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Influence over control: make travelers adhere to your program!


Are you struggling to get your business travelers to comply with your program? Are your road warriors know-it-alls who think that their way is the only way? Well, try to see things from their perspective. All information - from appealing Booking.com hotel deals to heavily discounted Skyscanner flights - is at their fingertips. No wonder that they believe they can find better deals. So as a travel manager, how do you ensure that your travelers adhere to your program?

Short, sweet, and readily available

Travel managers have known it all along: rules and regulations are in the details. But you can't bore your travelers with the fine print. They won't read it, and consequently, they won't comply. Why? Because they're not getting the message. Detail is highly unpopular in today's information age. 'Short, sweet, and readily available:' that's your traveler's motto.

First things first: understand the traveler

So you want your road warriors to understand your travel program? Great. Take a huge step back, because you need to understand your travelers if you want to get them to listen. True: that's an art. Making people listen is never an easy endeavor. But it's possible, provided that you rid yourself of any top-down approaches and be present with the traveler - in an immensely confined space...

The traveler's pocket

You need to meet your travelers on the most personal of all devices. The one that's always in their pocket: their smartphone. If you communicate with travelers through mobile, you're speaking their language. Listen and learn before you start dishing out rules, and be sure to explain things clearly and in the moment. Don't make travelers dig into your travel policies. Enter into a useful (mobile) dialogue. If you listen and understand your road warriors, they will hear you, too.

Your aim should be to garner real-time feedback, tips, and tricks - and not just from the travel team. Talk to all the - either or not self-proclaimed - travel specialists in your company. Hear them out, learn from them, and put their advice into practice.

The result? A subtle balance between traveler and company need. Now that's a goal worth pursuing, isn't it? So start using the wisdom of all your budding 'travel managers' to influence and shift their own behavior!