As any business traveler knows, despite the available technology connecting people around the globe, you can't underestimate the value of in-person collaboration and face-to-face business meetings to cross cultural and geographic boundaries. The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), projects that U.S. business travel will increase significantly over the next two years, and is particularly seeing annual growth in international business travel spending. As markets continue to develop through Latin America and Asia, business travel is not slowing down any time soon. You're faced with an opportunity in the face of growing domestic and international business travel to use technology through speaking directly to your business traveler customers, offering perks and increasing fun and convenience to secure brand loyalty from frequent travelers.
Speak Directly to the Business Traveler
According to a study by American Express and PhoCusWright, travel services aimed at tech-savvy millennials (who will make up 75 percent of the workforce by 2025) are most successful. This generation is looking for strategies that are being marketed directly to them and are looking for solutions that are directly for them. Programs that utilize mobile apps, like TripCase, where alerts can be personalized to the individual are most appealing. By connecting with the traveler and increasing communication throughout the journey, you can help limit disruptions to the traveler experience and increase satisfaction. Mobile apps also offer airlines the ability to instantly provide answers and services to travelers while keeping your brand front and center. The advantage of speaking to the business traveler is that they often also speak back. It's important to understand your customers' needs and respond accordingly. Mobility offers more opportunities to connect.
Offer Perks and Rewards
When it comes to perks and rewards, it's crucial to understand what the customer is looking for. As American Express reports, frequent business travelers are looking for:
- Seat upgrades
- Access to private airport lounges
- Ways to expedite security
By finding ways to offer customers exactly what they're looking for, and allowing them to redeem these perks and rewards through easy-to-use websites or mobile apps, you're ensuring customers will come back. The only way, after all, to cash in loyalty rewards is through repeat sales. Add-on services not only provide convenience for business travelers but also offer additional revenue for you. Examples include services to help acquire international travel documentation, ease expense management by tracking receipts and help to manage exchange rates and fees.
Increase Convenience with Add-On Services
Other technology, like the cloud, can help to address different needs, seamlessly integrating airline bookings with related services, such as hotels, restaurants and team-building activities. Cloud-based solutions help you reach business travelers at their convenience. Cloud-based integration with corporate services is also a great way to ensure business travelers have a positive experience while also staying in compliance with their company's corporate travel policy.
Make Travel Fun Again
Business travel programs and services that resemble games help increase productivity, satisfaction and loyalty. For example, simple points programs and friendly game-like competition with other business travelers can build brand value. By connecting with customers, simplifying expense reimbursement and offering loyalty rewards, you can anticipate traveler pain points associated with business travel before they take place. This means you can build customer loyalty and realize new revenue-generating services that business travelers will happily pay for. When business travel is seamless, it becomes fun again, no matter what generation you're in.