If you haven’t noticed, we’re knee-deep into the 21st century. And while there may not be Jetsons-style flying cars in the sky quite yet, change stemming from the ubiquity of the internet has transformed every part of our lives.
Unfortunately, office managers and their business travelers can’t say the same. For many of them, having to work with a corporate travel agent is a necessary hassle, adding more complexity to a process the internet has proven to make simpler.
Moral of the story: It’s clear we’re not fans of travel agents. So, what can we do about it?
Get rid of them.
Contrary to popular opinion, this isn’t such a shocking idea. If we combine the right tools and technology we can replace the middleman. We’ve all thought it, but never knew how beneficial doing so could be. Here are three ways why skipping the middleman and opting for solid online booking tool will make managing business travel better.
1. Small- and medium-sized business save time and money
Most people think travel agents can always secure the very best deals on both hotels and flights. That’s not necessarily the case anymore. In reality, travel agents are required to honor any and all contracts their company has signed with the travel networks, at times forcing them to select more expensive travel options versus cheaper, more accessible options.
For small and medium businesses, this means more money spent. Employees suffer too since they can’t fully plan their own trips, taking away the kind of control they expect. And ultimately, travel managers unfairly take the blame for all of this.
Instead of this mess, take control. Without an agency, travel managers can take advantage of the best travel options and prices available without any of the restrictions a travel agent has to abide by. This means more cash in your company’s pocket — and who doesn’t like more money?
2. Regain everyday flexibility
One of the major risks of relying on a travel agency is the possibility of mistakes happening. While errors like misspelled names and wrong bookings can occur with anyone, it’s much harder to correct when a travel agent makes it. Travel managers already have enough to do — let’s avoid adding more to their workload.
By stepping away from a traditional travel agent, office managers and travelers regain flexibility, visibility and control. Like this, there’s no need to request breakdowns on travel spend nor details on who’s booking inefficiently. All this is exactly what modern travel management requires, wrapped up in a single system that also serves to make business travelers happier, too. With scores of tools available to approach the challenges of modern managing business travel, why stick with a possible liability?
3. No more endless back-and-forth
Back in 2013, technology writer Larry Magid detailed his difficulties with travel agents, in particular when he tried to book the exact flight he wanted. Despite the simplicity of his request, he was told by his travel agent to call the airline to book the flight. When he did, the airline pointed him right back to the travel agent — and so on and so forth. He eventually resolved the issue, but not until lots of time was wasted and patience was tested.
Replace Larry Magid with your business travelers and it’s easy to see how intertwined traveler satisfaction is with autonomy. (He ended up writing that article, after all!) Letting employees manage travel their own way is good business, equating to lower travel spend, more confident, healthier travelers, and more time for travel managers to improve the overall experience for their employees.
With the industry poised for rapid change in 2017, there’s no time to held back by legacy travel agencies. Just as we started managing our own calendars and facilitating our own communication with technology, TravelPerk’s platform takes corporate travel management into the 21st century. With the ability to search flights and hotels simultaneously, integrate with top industry apps and services, and generate dynamic budgets for better decisions across the board, this tool is a one-stop shop for the office manager looking to control every aspect of their company’s business travel program.