In these challenging times your travel program needs to work harder than ever, delivering both cost efficiencies and the necessary duty of care to your travellers. However, we know that’s easier said than done. Which is why we provide account management free of charge to many of our clients.
Do I need a Client Relationship Manager?
Is your travel program - and budget - working as hard as it could? If the answer is ‘yes’, that’s fantastic; you should give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back! If the answer is ‘no’ or ‘I’m not sure’, a Client Relationship Manager could make all the difference. Client Relationship Managers provide their clients with unparalleled insight and expert advice to take even the best managed travel programs to the next level.
What do Client Relationship Managers do?
From reviewing your travel trends and identifying ways to drive savings and improve the traveler experience, to increasing online adoption and introducing new travel tools, there are many ways a Client Relationship Manager can assist you. In general, account management services include:
- Reporting and reviews
- Implementing your account
- Supplier relationship management
- Advice on travel policies and restarting your travel program
How can I get the most out of my Client Relationship Manager?
One of the most valuable account management services are account reviews. If you’re new to them and want to get the most out of these sessions, we’ve collated some of the key topics to cover in your next account review...
In your account review meeting, your account manager will be able to analyze your travel spend to help you make savings. They’ll look at:
- Missed savings: the sum value of when a cheaper alternative was available but not taken by the booker/traveler
- Forward booking: how far in advance you are booking, which can have a great effect on the cost of your trip
- Policy adherence: how often people are breaking policy rules such as cabin class and hotel night limit
And make the following recommendations:
- Policy changes to restrict costly bookings
- Actions to prevent out of policy bookings such as enforced caps and lost reimbursement for bookings outside of policy
- Leveraging global supplier relationships to boost savings
For Client Relationship Managers to provide the best advice on reducing spend it’s important they have full visibility over your travel program. This means eliminating invisible ‘rogue’ bookings as much as possible. Download our free guide for tips and advice on encouraging your travelers to book within policy and discuss it with your account manager in your next review.
Duty of Care
To help ensure your employees’ safety when traveling, your account manager can review your travel program with duty of care in mind and work with you to get the right processes in place. For example, what travelers should do if they fall ill while abroad and who they need to contact.
Account managers can also recommend the best travel risk tools and technology to implement, including:
- A mobile application such as our traveler app Sam
- Traveler tracking such as the dashboard found in YOUR.CT
- A source of information such as our Traveler Resource Hub
As well as putting a greater spotlight on duty of care, Covid-19 has re-set the agenda on traveler wellbeing. Account managers can work with you to ensure your travelers’ mental and physical wellbeing are effectively supported. Questions they may ask you to consider include
- Are you allowing your travelers enough time between arriving in a destination and heading into meetings?
- Do you need to allow pre-nights close to airports or flights departing later in the day?
- Should you allow upgrades or time in lieu on return to their place of origin?
- Should you supply your travelers with PPE and/ or do you need to mandate – and facilitate - testing for Covid-19 before traveling?
Your Client Relationship Manager can then help you put policies in place. which offer your travelers the respite they need without costs exceeding your budget.
While duty of care and cost have taken the spotlight recently, returning to travel in an environmentally friendly way is still at the top of many companies’ agendas. To do so you will need a robust carbon policy.
There are three tools which your account manager can help you deploy to manage your impact on the environment:
- Carbon reporting to provide full visibility on your travel emissions
- Carbon analysis to look at how to reduce this
- Carbon offsetting to offset the environmental impact of your travel