A newly released study from Egencia finds that business travelers want and expect to manage their trips across all mobile devices. It also revealed some areas for improvement.
For the 70 percent of travelers worldwide who find business trips more enjoyable than their everyday work lives, technology is perhaps the biggest key to their satisfaction.
According to the 4th edition Egencia Business Travel and Technology Survey, 66 percent of business travelers want to be able to book or manage travel across all of their mobile devices, not just on their smartphones, and 50 percent would like to avoid human interaction on the road unless they are having a problem.
“We are at a turning point in business travel,” said Rob Greyber, president of Egencia, the business travel arm of the Expedia group, in a press release. “Business travelers have high expectations, and they want instant access to information and tools on every device.”
The survey, which included responses from more than 4,500 business travelers from nine countries, also revealed how they’d like to see technology improve their travel experience. For example, 48 percent overall, and 63 percent of U.S. business travelers, would like to use text messaging to update their travel arrangements. In addition, 43 percent of respondents believe advancements in artificial intelligence will benefit their travel.
Ultimately, business travelers want to use technology to stay as productive as possible on the road, but, as the survey revealed, organizational travel policies sometimes get in the way. For instance, while 49 percent of respondents said in-flight WiFi would increase their productivity, only 29 percent of travelers are reimbursed for it.
The survey also revealed other common pain points for business travelers. When it comes to expense reports, more than 20 percent said it should take half as long to file them as is it does today. And travelers also find hotel-booking policies to be limiting. Because they can’t find a hotel close enough to their destination, 37 percent of respondents say they book rooms out of policy.
The question, of course, for concerned travel managers is how to satisfy travelers’ expectations while remaining within the corporate framework. By offering better technological integration, travel managers are in a better position to increase productivity, compliance, and satisfaction within their travel program, while providing travelers the control they want and expect.