As a travel manager, you receive dozens of emails a week with questions about itineraries, changes in plans, and more. Your job is to answer those requests within reason, whether it’s a lost confirmation number or booking a flight for the wrong day. But these incoming queries often come outside of your normal business hours, and it’s difficult to respond quickly, especially if you have a full schedule or traveler is on the other side of the world.
Fortunately, new technology makes it possible to streamline the booking process and improve employee experience by automating different travel components like lodging, flights, and ground transportation into one online booking platform. This allows for better management of travel data and a more efficient expense reimbursement process. In addition, TMCs also provide tools that can help calibrate costs and business needs for better travel decisions.
A robust and efficient travel management system can reduce the amount of time your team spends booking, confirming, and changing itineraries while still maintaining duty of care standards. The right tool should simplify booking, make changes flexible, handle reporting and budgeting, and come with world-class support.
Ideally, a TMS will also have a centralized booking portal that can help agents manage their quotas and commissions for all the services they offer. This will allow them to stay competitive with industry behemoths while keeping their bottom line in check. In addition, a TMS should enable agents to create a customized, user-friendly booking portal for their customers. A poor customer experience can lead to frustration and loss of business for both parties.
The most important thing to remember when building a TMS is that it must cater to each company’s specific requirements and objectives. A TMS that fails to meet these criteria is destined to fail. Whether you want to build an enterprise-grade TMS or a simple mobile app, it’s crucial to understand your needs and the specific needs of the travelers you serve.
TMCs help companies with their business travel needs by integrating various aspects of corporate travel into one online platform. From the most granular details, such as seat preferences or making sure travel rewards are applied appropriately, to the larger scope of booking and travel policies, TMCs take the burden of handling traveler concerns off the shoulders of in-house travel managers.
Many large TMCs also have dedicated account teams and specialized consultants to address specific business needs and client requirements. But smaller, niche DMCs often find it more effective to stick to the basics and focus on building a solid partnership with their clients rather than offering a broad range of products or services. For instance, a DMC like Adios Adventure Travel, which operates in South America, is focused on phone and email communication with agencies to customize itineraries to the needs of each individual traveler. This approach has helped them build long-lasting relationships with their clients and is a big part of their success.