While business bookers and travellers tend to be well-intentioned, they often don’t fully understand the consequences of their actions. This cheat sheet will give you everything you need to know when it comes to the ins and outs of booker behaviour and how best you can influence it.
Booker behaviour describes certain recurring patterns that travellers perform throughout an organisation. This behaviour can either have a positive or negative impact on an organisation’s travel goals; for example booking tickets a month in advance – creating savings – or conversely booking a few days before a trip – meaning unnecessarily expensive fares.
The most effective way to achieve cost reduction and significantly improve value for money is to influence booker behaviour. Organisations can influence this behaviour in three main areas.
Using a TMC who can deliver a wide range of inventory from a wide range of suppliers will tend to result in bookers making a booking decision that is beneficial for both themselves and the organisation. The autonomy involved combined with the range of options (distressed inventory from hotels, special offers, low cost airlines and traditional content from GDSs) will make for happier bookers.
Policy controls ensure that bookers choose appropriate options. By building policy into your chosen booking tool, your bookers can be guided towards your organisations preferred options while still being able to choose between them. You could also consider implementing a dynamic policy across each travel type, to allow a tolerance around the cheapest price to be booked.
3) Travel data.
It’s crucial to monitor your travel data throughout the process of influencing booker behaviour. Without knowing what, when and how choices have been booked, you and your TMC cannot make informed decisions on what behaviour should be influenced and how.
Finally, in addition to the 3 areas above, organisations may also want to introduce a bit of fun to educate bookers on your travel policy. Staff members can then be rewarded when they act in a certain way, often referred to as Gamification. This can be very effective in driving traveller behaviour and incremental savings as it encourages travellers to compete with each other and you often find that they will exceed your expectations if they are properly incentivised.
The list is endless and should obviously be in line with the organisation’s own travel policy; however, here are some example behaviours that you could consider monitoring and rewarding:
Booking well in advance
Generating cost savings
Utilising preferred suppliers
Using public transport instead of a private taxi
Being compliant to travel policy
Travelling in economy instead of first class
Booking a less flexible ticket
Booking the most environmentally friendly option