Tailored approach to traveler services saves companies money

Amsterdam | June 21, 2011

Carlson Wagonlit Travel, a global leader specialized in business travel management, today published the latest in-depth report by its research arm, the CWT Travel Management Institute.  Based on the results of surveys of travel managers, travelers and travel arrangers, as well as analyses of CWT client transactions, Business Traveler Services: Finding the Right Fit underlines the importance of tailoring traveler services to each company’s specific context.  This tailored approach can lead to savings in a company’s travel spend and a better understanding of the traveler’s needs.

The CWT research brings fresh data and case studies to guide travel managers in four main areas:

  • The benefits of online booking tools when implementation is tailored to each company.  For example, surveyed travel managers estimate that ticket prices are 7 percent lower on average when booked online.  However, companies need to consider the proportion of trips that are best handled offline: online booking is less efficient and more costly when transactions involve queries or errors that cannot be handled automatically.

  • Companies need to balance savings and program objectives with travelers’ needs when selecting a service configuration.  The main available configurations (on-site service, full-service, standardized and multinational service centers) each best serve different priorities.  When switching configurations, travel managers need to consider criteria ranging from local content and service support to their company’s ability to manage change.  Feedback shows that similar satisfaction scores are from any of the configurations when implemented well, while the savings companies can make by switching service configurations vary with the starting point but can reach 20 percent of operational costs.

  • Services can enhance the traveler’s experience, while boosting well-being and productivity.  The CWT report looks at the benefits of seven services and how companies take advantage of them: web-based traveler portals, traveler profile tools, mobile services, emergency assistance and risk management services, social media, VIP and end-to-end services, and unused-ticket management services.  For example, 54 percent of travel managers do not know if their travelers use social media.  However, in some companies travelers rarely use social media while others use it extensively for business travel purposes.

  • Improving expense management can bring considerable cost savings, while increasing policy compliance and reducing fraud.  With expense management providers increasingly offering bundled solutions (integrating online booking tools or payment card systems, for example), 47 percent of surveyed travel managers say travel management companies should include expense management in their offerings.

Commenting on the research, Christophe Renard, Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Business Intelligence said, “Travel managers face a multitude of choices when implementing traveler services and the best solutions for their company may not be immediately obvious.  The enormous body of data the team has analyzed as well as the extensive research they have conducted allow us to share valuable insights with our clients; I am confident this research will benefit all our customers around the world.”

The full report, Business Traveler Services: Finding the Right Fit, is published by the CWT Travel Management Institute and available on www.carlsonwagonlit.com.

In-depth global research
CWT used a range of research techniques for the global study carried out from September 2010 to April 2011 including in-depth surveys of 2,439 travelers and traveler arrangers and 204 travel managers from 15 companies; analysis of transaction data from 474 global, regional and local clients; case studies of 6 global companies; interviews with over 40 industry experts.

CWT Travel Management Institute
The CWT Travel Management Institute conducts in-depth research into effective travel management practices to help clients worldwide derive the greatest value from their travel program.  Learn more about the CWT Travel Management Institute at www.carlsonwagonlit.com/en/global/tmi/.

About Carlson Wagonlit Travel
Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) is a global leader specialized in managing business travel and meetings and events.  CWT serves companies, government institutions and non-governmental organizations of all sizes in more than 150 countries and territories.  By leveraging both the expertise of its people and leading-edge technology, CWT helps clients derive the greatest value from their travel program in terms of savings, service, security and sustainability.  The company is also committed to providing best-in-class service and assistance to travelers.  CWT services and solutions comprise Traveler & Transaction Services, Program Optimization, Safety & Security, Meetings & Events and Energy Services.  In 2010, sales volume for wholly owned operations and joint ventures totaled US$24.3 billion.  Carlson Wagonlit Travel supports the global healthcare initiative known as MASSIVEGOOD, which enables travelers to make a “micro-contribution” when they purchase travel services.  For more information about CWT, please visit our global website at www.carlsonwagonlit.comwww.carlsonwagonlit.com.  Follow us on Twitter @CarlsonWagonlit

Media Contact
Tom X. Scott
Senior Director, Public Relations
Carlson Wagonlit Travel
phone +33 (0)1 41 33 67 57
mobile +33 (0)6 04 51 90 14

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