Business travel management aims to provide a delightful, productive, safe travel experience to employees while driving company best practices and policies, and controlling costs. Reconciling employee satisfaction and company requirements is not a new challenge, but it is becoming more relevant as travellers are inundated with new solutions and choices for planning their trips. Travellers can access these not only from their own computers but increasingly from their mobile devices as well.
Polling showed that:
- 75% of all interviewed use a mobile device for personal or business reasons,
- 77% of business travellers use their smartphones or tablets to book travel or monitor travel itineraries. In the UK this figure rises to 79%.
Thousands of mobile travel apps are now available, and new ones are being launched every day. In this context, the winning business travel app for the future needs to both support company goals, and instantly appeal to end users in order to maximise adoption. Although features and functions may vary, there are two essential things that successful mobile business travel solutions will do:
- Integrate with the entire TMC ecosystem
As mobile booking expands, the app will promote the company’s preferred suppliers and policy, in a way that is consistent with its online and offline booking solutions. Centrally designed rules will be instantly reflected across channels. Data on trips booked from mobile will flow into the central reporting and monitoring solutions, providing Travel Managers and CFO’s with the insight they need to drive travel programmes and ensure that duty of care requirements are met.
- Delight end-users
UX and UI design is key, and the app will leverage the most recent insight on what makes consumer apps appealing and successful. It will provide useful, relevant and timely information, based on a deep understanding of the overall travel experience. It will be simple and alluring, acknowledging that the first visual impression heavily influences which app will be downloaded (starting from the app store catalogues) and ultimately adopted as the essential travel companion.
Today, over 80% of mobile apps are used only once after download and eventually deleted by users, because of design or functionality that fail to immediately meet their expectations. The winning business travel app will seamlessly integrate with the overall TMC solution to provide companies with the control they need, and offer the most engaging experience to end-users. Compliance can be and should be beautiful!
This blog post was written by Vinh Giang Vovan, Director of Product for Egencia Europe. With a consumer-grade interface, Egencia TripNavigator incorporates technology from the Expedia brand’s acquisition of Mobiata®, a creator of best-selling mobile travel apps, with a design that has been optimised for the more complex world of business travel. The app provides travellers with step-by-step navigation, much like a GPS device offers driving directions, and features, among other things, access to Egencia’s robust global hotel inventory. For more insights, visit the Egencia website, or watch the Future of Travel video.
Egencia is exhibiting at The Business Travel Show - 4-5 February 2014, www.businesstravelshow.com