TIILTS stands for Travel Innovations I’d Like To See. You’ll see quite a few more of these in the weeks to come. This first one deals with corporate self-booking tools.
There’s a trend toward empowering corporate travelers when it comes to making their travel arrangements. Why not swim with this tide? Why not create a positive reward, rather than a negative consequence, for travelers who are about to pull the trigger on a travel purchase?
I’d like to see companies reward travelers for doing the right things. Before you say “No way – employees are expected to do that in the first, middle and last place!”, take a breath and hear me out.
What is one of the biggest obstacles to travel policy compliance? You got it – Frequent Flyer Points. These loyalty schemes work really well, so why not take a page from the suppliers and put the concept to work for you buyers?
Here’s a mock-up of what a points-driven self-booking tool might look like (click on the image for a better view):
The keys are that the traveler gets very clear reinforcement of the desired booking behavior, the reward associated with it, his current status, and what it takes to get to the next level. There are lots of variations on this, but you get the idea – a way-easy element to build right into the point of sale when – and where – it matters most.
What would all these points cost? A lot less than you might think. My guess is that many travelers would respond to the simple challenge ( it’s a game, right?) and work to build up their points for personal satisfaction or peer prestige. Others will take the more mercenary road and want to cash their points in.
Great – let ’em! If the savings achieved from good travel procurement are that good, why not share a bit of the reward with the folks who make the savings happen?
Inspirational credit goes to Michael Tangney at Google, Tom Ruesink and the work he’s done at Coca-Cola on the “batting average” concept, and to Rock Blanco at the Travel GPA team for their focus on reporting these types of metrics at the traveler level. They’ve proven that buyers who focus on these types of specific behaviors will see savings. Now it’s time for a self-booking tool to put these points into play.
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