Try before you buy, or so the old saying goes… and it doesn’t just relate to trying the wine before you purchase the full bottle, it also relates to your travel management company too. Even though many businesses are currently not travelling due to restrictions with Covid-19, some key industry sectors still are, as well as many others making plans for a safe return to business travel once restrictions ease. If you fall into either of those categories, it isn’t always easy to make the right choice first time. However, most travel management companies (TMC’s) will arrange for a 3-month trial period, leaving you to decide for yourselves whether the TMC on trial is a good fit for your organisation.
Not only should you check out a TMC’s case studies (these are a great indication of how they work with their current client’s and their areas of skill and expertise) but here’s why we think you should trial your next TMC before you make that all-important decision.
#1 You get to meet the team
See trialling your TMC like the dating period in any romantic relationship. You’ve got to make sure that your chosen Business Travel provider is the right fit for you after “swiping right” and making that initial connection, which is why a trial period is so hugely important before committing to the “long term relationship”.
Before the trial starts, you will be introduced to your dedicated operations team including the individual consultants who will work closely with you should you be booking offline. Along with your Dedicated Account Manager, these are the people who will work with your organisation throughout the whole journey, providing a bespoke and personalised service. It’s important to have a good rapport with your Travel Management Company so testing the waters to see how you gel with your dedicated Business Travel Consultants is extremely important and if there are any changes needed to be made, your Account Manager will facilitate this for you.
Your Account Manager is the contact within a TMC who is there to develop a successful partnership and ensure you get best value out of employing an expert in what are very complex times when planning travel. They will also help to resolve any issues you may be having when conducting the trial, so it’s important to build a good relationship and feel comfortable. By having regular review meetings, they will get to know you and what’s important to your company when booking, which will then enable them to be proactive in delivering the best results possible.
#2 You get to experience the service levels (what the TMC offers you) as well as demonstrating to them exactly what you require.
You can see a Travel Management Company as an extension of your organisation, where we can partner and work with you as a business to develop and grow your travel programme tailored to the things most important to you.
What better way to see the benefits by putting it into practice rather than someone over-promising and under-delivering? This means you can really understand how this can benefit your business and demonstrate real value and ROI.
Travel management Companies will outline what they can offer with a Service Level Agreement, see what initiatives they have to save your company time and money, and by trialling a TMC for yourself, you will not only get a real feel for the people, the company and how they work to add value to your organisation but also how they will extract the most worth from your Business Travel budget and policy.
#3 You can Demo their products
Trialling our state of the art online booking solutions that blend with our expert terms for complex requirements help you understand how you can revolutionise the way you report on your travel spend and open up opportunities for your travel programme that you didn’t think were possible. Duty of Care is more important than ever in the world of travel especially following the Covid-19 Pandemic and we recognise this by enabling you to trial these with one or two people first.
We want you to understand exactly what we can offer both online and offline. Some companies want an online platform, with others requiring a mixture of both. A good Travel Management Company should be able to offer a range of solutions and not a one size fits all approach to ensure it is right for you.
#4 Time saving
With an ever-complex work environment since Covid-19, everyone’s time as at a premium. During a trial, see whether this helps to alleviate any time pressures you have and whether out-sourcing to a specialist can help you with running your business. If you haven’t used a TMC before, this is often one of the big benefits when you do a trial as it is important it doesn’t just add a further layer of complexity but should help to take some time and complication away.
#5 A review before you commit
At the end of a trial period, your account manager will run through the benefits and service experience with you, discuss your feedback and identify potential products and solutions for the future. These could be anything from how to reconcile and improve your travel payments and expense claims through to getting the best out of your travel budget and whether your travel policy works for you. We are also all ears to listening to your feedback. In any new relationship, it isn’t always plain sailing on day one, so it is vital to get it right and the trial is successful.
So, despite lockdown, start to plan ahead as waiting till travel returns means you will be in the back foot. Don’t know where to start? Get in touch! We’d love to hear from you, start a chat on our website today or contact us via the following:
T: 0330 004 0520