Losing travelers to online booking sites? Here are our tips to keep customers coming back.
A recent Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) study found that while three out of four business travelers are mandated to use their managed travel program and tools, the reality is that the majority book outside the system. They stray due to perceived better choices and prices on airline sites and online travel agencies.
This travel leakage shows dissatisfaction in the TMC and goes on to affect credibility and corporate contract negotiations, as well as the ability to negotiate rates and commissions with suppliers. So what can TMCs do to ensure loyalty?
Offer rich business content
TMCs need to ensure they can offer relevant and additional content beyond standard fare offerings, delivering the same richness and depth of descriptions and imagery that business travelers see elsewhere.
Our guide to staying profitable in a fast-changing market dives further into how your TMC can manage content choice more profitably - get your free copy here.
Online booking sites are often a lot more visually engaging and easier to use than corporate booking tools (CBT). If travelers have an inconvenient booking experience with their TMC, they’re less likely to come back. This is especially the case if there’s a lack of synchronicity between the best price quoted by agents, by the CBT, and then on mobile. Step up the user experience to keep travelers returning to you.
Make price comparisons easier
TMCs can help the traveler see the value of booking through them by allowing for moduled fare types, similar to that on online booking sites, that are easily comparable. Travelers will then see the lowest prices, as well as those that are the best fit for them, and be able to make fairer side by side comparisons with online fares.
Deliver on every expectation
Travelers are used to being able to book on any device. TMCs need to make sure they’re there, through consultants, self-service tools, and mobile, depending on how their target audience likes to consume.
Integrate client policy and preferences
Despite only making up 12% of airline passenger volume, business travelers are twice as profitable as those on holiday. However, standard points of sale - both self and agent led - aren’t necessarily geared toward what business travelers are looking for. So there’s a prominent content gap. TMCs can keep travel managers happy by making sure the upsells and premium fares they’re offering are in line with corporate policy and traveler preferences. This goes a long way in maintaining credibility and maintaining clients.
Integrating content is a significant amount of work, and not all agencies have the resourcing and time to dedicate and develop against multiple sources of upsell fare content.