Travel management companies (TMCs) have various departments that you will speak to at one time or another, whether that’s the reservations, finance or implementation teams. However, there will usually be one person that you speak to the most, your Account Manager.
Your Account Manager is your key contact when working with a travel management company; it’s all very well having the right TMC, the best online booking tool and the right management information (MI), but this all needs to be backed up with a proactive Account Manager, who will manage the service you receive as well consult you on cost savings. They are your ‘go to’ person, an extension to your organisation!
To let you know a bit more what you can expect from your Account Manager, here’s an insight into their role:
#1 Service level & contract management
The Account Manager is responsible for ensuring that the TMC holds up their end of the contract, including service levels of the online system (if they have one), report on the reservations team’s KPIs for phone and email, and most importantly deliver the account management service.
#2 Day to day contact
The Account Manager is your main point of contact, whether you have a question about the setup of your online system, want to make changes to your policy or if you have a general question about travel management. They will handle all feedback, whether it be good or bad, and will act as an extension to your organisation, representing you and your interests.
#3 Contract negotiations
The Account Manager is responsible for securing airline route deals and hotel corporate rates, providing that you have enough volume. They will take care of the whole process, from contacting suppliers, obtaining offers, sharing offers with you, and, most importantly, ensuring that the offers are set up for you to use. They will also help you to spread the word of your contracted rates by providing advice on communications that can be sent out internally. They will be the middleman between you and the supplier to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
#4 Help meet your goals and objectives
One of the very first things an Account Manager should do is to understand the customer’s goals and objectives when they first join, from there they can provide advice and guidance on how to meet such objectives. In addition, they should be able to bring goals and objectives to the table once they have reviewed your MI.
#5 Analyse MI
The most important job that an Account Manager has is to review the customer’s MI and then do the following:
Report back on key data and changes to the travel programme;
Advise on savings made as well as what savings could have been made;
Provide recommendations for cost savings whether that be to change the user’s behaviour or change the company’s travel policy;
Set goals and objectives for both parties to improve the travel programme.
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