Quality Management in Business Travel

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by: Fitzgerald Draper, Research Director, ACTE Global & Anusha Chatterjee, Research Manager, ACTE Global

Phase 1: What we have so far

In our 2018 study “Quality Management in Business Travel”, in collaboration with BCD Travel, ACTE Global found:

  • The industry is currently using metrics that do not completely measure the quality of corporate travel programmes.
  • We are still assessing quality management as we always have – through booking statistics, policy compliance, and call centre stats.
  • This data helps us assess the ‘cost’ of the travel programme.
  • However, the data tells us little about the ‘travel experience’, such as trip success rate, or about traveller productivity, satisfaction, or friction.

Our respondents indicated that learning more about the travel experience is crucial when trying to find the balance between value and quality. In fact, most respondents agreed that a standard system of measurement is needed for the corporate travel industry.

See the full report here.

Phase 2: What should we be measuring

The need for a standard system of measurement expressed by our members served as our call to action. We are currently in Phase 2 of the Quality Management in Business Travel project where we are collecting data from business leaders and travel managers on what a standard system of measurement should look like and what we should be measuring.

We are currently conducting education sessions where we present our findings from Phase 1 and discuss our findings from Phase 2. The most exciting part of these sessions is the dedicated focus group discussion time!

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We would like to thank all our attendees at the ACTE Chicago Global Summit & Corporate Lodging Forum in April 2019! The valuable insight from our attendees helped us further evolve the structure of our sessions to better meet the needs of the attendees. We would also like to thank the session attendees at the Pittsburgh Business Travel Association (PBTA) event in May 2019. Our session attendees at these two events have provided us with some excellent insight into quality measurement.

We would also like to thank our excellent Advisory Board who shared their thoughtful insights on the research findings and are helping to guide Phase 2 as well!

Here is what we have found so far:

  • The most common metrics used when measuring travel programme quality are spend/savings, policy compliance, and booking statistics.
  • Most of the respondents stated that they draw from multiple sources to measure quality, with a small portion of respondents solely relying on data from the TMCs.
  • Policy compliance is integral for all companies and is therefore featured prominently in how respondents define traveller engagement, trip success, and traveller friction.
  • Similarly, minimizing disruptions is important to keep travellers satisfied and engaged, to improve trip success rate, and to minimize traveller friction.
  • Traveller satisfaction and policy compliance were found to be other important metrics to be measured.
  • Respondents largely agreed that using metrics associated with travel experience will help us better understand traveller needs and subsequently improve the services offered.
  • Respondents expressed concerns on how to measure metrics such as traveller satisfaction and engagement or trip rate success, especially if we only have the traveller’s feedback to rely on.

Future Plans:

Participate: We are conducting these sessions across the globe during ACTE and BCD events. If you are interested in quality management and would like to be heard, please attend one of the sessions. You will have the opportunity to interact with your peers and provide your insights on how we should be measuring programme quality and what a standardized quality metric should look like.

Be on the lookout for our upcoming session at ACTE Academia Summit in Rio de Janeiro 10 June!

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Share your views: We asked respondents how they define traveller friction. Based on their responses, the most important characteristics of traveller friction are:

  • Traveller friction may be caused by disruptions or delays caused by hours lost, the number of connections or flights involved, number of days on the road, etc.
  • Traveller friction may lead to wear and tear on the traveller and negatively impact work-life balance.
  • To assess traveller friction, it is important to take into account how ‘painful’ the most cost-effective trip is for the traveller. The goal should be to create trips that take away pain and keep travellers happy.
  • Increased traveller friction results in poor compliance of travel policy, poor adoption, and leakage, with travellers searching outside of the channel.

Share your voice! Do you agree? How do you define traveller friction? Take our one question poll here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/definetravellerfriction

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