Changing traveller behaviour can cut overspend: research

Encouraging travellers to comply with a company’s travel policy can make a difference

April 19, 2017
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Recent research by Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s (CWT) Solutions Group found that corporations could reduce travel over-spend by up to 15 percent by enforcing existing corporate travel policies. The latest white paper launched today focuses on the challenges of travel policy compliance and how to influence the behavior of travelers. Encouraging travellers to comply with a company’s travel policy can make a difference.

The white paper: Behavior Management: a new way to think about an old problem, focuses on increasing travel data visibility, and increasing traveller responsibility with the aim to have business travellers stay within the corporate travel policy.

“Travel departments spend significant time and resources getting the best corporate deals to keep costs down,”Katie Raddatz, head of the CWT’s Solutions Group Americas. “But often travelers think the policy might not apply to them or they just don’t know the policy. Effectively enforcing compliance is often one of the hardest parts of travel management, but also the area with significant missed savings.”

Solutions Group has developed a traveller engagement system, Traveler 360 (T360), which looks to find ways to reach and educate the traveller to increase policy compliance and recapture significant missed savings. This approach provides the tools for non-travel professionals to manage traveller behavior. The four stages of T360 include:

  1. Analyze – Start with an analysis of the potential savings and the different traveler segments to uncover non-compliance issues.
  2. Educate – Traveller scorecards are created to educate stakeholders by using terms and language they use with a format that can be immediately executed.
  3. Engage – Traveller scorecards, containing individualized reports, are sent directly to the traveler. The clear information in the reports makes it easier for managers to speak to employees about their booking behavior.
  4. Compete – Creating a traveler gamification program promotes positive traveler behavior by introducing motivating, game-like elements that provides incentives to travelers to stay compliant.

“There’s pressure to reduce costs from every direction. Making sure people stick to the rules is an easy way to cut spend,” continued Raddatz. ”We want to make sure we’re increasing compliance as much as possible. When it’s done properly, you can see the percentage of missed savings fall almost immediately.”