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Many professionals these days travel frequently for work purposes. But most business travelers lack the experience and expertise required to make travel plans. Also, they have to manage common business travel challenges like overbooked flights, flight delays, disappointing hotel rooms, and tracking expense receipts.
Consequently, to make it easier for employees to plan and arrange business trips, many enterprises employ a corporate travel consultant. A corporate travel consultant is a professional who helps employees plan business trips and make travel arrangements without putting in extra time and effort.
The corporate travel consultant operates in dynamic and proactive work environments. They drive the organization’s corporate travel policy while negotiating with vendors and suppliers for the best deals. The role and responsibilities of a business travel consultant vary across businesses. But we can define a corporate travel consultant based on some important responsibilities.
While planning a work trip, employees have the option to choose from many routes, airlines, hotels, and car rentals. They have to keep in mind their organization’s travel and expense policies while comparing available options. The corporate travel consultant recommends alternative routes and helps them choose the right flight, accommodation, and cab.
Along with recommending and comparing alternatives, the corporate travel consultant helps employees book the hotel, flight, and cab. Many consultants these days use travel booking software that allows employees to make travel arrangements effortlessly. Also, they help businesses curtail overall costs by recommending cost-efficient alternatives to employees.
As mentioned earlier, employees need real-time assistance and support to manage a variety of business travel challenges. The business travel consultant keeps employees relaxed and stress-free by managing emerging corporate travel challenges.
For instance, travel consultants frequently manage flight-related issues by upgrading flight class, prioritizing wait-list, and allocating preferred seats.
Employees need to carry important travel documents like passports, visas, international driving licenses, and business documentation for international work trips. Often employees forget to keep these business travel documents up-to-date due to their packed work schedules.
The corporate travel consultant helps employees procure and update required business travel documents within a stipulated timeframe.
In the post-pandemic world, business travelers need both information and assistance in real-time to stay safe. The corporate travel consultant often acts as the first point of contact for employees during both domestic and international work trips. They conduct researches to provide up-to-date information to the employees according to their travel destinations.
Many employees these days relocate to a new city or country for work purposes. They simplify the relocation process by leveraging corporate travel consultancy. Consultants help employees obtain or update both visa and work permits. Also, they use connections to help employees find safe and comfortable accommodation in the new city.
In addition to making work trips stress-free and hassle-free, corporate travel consultants frequently look for options to curtail ongoing costs. They increase return on costs (ROC) by connecting and networking airlines, hotel chains, and car rentals across geographies. Also, they negotiate with vendors and suppliers to avail of the lowest rates and best deals.
Human travel consultants often work in office environments. Hence, employees can connect and interact with them only during normal business hours. But employees these days need 24/7 assistance and support to manage emerging business travel challenges.
That is why many companies these days prefer virtual travel consultants to human corporate travel consultants to leverage a slew of benefits.
Virtual travel consultant is an AI-based feature included in the new-age travel management software solutions. It facilitates all responsibilities of a human corporate travel consultant and offers advanced analytics on top of it.
Here are some benefits of hiring a virtual travel consultant.
Like human travel consultants, virtual travel consultants facilitate the last-minute booking, reduce policy violations, and control business travel expenditure. But the virtual solutions, unlike humans, do not require businesses to pay a hefty fee.
Also, they provide real-time information and assistance to employees 24 hours a day before, during, and after business trips. Hence, it becomes easier for businesses to boost the work travel experience without escalating costs.
Employees always love to book their choice of flights and accommodations while planning work trips. The virtual travel consultant allows employees to choose from many airlines, hotels, and car rentals according to their past preferences and ratings.
Also, the software boosts business travel experience by proving real-time information and support to employees on demand.
The virtual travel consultant optimizes business travel and expense programs by providing data-driven recommendations.
This is because the new-age travel management software leverage artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to make an organization’s travel and expense (T&E) processes and costs transparent.
Decision-makers can use the virtual travel consultant to evaluate their T&E management process using a slew of metrics. They can also compare the process to the T&E programs implemented by similar companies.
The comparison and evaluation help businesses boost work travel experience and curtail ongoing travel expenses by optimizing their T&E process.
Decision-makers review the performance of their T&E programs regularly to achieve preset goals. Some decision-makers review T&E program performance using the dashboards, while others rely on external consultants.
The virtual travel consultant simplifies the performance review of T&E programs by providing data-driven insights regularly. The data-driven insights help decision-makers achieve preset T&E program goals by following step-by-step instructions.
A corporate travel consultant helps organizations increase return on travel costs. But every business has to pay a hefty fee to employ a dedicated corporate travel consultant. Hence, businesses these days are replacing human corporate travel consultants with virtual travel consultant to leverage benefits in terms of costs and availability.
ITILITE’s virtual travel consultant – Mastermind boosts users’ travel and expense management process by leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. Decision-makers get data-driven insights provided by this virtual travel consultant to simplify travel booking, minimize policy violations, and curtail overall travel expenses.
To try Mastermind out for free, get the demo now.