Finland lives by its exports. Smooth international trade will ensure our success both now and in the future. However, the profile of export companies has changed substantially during the past ten years, and this has brought many new kinds of operators into our active client base.
Each company has its own needs, operating models and expectations regarding added value from travel. One thing remains, though: the need to meet people. Regardless of where in the world you do business, you need to continue meeting clients and stakeholders face to face. Since beaming people up, as in Star Trek, has not been invented yet, travelling still requires physical movement from place to place. Bearing in mind Finland’s location, this usually means flying.
Are your travellers enjoying their trips, however? Finns are the world’s happiest people, but do you know how happy your employees are on their business trips? Has your company succeeded in helping travellers with their problems? What would motivate them to follow the travel rules? Are your travellers safe and who will offer help in emergencies?
These are questions to which American Express Global Business Travel and the German research company GfK sought answers from around the world. The result was the Traveler 360° report that offers a fresh perspective on business travellers and their needs.
The study highlighted a few significant issues that you should take into account to ensure that your travellers follow your travel rules more closely.
First of all, a trip is always personally experienced and tailored. This strongly relates to feelings of personal time management, flexibility and safety on the traveller’s part.
Secondly, travel comfort is dictated by money. This is a simple fact. No matter how flexible your travel rules are, I doubt that you can offer luxury throughout a trip. You should therefore consider where to allow for flexibility and where to guide people towards the right choices in good time, in order to keep costs in check and maintain control. Nearly all companies incur substantial hidden costs from late reservations and the travellers’ own hotel choices. Are you entrusting these issues to a document buried somewhere on the intranet? Did you know that service technology can both monitor choices and provide a comfortable level of guidance where appropriate?
And one more thing: taking responsibility is important, both on the part of the company and as a result of the traveller’s actions. According to the study, travellers believe that their employer should invest in services that help them during abnormal events and emergencies. Outside the scope of the study, I have noted that environmental concern is a major trend in the Nordic countries. Are you aware of how your travel rules support sustainable travel? The aim is for the traveller to feel good about working and travelling, while the company takes care of them as an individual and makes sustainable travel partner choices.
Remember that you are not alone: you can always turn to your account manager for assistance.
Enjoy your summer and remember to book your autumn travel on time!
Director, Business Travel Services & Customer Experience
American Express Global Business Travel