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Business Travel Guides Travel Management

The First Questions To Ask TMCs – Part 1

Deciding to manage travel with a TMC is an exciting transition for any company. Knowing that your travel will be in the hands of experts is relieving, and getting time back in your day back is an appealing perk too. So, now that your company is ready to move forward – where do you start?  What traits are essential for a qualified travel management company? And more importantly, which one is the right fit for your business’ specific needs?

We understand this venture can be overwhelming. That’s why we’ve put together these beginning questions to ask TMCs. These are questions we’re frequently asked by interested companies. We’ve also included additional tips and thoughts to consider during the process.

The first 6 questions to ask TMCs

  1. How much money are you going to save me? This is the million dollar question, isn’t it? It’s the question we hear most frequently, and I’m sure it’s the first question your CEO is going to ask you too. Yes, this is an important question, but it shouldn’t be the deciding factor either. At Christopherson, our clients can expect to save 15-18% on travel costs on average. But it’s important to also keep in mind other factors; like price of the tickets, time, stress and ancillary costs. Items like these are often not factored into blanket cost statements. Many factors go into a healthy and successful travel management program. Cost is just one of the many considering factors.
  2. What technology do you offer? What solutions are you looking to solve in a travel management software? In your research, you may find there are tools for problems that you didn’t even know existed. Our proprietary technology, AirPortal 360, is a powerful, extensive travel technology tool. With a tool set for travel managers, as well as travelers, you can rest assured that everyone is on the same page. Stay on top of your travel with tools that assist with risk management, hotel pre-pay solutions, unused ticket assistance, and much more.
  3. What is the employee turnover rate at your company? Knowing this answer before signing on with a TMC can truly save time and wasted energy down the line. It can be the difference between and happy and long-term relationship with your account manager, or skipping to new account managers every few months. Having a company by your side that not only takes good care of you, but also their employees is important when it comes to customer satisfaction in the long run.
  4. What is your client retention rate? A very similar question. A low retention of current clients can indicate an issue with performance at a travel management company.
  5. Are there additional inclusions into the travel program? Will the TMC have an initial low price, but nickel and dime you for additional features and actions? This is one reason why the ‘how much are you going to save me’ question can be misleading and necessary to dive further.
  6. Do you provide custom solutions? Is the product and travel program a simple ‘off-the-shelf’ model?  It’s important to understand if your program will have the customization you need to run an efficient travel management program.

At Christopherson Business Travel, our approach is dedicated account management with custom travel programs. Feel confidant that your business is in the right hands with our experienced team and 24/7 service. Please contact us to learn more about how Christopherson can fit your travel needs.

Continue on our part 2 of the series: 7 questions every business should ask before partnering with a TMC

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Travel Management

Relating Seinfeld’s “Red Dot” Episode with Corporate Travel

Seinfeld logoA cashmere sweater for $85; marked down from $600!  George from the classic tv show, Seinfeld, knows a deal when he sees one. Or is he just blinded by the ridiculously low price?  As the episode continues, we learn that the beautiful cashmere sweater is damaged with a small red dot.  However, George marches on with his purchase, only to find out that no one wants the cashmere sweater.  It’s priced low for a reason: the quality falls short of the expectation.

So how does this relate to corporate travel?  Well, nowadays, there’s a number of travel management companies offering “cashmere” quality service, for an unbelievable price…as long as you don’t mind the “red dot.”

So how do you know?  Like anything in life, ask questions!  Ask yourself the following questions when presented with a ‘red dot’ quality deal:

  • Additional Fees. Is everything included in your corporate travel agreement, or are there additional fees? A few examples of items that are often included as additional fees are; after-hours calls, premium/proprietary technology, dedicated Account Management and Agent team, implementation, and supplier negotiation assistance.   
  • Flexibility. Are you going to be locked into a contractual term?  What are the annual fees and early termination fees?
  • Customization. Are they willing to customize your solution, including access to their premium/proprietary technology?
  • Service. Will your travelers be subject to a Call Center environment when they need assistance? Or will you have a reliable account manager to ensure everything is set up correctly? What is their client retention rate, employee turnover rate, and employee’s years of experience? These are all questions you should ask before committing to a new corporate travel management company.

I know that it sounds like a lot, and while there are many other questions that you can ask, just be sure to dig a little deeper!  Don’t get caught with what you believe is quality cashmere, only to find out that it has a red dot!

Read Next: Have You Reviewed Or Updated Your Corporate Travel Program?

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

Why Clients Choose Christopherson as their travel management partner

Entering into a multi-year partnership with the right travel management company (TMC) enables travel management professionals to focus on spend analysis, budgeting, policy development and enforcement, and duty of care.  However, selecting the right TMC can be a daunting task.

Christopherson Business Travel as travel management leaders

Christopherson Business Travel continues to grow at an unprecedented rate. New clients are asked “Why did you choose Christopherson?” Here is what they say makes Christopherson stand out amongst other TMCs.

  • Christopherson offers AirPortal®, an integrated travel technology and management platform.  AirPortal not only provides travelers the ability to book within policy, but gives travel arrangers and managers the tools needed to manage the corporation’s entire travel program.
  • Christopherson’s pricing is simple.  Our clients like that all of the “extras” are included in our service fees.  Our clients learned that many of our competitors charge extra for reporting, account management, and duty of care tools.  At Christopherson, we only charge transaction fees.
  • Christopherson’s duty of care technology, SecurityLogic®, is superior to all other duty of care tools in the marketplace.  Our clients are not only able to quickly locate all of their travelers by name, date, and/or location, but they have the ability to push alerts directly to the traveler.
  • Our expertise with Concur Travel.  As a Concur Travel Preferred Partner (one of only ten agencies nationwide), Christopherson offers three experienced teams to support our customers using Concur Travel.

Please contact our sales team for additional information on why Christopherson is the best TMC for your company.