5 Customization Trends in Corporate Travel Happening Now
The ability for corporate travelers to customize their business trip down to the tiniest detail is the future of the travel market.
Customization in corporate travel will be an important factor in the industry in 2018. This trend allows for each corporate traveler to have an experience that is unique to them. Many corporate travel management companies are putting the focus on the travelers themselves.
This interest in customized travel demonstrates that the corporate travel world is starting to mirror the trends of the leisure travel industry. This is exciting, as it has usually been the case that the corporate travel industry lags behind leisure travel. Business travel operators are starting to adopt the apps and tools that are inspired by the leisure travel industry, such as using big data to create custom trips and using social media to connect directly with customers.
Let’s look at some of the main customization trends that are currently happening in corporate travel.
1. Using Big Data
The technology now exists to capture a lot of data about business travelers. The major players in the industry are learning how to use this enormous amount of information to personalize travel experiences for their customers. We are not too far away from a world where travel companies are able to offer tailored recommendations to their individual customers, based on information gathering.
It’s not always easy to figure out how to use big data in the right way. It is very powerful, but if companies use it wrong it can feel intrusive or can make travelers uneasy. When it is done in the right way, however, it can make travel much more enjoyable. In fact, many travelers are willing to pay more for an experience that they can customize.
For example, many airports around the world have been unveiling facial recognition technology that allows them to match passengers to their passport photos. Companies such as Alaska Airlines are using analytics to increase efficiency on their back-end, making their customer facing product more personal. Other companies such as Carlson Wagonlit Travel are using their existing capabilities in a smarter way.
2. Customized Booking Websites
Many travel booking websites are offering more options than ever before, allowing customers to put together the ideal corporate travel experience piece by piece. This level of personalization will allow corporate travelers to save time and money and experience less hassle. As a result, they will likely have the best possible experience on their business trip.
For example, if the corporate traveler wants certain extras such as an aisle seat, extra cabin baggage, a hotel with a fast WiFi connection or a pick-up service from the airport, they will be able to specify this in the booking.
A lot of these booking websites will also adjust more to mobile usage. More searches than ever are performed on smartphones and tablets, so we can expect in the future to see travel-related services investing heavily in app technology.
3. Incorporating the Sharing Economy
Another customization trend that we can expect to see in the world of corporate travel is sharing economy services. This includes services such as Uber and AirBnB being incorporated into the travel booking apps.
After all, the customization trend comes from the idea that travelers want to bring the human aspect back into travel. Using an Uber or an AirBnB is often not only cost efficient, it’s also a more enjoyable experience due to the personal interaction. These experiences can even be more flexible and comfortable than traditional taxis and hotels.
4. Instant Messaging Services for Travel Agents
One of the hottest new trends in the travel industry is instant messaging. Many travel companies are now giving customers the opportunity to “chat” on their mobile devices or computers with automated bots or real-live customer service agents.
This offers a lot of advantages. Most importantly, it makes the booking process much easier for all different types of travel, not just business travel. For example, if a business traveler is booking their flight online and a question comes up or they need to tweak their itinerary, they can do this quickly and easily via the instant messaging service.
The trend for instant messaging has a lot of potential. Travel agents and agencies have only just started to explore it. It could offer a much more efficient way for travel agents to connect business travelers with the exact services they need.
5. Corporate Travel Expense Tracking Apps
Another hot trend in corporate travel is the ability for travelers to track every expense while on their trip. This is made possible with the help of expense tracking apps designed for mobile use. These apps are incredibly customizable, offering the ability for business travelers to use personal dashboards. These dashboards are based on their own business needs and even track spending against their own unique budget.
These apps allow corporate travelers to keep track of their expenses while on the road with the simple tap of a button. In addition, many of these smart systems will allow the company to gather all of the spending data for their business travelers and analyze it in order to see where spending can be improved.
Customization Will Drive the Future of Corporate Travel
The next wave of corporate travel will be more customized than ever. This is made possible by the newest developments in technology. It will be exciting to see what will happen in the next few years of corporate travel!
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