Love it or hate it, business trips are here to stay. It has been reported by Skift that 2019 is going to be a year of dynamic change in the corporate travel sector because of the rapid growth of business trips and changes in habits. As business traveller habits continue to grow rapidly, new tools and technologies have emerged, offering more opportunities for cost-effective and convenient business travel.

While there is a not-so-glamorous side to business travel, such corporate trips don’t always have to be a chore for employees. So why not focus on what they need and make things more convenient and enjoyable for them?

If you haven’t already, you should definitely first read our blog post detailing the four Asian business traveller types and their individual preferences. By gaining a deeper understanding of what your employees want in a corporate travel tool, you would then be able to ensure a smoother and more enjoyable corporate travel experience for them. As a result, your employees would be more inclined to make every moment count during the trip.

Why is it important to have a corporate travel tool?

If your company doesn’t already use a corporate travel tool, perhaps it is time to do so – especially if you’re looking to improve productivity and have a more efficient company travel policy.

After all, it has been found that business travellers carry four devices on average. Hence, it is crucial for companies to cater to their digital lifestyle and invest in a corporate travel tool that would be able to meet their needs while they are on-the-go.

Apart from being able to make instant bookings and save time and money, having a corporate travel tool also ensures policy compliance. This is especially important for companies that have tighter budgets and specific requirements.

Not all corporate travel tools are created equal, so do keep an eye out for these features that employees would love!

1. Better selection of flights and hotels

While it might feel like the best idea to pre-select specific flights or pick the nearest hotel to work for convenience sake, your employees might not feel the same. After all, they might have specific preferences.

A survey commissioned by American Express Global Business (GBT) concluded that many employees are reluctant to comply with company travel policies when it impacts earning personal loyalty points or rewards.

Apart from that, while a large majority of business travellers recognise the value of corporate travel and are aware of travel policies, there are some factors that would drive them to book outside of their company policies. These include using preferred airlines, the desire to stay in a safer location, and getting business lounge access.

Thus, having extensive flights and hotel inventory is crucial for a corporate travel tool. By offering more options to your business travellers, you would be able to cater to their specific needs and give them the freedom to make decisions they would actually be happy with.

2. Integrated travel policy

To ensure that employees gain a better understanding of the corporate travel policy, it helps to have it integrated with the corporate travel tool. Doing so would help emphasise the goals of the policy, be it to ensure safety, save money or streamline travel booking processes.

Apart from that, it would allow bookings for hotels and flights to be made instantly with a pre-approved budget. This creates convenience, and as such, increases the chances of employee compliance.

3. Easier expense reporting

Travel expenses consist of transportation, meals, lodging, and entertainment – for those who may be required to take clients out for dinner. It might be a hassle for employees to hold on to physical receipts and then wait until they are back to file an expense claim.

This is why having a corporate travel tool with integrated expense reporting can make the process more efficient and convenient. With automated expense reporting, employees can simply scan receipts and submit expense reports while they’re on-the-go.

4. Premium support

There’s no doubt that all business travellers hope to have a smooth sailing journey. However, the unexpected can happen, and they might require specific service services or assistance at certain points of the trip.

By having premium support in a corporate travel tool, employees would enjoy responsive, timely, and relevant services, and thus have an enhanced experience.

Companies can recommend corporate travel tools or apps to employees to help them travel with ease. These tools or apps should not only secure company data, but also boost traveller productivity and ensure traveller safety, so as to help employees make the most of every trip.

5. Ability to charge to the company immediately

Expenses can add up and it might take a toll on employees if they have to keep paying out of their own pockets and then wait for reimbursement from the company. After all, claims take about nine days or more to be processed, according to research done by enterprise software company SAP.

And unfortunately, many are the times when the employees might unexpectedly have to foot the bill for a big dinner with clients, or book last-minute transport.

When employees have the ability to charge such expenses automatically via a corporate travel tool, it would help save time and effort for the company as well. This is because the process would be automated and there wouldn’t be the need to go through a manual claims process with physical receipts.

Have a smoother journey with the right corporate travel tool

Corporate travel tools are supposed to help, rather than hinder, business trips. Thus, it is important to look out for features that would encourage productivity and create convenience for not only the company, but the business travellers too.