Travel is one of the largest cost centers for companies, often creating headaches for finance and frustration for business travelers. Organizations are constantly trying to find new, innovative ways to cut costs, and travel is typically at the forefront of these conversations. Yet most common ways to solve the challenges of travel cause even more headaches than they fix. Unmanaged corporate travel policies lead to unchecked, runaway spending, while overly-restrictive programs push employees to “go rogue,” usually booking out of platform and policy.
The root cause of this challenge? Employees don’t think of company money as their own.
Consider this: when you book a personal trip, whether to see family, visit friends, or take a relaxing tropical vacation, you tend to think about price at least as much as convenience — if not more. If there’s a four-star hotel that costs $300/night and another five-star hotel that costs $440, it’s likely you’ll go for the four-star. Admit it: you would rather get the plush add-ons and special treatment you get from a five-star accommodation, but it makes more sense for your personal finances to save that money.
But when it comes to business travel, you might go ahead and book the five-star room since it falls right under your company’s maximum allowance of $450. In this context, convenience and experience are valued more than price. When given the opportunity, employees may spend up to the maximum allowance, especially if that’s the guardrail they’re given.
So how can companies better manage their travel programs to encourage travelers to spend company money in a way that’s good for them and good for the business? It’s more than just about saving money — it’s about delivering a comprehensive, traveler-friendly experience that keeps employees engaged from the minute they book to the minute their return flight touches down after a successful trip.
Here are seven ways Navan makes this a reality at organizations all over the world:
- Real-time market pricing. Rather than a set-it-and-forget-it travel policy based on an average rate for hotel rooms, use a platform with real-time dynamic policy and pricing. Doing so ensures your employees are presented with room rates and inventory based on the market rates for that location and time period, factoring in demand, seasonal factors, and more.
- Incentivize employees. Give employees a price-to-beat based on that real-time dynamic policy and pricing, and then give them a share of the savings. For example, if the employee saves $100 per night, credit their rewards account with $30 towards upgrades, personal travel, or gift cards while saving the company $70.
- Give travelers choice. With unrivaled global inventory pulling from global distribution systems (GDSs), consumer sites, directly from hotels, and directly from airlines through NDC, Navan provides travelers with extensive options to choose and the peace of mind that they are seeing the best available inventory for them at the best available prices for their companies.
- Make user experience matter. Travelers do not shed their consumer preferences just because they’re traveling for work. The Navan platform was built with the traveler in mind, with a best-in-class mobile experience that delights users. Powerful personalization, flight change, and access to a travel agent in less than 60 seconds, all in the Navan mobile app.
- Provide amazing support. Navan provides 24/7 365 travel agents to our business travelers at no additional cost. Travelers and their travel managers can rest assured they can reach out to a travel agent — over chat, email, and phone — should last-minute plans or unexpected events derail travel plans. And being able to chat over wifi while in flight to get changes made not only creates an amazing experience, but also incredible peace of mind.
- Centralize your travel management. Travel managers enjoy at-a-glance reporting on company travel savings, employee spending, and travel trends — all within the centralized Navan admin dashboard. We provide real-time analytics on which employees are saving the most and what locations your travelers frequent the most to help negotiate better rates.
- Gain visibility. A traveler-friendly platform with high (90%+ on average!) user adoption means travel and finance managers have immediate visibility into what travelers are booking and how much they’re spending. Gone are the days of surprise expense reports at month’s end. Instead, managers know exactly where their travelers are going and can adjust budgets, planning, and allocations as needed.
Navan enables companies to better manage their business travel budgets, reducing T&E while keeping employees happy — now that’s something the whole company will be excited about.
To learn how Navan can help you balance cost savings with employee satisfaction, check out the IDC MarketScape where IDC named Navan a leader for Corporate Travel Booking Applications.