corporate culture, traveler types and key destinations it should be a Red Flag that they aren’t committed to creating the optimal program.
#3: What Sort of Customer Support is Available?
Check with your rep to see what kind of support they offer. Almost all major agencies offer 24/7/365 customer support, which is vital when your employees are traveling overseas or over the holidays for business. Your travelers will have support even outside the traditional business hours so they will not get stranded or have major issues while on the road. Another helpful service is help with online booking. The best TMCs offer assistance to travelers who are booking travel on an online tool without charging an extra planning fee to help your employees get comfortable using the program.
#4: How Good is Their Online Travel Program?
And speaking of the online booking tool, just how good is it? Can it integrate with your expense reporting system? What about internet-only suppliers and direct connect vendors? The right online travel booking tool can be very handy for your road warriors who are always on the go as well as help your company identify cost savings.
#5: My Company Goes to Remote Destinations. Can You Help?
Duty of Care is the topic you want to discuss. Most TMCs can book tickets most anywhere, even in deepest and darkest Africa. What separates the pros from the amateurs is how a company handles an emergency. With a solid Duty of Care program in place, your business travelers get advance warning and trip intelligence when they book a trip to a risky destination, and if something does go wrong, your agency can track travelers through the GPS chip in their cell phone. If you have a lot of travel to the Middle East or Africa you should definitely bring up Duty of Care. Additionally, many TMCs will assist with the necessary travel documents to go to remote destinations. Organizing documentation for all business travelers can be difficult and confusing considering all of the various regulations in different countries. Your travel management partner should help with documentation.
#6: What Kind of Technology Are You Using?
Planning and booking a business trip can be a streamlined process if a travel company is utilizing the most recent, industry-leading technology. With that, the agency can give you access to top tools like FlightStats, virtual credit cards, and gamification programs like Rocketrip. Even better, some agencies volunteer to beta-test the most cutting-edge technology that can make your process easier. Also, check if they have a mobile app to help your travelers be connected while on their personal devices.
#7: How Robust is Their Travel Reporting?
Look for an agency that uses web-based, travel data consolidation and reporting tools. With these metrics, you can gain true insight into your spending, maintain budgets, and save money as a result. Having online access 24/7 to real-time data, you’ll have complete transparency both before and after a trip, with the clarity you need to make more informed decisions about business travel policy.
#8: What Benefits Can I Expect From Partnering With a Corporate Travel Agency?
Working with a corporate travel agency means less stress for you when it comes time to plan and book a trip. Having a professional agent will save you the time you previously spent on the phone with airlines or searching the internet for the best hotel reservations. Plus established travel agencies have special negotiated rates for hotels and car rental partners. With a travel agent, you have more time to focus on your tasks and can be sure you’re getting the best corporate rates for traveling.
Asking the right questions can make a big difference when choosing the right travel management partner for your company. It’s important that your corporate travel manager understands your company and will provide all of the tools you need for employee business travel.
Trust Teplis Travel with your Corporate Travel Management
Are you looking for a new partner to help bring your travel program under control? Look no further. Since 1972, Teplis Travel Service has supported travelers around the world. We offer corporate travel solutions, plus we combine the guaranteed lowest fares with experienced agents and highly customized service platforms. We’ll answer all of your important questions and are looking forward to being your corporate travel management partner. Contact us today on our website or call us to experience for yourself our standards of personalized service.