6 Ways To Prevent Booking Leakage For Corporate Travel
Travelling for work is a prerequisite for many roles today. Whether it’s within regional offices in the UK, or further afield. The demand for face-to-face contact has never been more important for building and maintaining relationships, as well as on-site working.
However, there are challenges that come with having a remote workforce. One of these is communicating company policies and ensuring that processes are followed. This is especially important for work travel, since this can be one of the highest expenditures in an organisation. Plus, when you’ve gone to the trouble of finding the best travel booking platform for your team, you want them to use it.
With ‘booking leakage’ becoming a concern for many small and medium businesses, we look at six ways that this can be curbed. But first, what exactly is booking leakage?
What is Booking Leakage?
Booking leakage is an industry-wide problem, specifically those who use online travel booking systems for hotels when travelling for work.
The problem arises when employees make hotel bookings outside of a permitted corporate travel platform. This can happen for various reasons; from lack of knowledge on company procedures, to ease of booking.
As a result, companies are paying more for hotels that don’t include pre-negotiated rates, and having their systems compromised.
To avoid or minimise the incidence of booking leakage, there are a few measures that can be taken, as follows:
Communicate Corporate Policies
From the onset of ‘onboarding’, make sure new joiners are familiar with company procedures when travelling for work. This means having a full induction about the systems used and benefits in doing so.
However, communication needs to be consistent. Colleagues can benefit from regular reminders on where to access the corporate travel policy, as featured in company newsletters and presentations.
Any changes to your corporate travel policy should be communicated company-wide, either through; email, newsletter or the company intranet.
One of the main reasons why employees falter from travel booking systems is because they can’t find booking guidelines, or because they aren’t clear enough.
Make this easier for employees by ensuring that guidelines are easy to understand and accessible online, usually in a central location like a company intranet. Furthermore, you may wish to download an abridged version for company iPads or devices, to ensure they are with team members at all times.
Find out Why?
If hotel bookings made outside your travel portal are a common problem, speak to employees to find out why. This will likely provide some useful insight into the issues they face, in order for them to be addressed. There are usually trends, such as last-minute bookings or not being aware of the company travel policy.
Once you understand this, you can find solutions to fix the issue.
When travelling for work, most employees won’t be thinking about a company policy. It’s therefore important for line managers to act as ambassadors for the company in promoting this.
Be sure to promote the benefit to employees in using a corporate booking system, such as
- Employees not having to spend their own money on hotel bookings
- Ease of check-in at hotel
- Easier to cancel (without any fee)
- Company savings, which can be passed on to colleagues
- Setting an example for other team members
- Best choice of hotels already pre-selected, saving you time and money
In our digitally dependence society, it’s no surprise that individuals are using smartphones more than ever. A study by Ofcom found that the average person spends roughly two and a half hours a day on their mobile phone.
This being the case, companies need to respond to the changing way of working. If it’s second nature for colleagues to use mobile phones for hotel bookings, then consider offering an App version of the travel booking system.
With busy workloads and last-minute meetings cropping up, it might be a quick solution for avoiding booking leakage when travelling for work.
Use a Trusted Travel Booking System
With a wealth of options on the internet, your travel booking system will need to be competitive. If, for instance, a quick search of hotels in a major city provides a handful of choices, it’s understandable why colleagues may default to another method of booking.
To avoid this, try using a trusted travel booking system like Roomex, which has the largest inventory of business hotels in the world. This makes travelling for work that bit easier, with a huge selection of hotels to choose from.