Business Traveler Customer Journey
A typical customer's journey for someone planning a business trip includes deciding to travel for a meeting or business event, creating an itinerary, searching for expert advice on travel websites, using fare aggregators to book trips and finally using spend management platforms to make payments. The major business travel barrier experienced by employees is adherence to company policy. After an exhaustive search through industry publications, surveys, and reports, an overview of the logical flow of a business traveler's customer journey has been provided below.
REASONS AND MOTIVATIONS FOR BUSINESS TRAVEL
- Common reasons behind business travelers' decision to take a trip include networking, taking samples or examples of current works and prospective projects, and checking the current condition of workers, goods, and facilities. Another major reason behind these corporate trips is to attend meetings and events.
- According to Fly Aeolus, 76% of business travelers fly to visit outstations or meet a customer. The most common reason for these trips, however, is to visit customers and suppliers.
- Some workers simply love to travel. 30% of these workers admit that they would accept lower wages if they are offered more business trips. Also, 39% of Generation Z and Millennial workers would not accept jobs that do not allow them to travel. Also, 92% of corporate travelers express satisfaction with their 'quality of life' when they travel for business.
RESOURCES CONSULTED DURING
- Besides directly contacting travel experts, travel websites such as Expedia and TripAdvisor are typical resources used in obtaining expert advice for business trips. After receiving advice, fare aggregators like Skyscanner and Kayak are then used in booking trips.
- Spend management platforms such as Spendesk are used in making payment for these business trips.
- Generally, 57% of travelers prefer using a single mobile app in planning, booking, and tracking their travel. However, "50% of business travelers" do not use the travel booking tools provided by their organization.
- Fifty five percent of business travelers say that mobile apps help in enhancing their travel time. Sixty nine percent of these travelers say that they would only book for travel on another device if their mobile device has limitations.
STEPS TAKEN IN PLANNING BUSINESS TRAVEL
MAKING TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS IN ADVANCE
- There very first step that business travelers take in planning for travel is to study and understand the company's travel policy.
- While making arrangements, the corporate traveler visualizes the various steps involved in the trip from start to finish. Details such as the time taken to move between the railway station and airport, the luggage needed, the estimated time to be spent at the vehicle hire company, and other minor details are considered at this point.
SELECTING ACCOMMODATION BASED ON PRICE AND CONVENIENCE
- At this point, factors such as distance from the train station or airport to the hotel are considered. Also, the rates for several accommodation options are compared.
- In many cases, the company policy has benchmarks for the maximum rates allowed. Business travelers also use review platforms at this time to check for room service quality of the hotels, internet service availability, breakfast timing and so on.
CREATING AN ITINERARY
- At this stage, the traveler drafts a blueprint for his/her business trip. Details like transport times, names of customers to be met, final travel reservations, and accommodation address are compiled at this point.
- This allows the business traveler to make room for leisure time and unforeseen circumstances such as delayed or overrun meetings, and traffic jams.
RESEARCHING THE DESTINATION
- This stage is particularly important for business travelers who are visiting a destination for the very first time. At this stage, the traveler researches about various details such as the culture and customs, mannerisms, crime rate and political situation in the region he/she intends to visit.
- Online tools such as Yelp and Google Maps are a few examples of resources used at this stage.
BUSINESS TRAVEL PLANNING PAIN POINTS AND BARRIERS
- Forty nine percent of business travelers globally say they are unable to meet company policy which requires them to book for travel in advance. Twenty three percent of these business travelers do not book for domestic trips until the week before departure.
- Over fifty percent of business travelers say they do not always adhere to company policy while booking. Thirty seven percent of these travelers said the reason for this behavior is convenience. On the other hand, 35% mentioned price as their reason, while 26% said that the suggested travel brands are usually not practical for certain trips.
- Sixty one percent of North American business travelers say that 'time in transit' is "one of their top five pain points."
- Seventy five percent of employees are concerned about security when traveling domestically. Forty five percent of organizations are not satisfied with the level of support received from their travel partners.
POINTS WHEN A TRAVEL APP MAY BE USED
- Eighty five percent of employees prefer booking flights with mobile applications or advanced booking tools.
- These mobile applications are used by employees to record and keep track of travel expenses with ease.
- These travel mobile apps also give employees real-time 'access to travel information' during the itinerary planning stages and while in transit.
- Mobile apps are used by corporate travelers to access customer service at all stages of the customer journey.
- Also, mobile apps are used to 'modify accommodations' and 'adjust bookings'.