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Is Your Organization Ready for Mobile in Business Travel?

By Egencia

As business travel continues to rise, business travelers are looking for a travel experience that mimics their leisure experience: convenient, easy, fast. They’re busy people, trying to juggle work trips alongside their day-to-day tasks, and making sure they get home in time to watch Jimmy’s piano recital.

Using mobile devices for both leisure and business travel planning feels like a natural move for many travelers. A recent New York Times article notes that 78% of business travelers have used their smartphone for travel-planning purposes. That number will no doubt increase in the coming years.  

You might be asking yourself, “What does that have to do with travel managers?” Quite a bit, actually.

According to the New York Times article, very few companies have policies covering mobile-device use for travel. From my perspective, it’s even worse when a company’s travel platform doesn’t offer any mobile planning options for travelers. Lack of policy and options can leave travelers unsure of what planning process is acceptable, and lessen their compliance with current policies that may not meet all their needs.

How can travel managers address the growing use of mobile? 3 ways:

  1. Figure out how mobile devices and apps fit within your travel policies. Communication is key here. The more you’re able to show your travelers that the travel program is keeping up with technology and a changing world, the more they’ll want to stay within policy.
  2. Find a travel partner that offers a mobile trip planning solution. Mobile apps can make the travel planning process much easier and save travelers time. If a change in their itinerary comes up in mid-travel, it should be simple (not painful) to make that change on their smartphone. Who has time to whip out their laptop, find a wireless connection, and log into their travel site? It’s much easier to pull out your phone and tap on an app.
  3. Ask for feedback. Seriously. Ask your travelers how often they use mobile devices for or during business travel. Ask them how important having a mobile app for trip planning is to them. The more information you have, the more empowered you are to build a travel program that meets everyone’s needs.   

At Egencia, we fully understand the importance of mobile in business travel; our mobile apps are specifically designed to streamline the travel process at every point. Our job is to make travel as easy as possible so travel managers and their travelers can focus on being as effective and efficient as possible.

In the end, efficiency and effectiveness are the cornerstones of business travel. At the close of theNew York Times article, Michael W. McCormick, executive director of the Global Business Travel Association, sums up the point beautifully: “We talk about this like this is new, but the fundamentals are still the same…Everybody wants to be effective, everyone wants to get business done, and everybody wants to get home safely.”

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