Travel management companies (TMC) exist to make business travel simpler, cheaper and safer.
Whether you are looking to change providers or on the first-time hunt for a travel management company, it can be a long and arduous process.
When browsing travel management companies’ websites, you’ll notice some common phrases including:
Save time – Save money – Reduce stress – Keep your travellers safe – Simple booking tools
However, any competent TMC will be able to do this for you, so how can you decide which one to partner with?
There are some factors to consider that can help differentiate a TMC, the first is the booking process, whether that’s through online tools, in person, or both.
The second factor are the employees that run the show, are the business travel consultants personable and does the customer service support team make you feel safe and confident in their knowledge.
Choosing the right TMC to partner with is vital for a healthy B2B relationship, so is going with a large TMC, such as Egencia, the right choice for your business, or should you look at alternatives.
Egencia – A digital booking platform
Founded in 2002, Egencia was one the first digital disruptors within the corporate travel management sector. Egencia is known for its technologically driven strategy and aims to deliver business travellers the best tools and apps to book their travel.
Being part of the Expedia brand, the company caters very well for large global businesses who are constantly booking high numbers of business travel every day.
For the UK market, 90% of Egencia’s booking transactions are handled online, which shows they heavily promote their apps and digital services to customers. The other 10% will be booked through a business travel consultant.
Egencia average reviews – 4.0/5.0 – https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.egencia.com
Egencia uses Trustpilot as their review platform, where their average review is 4.0 out of 5.0. Whilst generally being highly rated for the booking technology and easy to use platform, it appears the low scores come from dissatisfaction with their customer service.
If things do go wrong, complaints on their review platform suggest access to customer services or technical support can be very tricky.
There are businesses like Egencia, all doing a similar thing of providing an app or online booking tools for business travellers. A very different Egencia alternative would be to look at a business who put travel consultants and customer service staff first.
Meon Valley Travel – A combination of talent and technology
Meon Valley Travel is a full-service travel management company, based in Leicester. Compared to Egencia, Meon Valley Travel offers a range of online and offline business travel solutions.
Meon Valley Travel also have a holiday travel agency based in Petersfield, Hampshire and provide service to the emergency repatriation industry.
Being part of Advantage Travel, the UK’s largest independent travel agent partnership, Win Travel Network and the Focus Travel Partnership. Meon Valley Travel have buying power in excess of £4.5bn per year which gives access to the leading air and hotel rates on the market.
With 38% online transactions, compared to Egencia’s 90%, Meon Valley Travel focus on using travel management consultants to book travel. This means they can pinpoint exact saving potential and work with businesses to achieve that. See the case study of how RS Components saved £660,000.
Meon Valley Travel also offers a range of booking tools and travel management apps to help automate and streamline the booking process for travellers.
Presenting itself as a customer service TMC does not mean Meon Valley Travel is falling behind in travel technology.In October 2018, Meon Valley Travel who have been working with Travelport as their test partner completed the first booking in a GDS using New Distribution Capability (NDC) content. This pioneering technology is revolutionising the personalisation of flight purchasing and Meon Valley Travel are at the forefront of this alongside their technology partners.
Meon Valley Travel average Reviews – 4.8/5 – https://www.feefo.com/en-GB/reviews/meon-valley-travel-ltd
Using Feefo as the review platform, Meon Valley Travel has an average review of 4.8 out of 5.0. Positive responses often refer to the excellent service and being extremely helpful and quick to resolve issues.
The speed at which issues are actioned and resolved is one of the main differences with TMC’s that focus on customer service teams rather than just technology. If something does go wrong, the travel manager, who you have direct communication with, will be able sort everything out rapidly and ensure all future measures are in place.
Meon Valley Travel operates on a 1-2-1 level with a personal service, but still utilises the latest travel technology and apps available.
Our incredible team at Meon Valley Travel
The benefits of using a TMC
Once a company gets to a certain size, managing the travel of employees will become almost an impossible task for the personal assistant, HR manager or administration team.
The growth of a company may require employees to travel all over the world, where time and the cost of booking travel could easily spiral out of control.
This is where a travel management company will be able to help.
Through using its buying power to access cheaper flights and hotels, utilising reward schemes and technology such as traveller tracking, companies can be certain to reign in spend, decrease time booking travel and keep their travellers safe.
A TMC will also be able to advise and implement booking policies to avoid irresponsible spending and travel. These policies would be managed through an approved booking management tool.
One fundamental aspect of using a TMC is the ability to call and utilise the expert advice of your dedicated travel consultants at any time of the day.
Is your employee stuck in an airport?
Can’t find accommodation within budget?
Need a hotel with meeting room facilities?
No need to stress about these problems anymore, the travel consultant will be able to find a solution to any issue you may have.
Why is choosing the right TMC for your business so important?
Looking for a TMC who has the same company culture and ethos is important for business development. If all is working seamlessly, the TMC will feel like an extension of your business, rather than a 3rd party supplier, so you’ll need to understand each other.
Have face to face meetings with your TMC, go see their office and get a feeling what they are all about. You’ll soon understand whether they are a good fit for partnership.
A travel management company may have experience and clients in the same industry as you too. This should all factor into your decision.
Referring to the title of this article, Egencia alternatives, it may be that Egenica, one of the worlds largest TMC’s, is best suited to your large global company that needs only the latest travel booking technology.
However, if a mixture of great travel technology, customer service and support is upmost priority when choosing your TMC partner, then you should consider Meon Valley Travel.
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