Let’s face it: today’s travel-management landscape is changing rapidly, and its increasing fragmentation and complexity are causing a fuss among travel managers. Having focused on cost savings and compliance for years, they now find themselves in the midst of a juggling act they haven’t yet mastered. In addition to negotiating deals with suppliers, they need to consider their road warriors’ happiness, health, and safety. And the latter have become a lot more demanding. They’ve embarked on an ever-expanding quest for simplicity, which means they expect more from you. For example, you need to share insights with them.
Why meet the road warrior’s demand?
Today’s labor market is tight, and the hunt for talent is in full swing. The fierceness of competition has changed the nature of job interviews. These days, candidates aren’t afraid to pester a potential employer with questions (that’s right: at some point in the conversation, the interviewer becomes the interviewee). A popular one: “Can you outline your business travel policies?” If yours is a ‘horse-and-buggy’ version, candidates will likely opt for a competitor that does meet their business travel requirements. So, it’s high time for an up-and-close look at their demands.
Don’t keep those insights to yourself
Let’s put ourselves in the road warrior’s well-traveled shoes for a moment. Say, she arrives at her destination, a little tired but in good spirits. The sooner she gets to her hotel, the faster she can get to work (and close those deals for you!). There are several options to get from A to B: public transportation, an Uber, and a regular cab, for example. More often than not, hopping on a bus or train is easier, faster, and cheaper. But navigating between Google Maps, Bing, and a local transportation website to figure out the right route is too much of a hassle. “Why,” the road warrior sighs, “hasn’t the company thought of a way to make such information readily available?” The same happens when she arrives at the hotel and gets hungry. Should she really scroll through numerous Google search results to find herself a good nearby restaurant?
At the risk of being called ‘Captain Obvious,’ I’ll tell you this: you should make your road warrior’s life a lot easier. Don’t be tight-fisted with the valuable insights you’ve gained. Share them. They’ll simplify the journey, reduce stress, and save money.
How to go about it? Here’s what Microsoft did!
Adamant that travelers should have more time, Microsoft joined forces with Roadmap and set out on a quest for simplicity. The goal: to deliver savings by providing simplified experiences and to support the traveler by maximizing the trip’s value. The latter was achieved in several ways, such as connecting travelers (be they coworkers or customers) within the Roadmap app to unearth and explore well-hidden opportunities. Also, sourcing ground transportation and finding a hotel’s phone number are a piece of cake now.
Obviously, it’s difficult to measure time saved, but subjective data at Microsoft suggest that a seamless travel experience is a win-win situation: employees seem to love it and the organization appears to benefit. One indication: well over 70% of Microsoft’s frequent travelers have already embraced the app!
Next in this brand-new, five-part blog series: minimize confusion. Stay tuned!
Are you intrigued by the idea of putting simplicity at the heart of business travel? Download (our whitepaper) and discover the 5 benefits.
Co-founder of Roadmap