We’re all certainly looking forward to a post-Covid world. But in my recent conversations with Rocketrip clients, I’ve noticed that many travel managers don’t just want a return to travel — they want an even better program for their travelers after getting through all this.
While there have certainly been some tough conversations I’ve had as Rocketrip’s VP of Customer Success (yes, we do have a number of clients who launched with us in January and February this year…), I’ve been part of many really positive conversations with travel managers using this moment to reset and re-calibrate with a focus on improvements over status quo.
These travel managers are being proactive. They’re redefining their travel policies, identifying blindspots, finding areas where costs can be controlled when trips return, and — most excitingly — prioritizing a positive experience for their travelers. If my conversations have been any indication of what’s to come, once travel resumes, having a best-in-class program means focusing on giving back to employees who have helped the company weather this period while committing to keeping them safe.
Showing Travelers Gratitude
Given that everyone but essential workers have been asked to stay home for weeks, it’s incredibly important for employers to demonstrate responsiveness for the extra concerns around traveling for business as travel returns. Our partners at SAP Concur recently surveyed travelers and found only 59% of travelers have positive sentiments about their next trip for when restrictions lift.
My team had a kickoff with a new client last week. The travel manager championed Rocketrip being brought into their program even after Covid-19 halted travel. He said it best: “A traveler rewards program says, ‘Thanks for making a choice to travel and move the business forward.’” It’s a necessity for the culture around travel that they’re trying to create.
Without adding a benefit like Rocketrip to your travel program, travel’s return is going to be all about new regulations and policy restrictions. Rocketrip allows travel managers to incentivize employees to opt towards desired behaviors like booking within your OBT or choosing preferred vendors.
Looking Ahead Proactively
Without sounding like a broken record: business travel is going to look fundamentally different for a long time, and we don’t know for sure yet which segments will be back (or when). But as travel managers look at changing their programs and tightening their budgets, they can create excitement about its return through adding in programs that put employee experience first and give employees choice — rather than just new restrictions.
And as an added bonus, we’ve seen that it’s a great time to think globally. Especially for programs with travel in Europe and APAC, this can be a time to look for savings outside of the US market to further bolster your company’s bottom line and keep employees feeling appreciated during hard times.
Efrat Moshkoviz is the VP of Customer Success at Rocketrip.