Hotel booking best practices for Travel Bookers
Travel Bookers have a tough job. Responsibilities can range from booking business travel to handling administrative or HR duties, and frankly everything in-between.
Your job is defined by efficiency and the one thing that is non-negotiable is time.
When it comes to booking hotels for employees, waste their time and/or make them jump through hoops and you’ve lost their trust forever.
So how do can you make the process easier for them – and for you?
Find the best rates and best locations
If you’re a busy Travel Bookers – let’s be honest, who isn’t? – you don’t need the stress and hassle of searching for hotels, then comparing rates, then contacting hotels and finally negotiating deals. All the while you still need to make sure your colleagues are booking within company policy.
Solution: If you don’t know how the rates on aggregate sites compare to a hotel's own website, save yourself some clicks and a lot of time by using a business hotel booking platform that figures it out for you. The platform can measure potential savings and make price comparisons simultaneously. Better yet, find a booking platform where you can also upload your own negotiated rates (or a platform that will help you attain the best possible negotiated rates).
Don’t fall victim to the paradox of choice
With the perceived mountain of choice for travel, it can sometimes be difficult to just make a decision and stick with it. We live in a digital world where it’s easy to get lost down a rabbit hole. Decisions can be paralysing in the face of endless options. Limiting choice can minimise one of the Travel Booker’s sources of stress. Travellers will have their preferences but control and visibility for management is essential.
Solution: A platform that operates like a convenient one-stop shop – with finite and sanctioned options – that pulls an inventory of supply from many different sources. It needs to provide the level of choice your colleagues expect while still delivering guidance and structure for your company’s travel needs, and visibility at a glance for management.
Build structure into travel policies, invoicing and expenses
No matter how tightly managed your travel programme is, there are always exceptions to the rules. Transparency is key to keeping a tab on things while your colleagues are travelling. Spending limits need to be controlled and company travel policies must be adhered to when securing rooms and transport. Colleagues going outside an approved method of booking also impacts duty of care while they’re abroad, as well as expenses and invoices that they run up while away.
Then we get to the issue of accounting for all of these invoices and receipts. If you oversee travel arrangements for a big organisation then you’ll know that trying to gather individual expenses and invoices at the end of the month for reconciliation purposes can be a nightmare.
Solution: Find a platform that fixes issues for you automatically by applying structure to them. Roomex generates one single invoice at the end of the month that covers your entire companies’ global hotel booking spend. It’s itemised with your departmental codes so that you can overview everything in one document.
The key to travel policy adherence is getting it built into the platform where you book. If your booking portal accepts your policy regulations then nobody will be permitted to book outside of their ‘pay grade’ without good reason. Non-compliance simply won’t be an option and therefore nobody will end up paying a penny over their predetermined allowance.
Safety and duty of care
Security of accommodation while travelling for work is a very serious matter. Failure to provide a safe workplace might give rise to liability in civil claims, or to criminal liability when laws and regulations are ignored. Both of these extends to the provision of appropriate hotel accommodation.
Duty of care is also important and means that an employer should be able to locate an employee who is travelling on business at any time. For example: to be able to get in touch in the event of an emergency. When employees book outside company policy, duty of care is negated – which could come back to haunt Travel Bookers.
Solution: A tracking system whereby the employee can check in via maps at each stage of the journey is an ideal solution. Ensure your booking platform integrates this options so you can centralise duty of care.
Booking business travel can be a headache at best and a nightmare at worst if you don’t have the right tools and systems in place. Are you wasting too much time clicking between tabs or looking for deals here, there and everywhere online?
If the platform your company uses for booking travel is outdated, then it’s time to have a chat with your procurement manager or key decision maker about an upgrade.