The Business Travel Evolution
In a review of traveller data from a recent global and national customer survey, FCm identified that clients are viewing travel more holistically in 2015 – taking an end-to-end approach to incorporate all aspects of travel from intent to travel, proactive approvals, booking, policy, data, duty of care data and reconciliation.
General manager for FCm Travel Solutions Australia, James Kavanagh, said that whilst the market has seen a strong return of travel and entertainment (T&E) spend since the GFC, companies continue to remain focused on cost and in some cases show more caution than pre-GFC.
“This is all dependent on individual organisations and the pressures they face. Whilst some organisations are still very focused on cost, we see others where cost is less of a factor and other considerations take precedence,” he said.
He also noted that duty of care is another key area of focus.
“Our customers are wanting accurate, up to the minute information on hot spots and emergency situations. With further responsibility and in some cases legal requirements on employers to ensure a duty of care, companies are working hard to focus on this area.”
When asked about other current trends James explained that increasingly, corporations are looking to find productivity gains in the travel process.
“The traditional method of booking via travel bookers seems to be changing based on various factors. Technology is one, as tools become more mobile enabled and with greater functionality, allowing travellers to manage the process.”
“We are seeing many customers evaluate the role the travel booker has in the booking process and some customers are changing the process to allow travellers to make bookings.
“Our recently completed annual client survey shows trends that continue to focus on the traveller and their ability to have total mobility throughout the travel booking experience. Whilst the upfront booking experience is designed to be quick and simple, travellers accept the fact that they will often need to make multiple changes to their travel once they are on the road.”
To meet this need FCm offers the FCm Mobile application which can be used by travellers globally via their mobile device. The app provides travellers with access to their itinerary details and enables them to receive flight status notifications. It also allows them to check in and view airport guides, a currency converter, and weather forecasts.
FCm will continue to update the application in response to customer feedback as the company looks to refine its strategy and update its mobile technology to deliver more interactivity and functionality for travellers on the road.
Overall results have so far been “very positive” and FCm is currently in the process of reviewing qualitative feedback to determine areas for improvement.