Let’s Talk TMCs! The Results Of Our Survey Are In

SS-0815By Susan Stowe, Senior Consultant

Recently, we asked what works with your TMC, what doesn’t, and what you’d like to see change. Read on to see what works today, where the immediate opportunities for improvement are, and what the future may hold.

What Works Today

Where are TMCs providing the most value to corporate customers today? Unsurprisingly, the highest praise came from the programs with dedicated or on-site agents. As competition for top talent heats up, traveler engagement and supplier satisfaction management are sure to become increasingly important. The successful consolidation of data is one of the biggest challenges facing travel managers when entering supplier negotiations. Duty-of-care continues to reign supreme.

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Immediate Opportunities

Where can TMCs make changes for a positive impact on their clients and business travelers today? Despite almost a third of respondents citing this category as an area of strength, traveler services remains the most frequently cited priority for improvement at 28%. Even a few respondents who listed this area as delivering the greatest value said their TMC should focus on maintaining service levels through ongoing training. Better strategic account management support, including better analysis and benchmarking data on the ROI of the travel management program was noted as a priority for improvement.

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The Future

What does the future look like? No surprise here, the evolution of traveler technology topped the list, which included:

  1. More mobile content and functionality
  2. Consolidation of content and auxiliary fee management
  3. Timely, reliable reporting
  4. Proactive account management

In addition to these areas, consistency of global service remains an important issue, along with cost savings (both for direct costs and TMC fees), and traveler services.

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So how can travel managers ensure their TMC relationship delivers the most value today, in the immediate future, and long term?

Evaluating your current provider by obtaining objective feedback from your travelers is a critical first step. Benchmarking your results against industry peers, you can evaluate areas such as TMC responsiveness, knowledge, efficiency, airfare/hotel/car relative to policy, ticket delivery and customer service. Armed with a comprehensive understanding of your program and your traveler pain points, concerns can be addressed with your current provider, or the search for an alternate provider may commence.

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