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How to Simplify the Business Travel Booking Process?

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Corporate travel management is a multi-step process. But no other step in the complex business process impacts the ROI of corporate travel directly, like business travel booking. Employees experience stress and feel unsafe when they lack the option to book their preferred flights, accommodations, car rentals, and other business travel products.

At the same time, employers can control costs only by creating opportunities for employees to save money on business travel booking. While simplifying the business travel booking process, your company or startup must focus on controlling costs without impacting the business travel experience and safety.

Hence, your travel policy must consider multiple factors to simplify the crucial business travel activity. Likewise, you should adopt several best practices that help employees reduce the time and effort required to make business travel arrangements. Here is a slew of best practices enterprises adopt to simplify business travel booking.

9 Best Practices for Simplifying Business Travel Booking Process

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  1. Define Granular T&E Policies

Travel and expense (T&E) policies help employees understand what travel products they can book and what travel expenses they can incur. But employees often violate preset rules and guidelines when they find it difficult to access and understand preset policies.

While implementing the T&E policy, you should keep the guidelines granular and comprehensive. In addition to describing the policy elaborately, you should define booking guidelines for domestic and international business travel separately. You should also invest in a corporate booking tool. 

At the same time, you can make each employee access relevant business travel guidelines by dividing the entire policy into several small sections according to travel goals, travel destinations, employee levels, and projects.

  1. Accelerate Pre-Trip Approval Process

Most companies use pre-trip approvals as a strategy to control business travel costs. But delays in approving business travel requests make employees book travel products at higher rates. Your travel policy must clearly define who will approve which type of business trips.

The clarity will help employees send business travel requests to the relevant approvers directly. Also, the authority can review and approve the business travel request early. However, you should consider accelerating and streamlining the business travel approval process by adopting a corporate booking tool.

  1. Centralize Business Travel Booking

Your company can save money and ensure policy compliance simultaneously by centralizing business travel booking. The centralization will make a travel management company book business travel products for employees.

The company will keep in mind an employee’s travel choices and organizational travel policy while choosing business travel products. Also, it will book travel products at lower than market rates and reduce cancellation costs by prioritizing refundable tickets.

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  1. Facilitate Self-Booking

You can facilitate self-booking by implementing business travel management software. The software will provide a corporate travel booking tool that enables employees to access an extensive travel inventory. Also, employees can use the same tool to book their choice of travel products without putting in extra time and effort.

In addition to supporting multiple currencies and payment methods, the business travel booking tool will help employees track flight status, receive the latest travel guidelines, and generate automated expense reports. At the same time, the business software will help your organization save money by providing negotiated rates.

  1. Encourage Early Booking

Employees often increase the average business trip costs by booking business travel products at the last minute. Your organizational travel policy must encourage employees to complete business travel bookings as early as possible. You can consider setting a deadline by which each employee must book a business trip after getting travel request approval.

  1. Provide Corporate Credit Cards

You can boost employees’ business travel booking experience by allowing them to use their preferred payment. But your company should consider providing corporate credit cards to employees if it supports post-trip expense reimbursements.

Employees can avoid using their personal funds using the corporate credit card at the time of business travel booking. Also, the company credit card will make it easier for your finance team to track travel expenses and calculate taxes.

  1. Provide Travel and Support

Employees travel to both familiar and unknown destinations for business purposes. While traveling to an unfamiliar travel destination, they need both information and assistance to choose the right travel products.

Your organizational policy needs to ensure that each employee can clear doubts and solve issues by gathering the required information seamlessly. It must define whom the employee can contact to answer various questions and get travel assistance.

  1. Encourage and Incentive Employees to Save

You must boost business travel experiences by meeting the travel needs and choices of employees. But your travel policy must focus on controlling costs by making employees save money on business travel booking.

For instance, your policy should encourage employees to leverage special offers and deals provided by suppliers despite getting negotiated rates. Likewise, you can incentivize employees to make cost-conscious travel choices by giving monetary rewards.

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  1. Gather Post-Trip Feedback

The travel choices of employees change from time to time. Also, new business travel trends emerge at frequent intervals. Hence, your organization should make business travel booking simplifications an ongoing process.

You can easily simplify and boost the process by gathering comprehensive employee feedback. In addition to asking employees to assess the current business travel booking process, you should find areas of improvement by encouraging employees to give suggestions and share ideas.

Conclusion

Your organization can streamline and simplify the business travel booking process by adopting several best practices. But you should remember that enterprises these days simplify the crucial step in corporate travel management using two strategies – outsourcing and automation.

Many companies centralize business travel booking by working with a travel management company (TMC) like ITILITE. The TMC books business travel products for an employee based on his travel preferences and booking history. At the same time, it saves money by booking business travel products at lower than market rates.

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At the same time, many companies facilitate self-booking by implementing business travel management software. The software enables employees to book their preferred travel products by accessing an extensive travel inventory. However, it helps employers reduce costs by getting negotiated rates and ensuring policy compliance.

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