If you are currently in charge of your company’s travel programme and using a Travel Management Company (TMC), chances are they are offering you some form of Account Management service to oversee the relationship.
Whether its once or twice a year, or more regularly for those with large travel spends, meeting with your TMC’s Dedicated Account Manager is paramount to keeping a solid working relationship and your organisations business travel spend on track.
Most travel managers have busy workloads, and some find it hard to find the time to meet with their Account Manager – especially when things are running smoothly, but even when things are going well there are many benefits for taking some time out of your day to have a face to face review meeting.
Here are our top 5 reasons why you need to meet with your Account Management team:
#1 Travel Consultancy & Policy Management
Another advantage of using a TMC is their ability to manage your company’s travel policy for you. By having regular review meetings with your Account Manager, it’s much easier to evaluate the policy in place, and any out of policy bookings which have been approved (usually with a reason code for why the traveller has been allowed to book). Over time it may be necessary to tweak the policy here and there to be more relevant to the current market, or to any changes with your company’s corporate travel requirements. There is no better time to discuss this than when your Account Manager comes to visit you for a review meeting.
#2 MI (Management Information)
Travel MI Data can be a fantastic way to get a good understanding of the travel being booked at your company, but sometimes the data can be so comprehensive that you just don’t have time to look into it in as much detail as you would like. By having regular review meetings with your Account Manager, you can leave the task of analysing this data to them to investigate before meeting. Your account manager can then suggest ways to either add more value to your bookings or reduce the price you are paying through better booking practices or switching to more cost-effective carriers. What’s more, by using the hotel bed night data from your travel programme, your account manager has more leverage when negotiating hotel rates on your behalf.
#3 Relationship Building
Your Account Manager is the contact within a TMC who is there to resolve any service issues you may be having, so it’s important to build a good relationship with them so you feel comfortable having honest conversations when issues arise. By having regular review meetings, they will get to know you and what’s important to your company when booking, which will then enable them to be proactive in delivering the best results possible.
This point may not save you any money, but it will make your working day more enjoyable, something one could argue is priceless.
#4 Business Rewards
As I’ve discussed in a previous blog, many companies aren’t aware of the reward schemes they can sign up to in a bid to maximise value from the bookings they are making. Whether these be hotel or airline reward schemes, your Account Manager will be fully aware of the best schemes on the market to join, and by analysing your company’s travel data, they will be able to suggest the schemes most relevant to your travel programme. As well as assisting you in signing up for these schemes, a good travel management company will also help you manage these as part of their account manager service. This means you can be sure you are utilising all points earned rather than missing out on ones that have expired without your knowledge.
#5 Streamline / Tailor efficiencies
The travel industry is fast-changing, with lots of new and exciting products coming to market all the time. Your account manager will be the first to know about these and which ones are available to you, so by having regular review meetings they can take the time to talk through any which would have a positive impact to your travel programme, helping to ensure it’s running as streamlined and efficiently as possible.