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 questions to ask up front that can help you find the right partner.
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.
Do they offer assistance setting 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.
What sort of support is available?
Check with your rep to see what kind of support they offer. Almost all major agencies offer 24/7/365 support, which is vital when your employees are traveling overseas or over the holidays for business. Another helpful service is help with online booking. The best TMCs offer assistance to travelers who are booking on an online tool without charging an extra fee for helping your employees get comfortable using the program.
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 booking tool can be very handy for your road warriors who are always on the go.
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 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.
What kind of technology are you using?
Planning and booking a trip can be a streamlined process if an agency is utilizing the most recent, industry-leading technology. With that, the agency can give you access to top tools like FlightStats, virtual payment cards, and gameification programs like Rocketrip. Even better, some agencies volunteer to beta-test the most cutting-edge technology that can make your process easier.
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 spend, 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 travel policy.
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 deals. 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 more important tasks.
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. Contact us today at 800-669-6547 to experience for yourself our standards of personalized service.