The current global pandemic has had an impact on all of our lives in some way and will inevitably influence the evolving shape of business travel as we look forward to being able to travel more freely in the not too distant future.
There is no doubt that your business will now have lots more to consider as your employees start to hit the road again and it’s crucial that as you start to look at travel again, you ask the right questions within your tender to make sure your new supplier can fully support you in these uncertain times.
That’s why we’ve put together these 4 questions to include;
1. The safety of your travellers in the post-pandemic world
Let’s face it, although we’re all looking forward to catching up with colleagues and having face to face conversations again, it is paramount that as we encourage our employees to travel again, that we also make sure they are informed about the ever-changing rules and are as safe as they possibly can be.
It is therefore important to ask your potential supplier what enhanced duty of care procedures they now have in place to ensure this, such as easy access to the latest government advice, the ability to track and alert travellers, as well as the option to choose ‘COVID safe’ suppliers when they book.
2. Strength of the TMC and aspirations for sustainable growth
There’s no denying that TMCs have been hit hard by this pandemic, with significant reductions in all types of travel across the board. You will want to make sure that your chosen TMC is in a solid position financially and has the backing behind them to ensure that they are fully focussed and have the right staff in place to support you.
The positive effect of various lockdowns on the environment has helped us to all think about how we can be more sustainable in the future. You might want to ask therefore, that your potential supplier’s growth plans are sustainable – i.e committing to pay the living wage and supporting local communities, whilst striving to reduce their impact on the environment and supporting you in doing the same through sustainable travel plans
3. Flexibility to cope with an ever changing landscape
As we’ve seen over the past year, ever changing rules and restrictions may well be around for a long time and so you need a TMC who ensures that cancellation policies are clearly displayed to your booker; that comprehensive training is provided as to which options to choose to best meet their needs; and who has the capacity and relationships with suppliers in order to negotiate the best cancellation policies or help you reduce charges, should they occur.
4. Displaying a strong culture and values throughout the pandemic
It’s in difficult times that we really see the soul of businesses exposed and how they handled the situation, managed their customers and supported their staff throughout the pandemic will provide a key insight into the real culture and values of an organisation.
How did they support existing customers still travelling? What were their customer satisfaction stats during the pandemic? Did they continue to support their employees both financially and emotionally, in terms of engagement and wellbeing?
The answers to these questions should hopefully provide you with the reassurance you need that, not only will you be selecting the right TMC to meet your ongoing needs in terms of duty of care, customer service and flexibility but that you will also be working with a TMC that has the right values in place to be the perfect partner to help your employees travel safely and sustainably during these uncertain times.