Want Travelers to Stop “Going Rogue”? Improve Your Booking Tools

Perceptions linger that consumer travel sites are cheaper and easier than the systems businesses use. To keep your employees compliant with your travel-booking policies, the solution is to improve your tools, says a new study.

Want to prevent your employees  from booking their work travel outside of the official channels? You might want to pay more attention to ease of use and better communication.

That’s the key finding from “Booking Tools and Technologies: One Size Does Not Fit All” [registration], a new report from the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) and American Express Global Business Travel. Even at companies that require employees to use the organization’s booking tools, many travelers go rogue: Only about 60 percent of organizations said more than 70 percent of employees use the tools, and fewer than 5 percent said they have full adoption.

The biggest problem may be that consumer tools are often perceived to be significantly better than corporate tools, particularly where it matters most: price. According to the report, 39 percent of employees don’t comply because they think they can get a better deal booking on a consumer travel site, even though the whole point of corporate online booking is to save the company money.

In a news release, ACTE Director of Research Fitzgerald Draper said the study provides clear evidence that businesses, not their employees, must evolve. “Travel managers should be wary of evolving traveler expectations. The booking experience needs to be highly flexible and should look and feel like it does when they book personal travel,” Draper said.

It appears that many organizations are aware of the need to address the problem, with 90 percent of the travel managers stating that improving online booking platforms is at least a moderately important goal. And communication is as important as technology: The report recommends improving employee communication to help solve problems with poor user experience and employee needs.

“Customization is key when it comes to online booking tools and technology,” the report states. “One size does not fit all, so it is incumbent on travel managers and their partners to provide online booking tools that meet the needs of all users in the organization.”

(MicroStockHub/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!