Most corporate travelers will tell you that their best experiences on the road have little to do with upgrades. Naturally, a first-class airline seat and a luxury hotel room are desirable features on any travel itinerary, but when you spend a significant portion of your work life between airports and hotel rooms, there are few things that rank higher including convenience of choice, ease of check-in, and simplified expensing.
Studies show that the most unsatisfied corporate travelers are those with undefined travel policies, inadequate booking tools, and complicated expense reporting.
As a travel manager, creating happy travelers doesn’t have to be more expensive, but it does require better policies supported by the best tools so you can give your travelers what they want and your company what it needs.
Corporate Travel Policies
When it comes to travel policies, keep it simple. Eliminate confusion by creating a preferred vendor list and attach preset spending limits across transaction types. These parameters should be straight-forward, as should your communication about them, to ensure everyone knows exactly what to expect at booking as well as how corporate travel payments should be managed.
Corporate Travel Payments
The best way to enforce your travel policy is to choose an integrated booking tool and payment solution that simplifies the entire process from reservation to reconciliation. The emergence of virtual credit cards as a form of corporate travel payments has become a first line of defense against non-compliant travelers, payments fraud, and messy expense reporting. Single-use virtual cards are created in real-time to pay for air, car, and hotel reservations, with approved vendors and specific spend amounts already preset. New cards can be easily issued online and existing cards can be blocked or unblocked by administrators as needed. The online controls also give travel managers the power to adjust card limits and analyze spending patterns for each individual traveler while the single-use nature of virtual cards, along with preset spend amounts, eliminates the opportunity for rogue spending and fraud.
Corporate Travel Convenience
Managing travel and the accompanying expenses becomes a whole lot easier when you incorporate a solution that meets traveler demands with mobile convenience. With the right payment solution and mobile capabilities, virtual card information can be pushed to a smart device along with reservation details that include hotel authorization forms, invoice-level data on travel expenses, and a direct link to administrator approvals if additional spend limits or purchases are required.
In terms of creating happy travelers, the mobile component may be the single most important component to a successful corporate travel program. The hotel check-in process alone is one of the most frustrating parts of corporate travel, especially when the front desk can’t locate a credit card authorization form. Mobile capabilities bring credit card data and corresponding approvals right to the traveler’s fingertips so they can fax or email authorizations in real-time and get into their room faster.
Mobile access to virtual credit cards also ensures that employees aren’t using their personal credit card, which can lead to more confusion during the expensing process.
Corporate Travel Expenses
Managing expenses has historically created headaches for everyone involved. From employees chasing after receipts to their managers reconciling multiple employee trips on a corporate credit card line-by-line. With the right corporate travel solution you can track every expense automatically by trip, traveler, or event. Virtual card transactions are aligned with preapproved amounts and expense reports can be customized and pulled with invoice-level data.
Implementing a formal travel policy shouldn’t be complicated. With effective payment tools, well defined spending limits, and easily trackable expenses, you’re on your way to creating a more convenient corporate travel experience, and that’s going to make everyone a whole lot happier.