Purpose over profit
Yesterday, we celebrated 'Sinterklaas' (Saint Nicholas) in the Netherlands. On this national holiday, we always surprise each other with gifts, sweets, and - most importantly - poems. Once a year, we affectionately remind our loved ones of their dark sides through rhyme. In that one moment, we can be truly honest - but with a wink, a dose of self-mockery, and a good sense of humor. You know, that much-needed 'cocktail' that gets us through the dark and cold Dutch winter...
Saint Nicholas: what's in a name? 'Nicholas' is Greek. 'Nike' means 'to win' and 'laos' is the Greek word for 'people'. Saint Nicholas was a Greek bishop who wanted the poor as well as minorities - such as children, women, sailors, and travelers - to win from the rich and powerful. In the 9th century, Saint Nicholas was declared holy by the Church of Rome because of the miracles he performed for minorities.
We need a miracle
Although at Roadmap, we are far from holy, we do try to take care of minorities as well - starting with you, poor travel manager. It is not easy to have thousands of demanding travelers out there who need you at every step of the way while your boss shouts at you to cut down costs and make more money. How can you possibly win this uphill battle without creating an unhappy workforce? Sometimes, you wish for a miracle. And you know what? Technology gave it to you in the form of a mobile device. Your travelers look at it over 200 times a day, and they are happy to connect with you if they feel that you can make a difference.
The essence lies in connecting with your travelers. You need to provide them with relevant information about their trip, the arrangements you made for them, and ways in which they can reach you if they are in trouble. True, you have already arranged all of this, but guess what? They don't know, because they didn't read the intranet. Now is your chance to take care of them in an even better way: one that requires less effort and results in more credit. For example, you can show them a great restaurant that fits their travel budget and is only a few blocks away from the hotel, so they can stretch their legs a bit on the way back. There you go... surprise them!
Take care of it; don't leave it to others
To do this, you don't send your travelers the mobile products of your suppliers (your travelers will not adapt to these generic apps); you send them your own Roadmap app, which is completely customized to fit your brand and travel program. It is all about creating adaptation and engagement at the start. Don't rush your travelers into booking; it doesn't make sense.
Roadmap has never aimed to become a saint. We just want to help you, a hard-working travel manager, take care of your travelers. We promise our people and customers that we will invest all our revenues (and more) in traveler happiness. And perhaps in a nasty piece of poetry every now and then (once a year will do). Purpose over profit!
Sint and Piet