Considering a New Travel Management System? Ask These Questions First

Travel management systems can make a big difference in how companies manage corporate travel, but only if the team chooses the right one – and that can be tricky. Travel management companies all claim to be the best. They each offer different perks and pricing structures. The whole thing can be confusing and often expensive. Some even require signing a contract.

Many small businesses end up adopting do-it-yourself travel with a “use your best judgment” type of policy--and things get messy. These companies end up paying more than what is necessary and they’re on their own to navigate a myriad of different policies (because business travel arrangements often need to change).

So, we asked small business executives what issues they thought were most important when searching for a travel management company. Here are their top four questions:

How Much Does it Cost?

Business travel can be expensive. It doesn’t make sense to sign up with a travel management company that is just going to add to that cost. In this day and age, it’s easy for anyone to hop online and compare flight and hotel prices all on their own. Using a travel management system needs to give value above and beyond DIY options, like letting travelers bundle components of their trip to save even more.

Some travel management companies charge fees to enroll, or they add a premium on each booking. Upside is different. We have zero fees to sign-up and no hidden, per-booking fees. Suppliers (i.e. airlines and hotels) pay us for delivering valuable business travelers, so we don’t have to pass along any costs to our small business clients. The more corporate travel bookings on a flight or in a hotel, the more money our suppliers make. As long as suppliers see bookings, business travel costs stay down.

Also, since we work directly with suppliers to secure the discounts that let us offer our no-fee travel management system, we’re able to take it to the next level by providing our customers with 3% cash back every time they spend $100,000 with us.

What are the Fees?

Always look at the fees before signing up with a travel management company. The costs may not be apparent, and that oversight could come back to haunt you. They appear as a surprise monthly charge, or they pop up at the end of the checkout process, adding to overall business travel costs.

Upside’s travel management system is simple and easy to use. We believe in providing an transparent booking experience for corporate travel needs, and that means zero (yes, zero) hidden fees. Plus, travelers can still earn and keep their miles, credits, and points – and it doesn’t cost small businesses a dime over their booking costs.

Is It Easy to Use?

One of the biggest challenges in using travel management companies is the ease of use. Some of them sound great on paper but using them is another story altogether. Once it gets too complicated, corporate travel administrators will go straight to a retail travel site instead of using the team’s dedicated travel management system. Why waste time or get frustrated, right?

At Upside, we make business travel management duties easier, not more complicated. Our intuitive booking platform is accessible for all corporate travelers on a team. There’s no difficult set-up and no wasting anyone’s time. Travelers will receive accounts made in their names and can start booking immediately either online or via our mobile app.

What Type of Customer Service Will You Get?

Finally, look at the customer service options offered by typical travel management companies out there. When it comes to travel, issues arise. Planes can be overbooked and hotels may bump guests. It’s essential that travelers are able to get the help they need--and deserve--while they are on the road. So, always ask about customer service.

Upside’s travel management system provides 24-hour service. Travelers can connect with one of our customer service agents over chat, call, or email anytime day or night. We are always available to assist any and all team members.

Don’t Forget

Finding the right travel management company can be challenging. The right business travel booking system will save company time and money, but the wrong one could erode a small business’ bottom line. Play it safe by asking how much the travel management system will help save and how much it costs. Also, remember to prioritize ease of use, and the quality of customer service options available.

If you’re looking for a travel management company that delivers, visit Upside today. You can schedule a time to discuss your company’s practices and values, and see if we would be a good fit for your business travel needs.

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