Time for Change?
Experienced corporate travel managers know there is a lot more to partnering with travel vendors than simply settling for ones who offer the lowest prices or have been within your network for years. Every company has its own exclusive needs that change simultaneously with the nature of its business, and a first-class executive transportation vendor has to be able to adapt to these changes and not flatline in value for other reasons, as well. Consider these scenarios, and if any apply to you, it’s probably best for the interests of your executive travelers and your company to trim the fat in your travel program:
Subpar Customer Service
In any industry in business, customer service is crucial for a bounty of reasons, and it's a top priority for most companies to maintain a good reputation. So if questions aren't answered, concerns aren't addressed, or a clear line of communication with the vendor is not available, these are several signs you shouldn't ignore. Perhaps the vendor initially gained your account with stellar customer service, and it’s gone downhill since. Or maybe the way they’ve handled your relationship has always been lacking. Business travel is valuable for many companies, and if you don’t have a transportation vendor who is happily willing to assist you with your company’s needs, there’s little reason to keep them on your roster.
Inability to Adjust
Change can be frustrating, but once the growing pains pass, new processes, technology and educational materials are beneficial to any business. A good executive travel vendor is usually ahead of the game, and the vendors that fall behind will find it hard to catch up. When a vendor doesn’t feel comfortable using new technology or doesn’t inform you of the latest trends in corporate travel, you could be suffering by not exposing your company to developments that make productivity easier and more efficient.
A successful business partnership is worthwhile for both parties, and you may have just discovered you’ve given them plenty of transportation business and have received little in return. Whether it’s a valued customer rewards program or the occasional free upgrade, extra motivation to use a vendor other than their basic services goes a long way. Executives who travel frequently for business appreciate the little things, and every perk, no matter how insignificant, makes traveling easier. Vendor incentives aren’t new concepts, so maybe you should partner with one who puts forth the effort to show your business is appreciated.
Unsatisfied Executive Travelers
If executives aren’t happy, it can be bad for the company, but when executives who regularly travel for business aren’t happy, it can be detrimental to the company. Traveling to other cities for meetings or industry events is already stressful, so once a vendor provides unsatisfactory service, the chance of an executive booking with a vendor outside your company’s network rises immensely. It may not seem like a big deal, but there’s rhyme and reason to why your organization handpicks its travel vendors, and cost is a big one to keep traveling expenses cost effective and easy to document.
Executive transportation vendors should always be finding new ways to maintain you as a valued client, because let’s face it; there’s plenty of other transportation vendors to choose from. Corporate travel managers have enough on their plate, and dealing with less than desirable merchants shouldn’t be another task to juggle. Your company’s business must be a priority for your travel partners, otherwise, don’t think twice about crossing them off the list.
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