This is Personal
Making business travel personal is one of those topics that sounds great from a guest speaker on a podium at some travel event, but does it happen in reality?
Personal service is our main focus at Travel Counsellors and for our clients this has never been more important than it is right now. It's simply not enough to spout clichés such as "there are green shoots of revival". Discussing and planning with the client's executives and decision makers is fundamentally an immediate action that must be taken.
Action is Everything
Planning for recovery in the new normal in 2020 is the greatest task ever faced by anyone working in the travel industry. For those that are front and centre with their clients, the reality is there will be difficult and challenging times ahead. Understanding our client's focus and culture is critical and this is where having a personal approach is crucial.
Listening to our clients, their concerns, confidence in the current situation (or lack of it), is just one piece of the jigsaw. Other areas that must be assessed in parallel are individual travellers concerns, which then links to the international advice on border closures, quarantine, protocols on arrival, etc.
If these boxes are ticked then it’s likely that travel will be possible. Not discussing where our client is at any of these stages would be a massive mistake and likely mean a mis-aligned strategy for when some normality returns.
Opportunity Doesn't Knock Twice
Its also a massive opportunity for companies to re-assess where their business is at and how this affects their future travel program. How will it change from what they did before? Probably quite a lot - depending on how long the restrictions continue. Now is the time - whilst they've got time - for them to review their travel policy and make it fit for purpose, for when business travel returns.
It's About People
I am personally speaking and regularly contacting all of my clients, keeping them up to date with current advice, regulations and restrictions, as they unfold. I am discussing their thoughts and ideas on how this is affecting their business and also them, as individuals.
If I didn’t have those relationships with my clients then this would just be a simple order taking exercise, rather than a highly personalised, tailored, concierge-level assessment of their business and their travel program.
With many TMCs furloughing their business development managers, 1000s of companies have been left to fend for themselves and don’t have that direct contact anymore.
Now is the time to focus on each and everyone of our clients by offering a highly focused analysis of their travel programs. Our clients need aspirational goals and something tangible to work towards, ready for the second half of 2020 and onwards into 2021.