For companies with high international exposure and/or whose sales force is based on a team of highly mobile sales representatives, choosing the right business travel agency is crucial.
First of all, be aware that signing a contract with a specialized agency to plan, organize and monitor each professional trip of the personnel of your company is not, strictly speaking, an obligation.
There is nothing to prevent you, for example, from entrusting this task to the administrative and financial department or to the accounting and logistics department.
By trusting the right travel agency, however, you will quickly realize significant economies of scale and gain both efficiency and mobility! Here are the main criteria that will guide your choice.
Reputation and credibility
Many agencies consider business travel as a simple and potentially lucrative activity that will usefully complement their core business, namely tourism and leisure travel.
The use of a multipurpose agency to organize a business trip is certainly not to be excluded from the outset, but remember that the specifications of a trip pro are much more demanding than that of a departure on vacation!
To ensure the competence of an agency in the specific field of professional travel, rankings exist and allow you to gauge the reputation and credibility of your interlocutor.
Buying Business Travel annual ranking is a good source to dig if you are looking for a high-end and highly specialized service provider.
Beyond that, do not hesitate to rely on more traditional methods such as sharing an experience with CFOs from other companies or fishing for information on specialized forums.
Availability and sense of initiative
Even with the maximum of preparation and constant anticipation, the most experienced business travelers know only too well the last-minute unforeseen events that can seriously jeopardize the realization of their mission on the spot.
Delayed or canceled plane, severe weather, complete hotel after the reservation was forgotten … Availability 7 days a week and 24 hours a day is a basic requirement for any international business travel agency.
Find out more about how customers can report a problem, and what resources the agency has to solve the problem quickly and remotely.
Beyond the simple booking of the business trip, a reliable professional must be able to cope with the unexpected and find for example the last minute hotel, a replacement plane, etc …
Not all companies are exposed to the same geographic areas. An innovative start-up may need to send its sales representatives, engineers and sales representatives to North America on a regular basis, while an import-export specialist will have to enter, for example, South-East Asia and Europe. from the east or in the Maghreb.
In the same way, an agency will not necessarily offer you the same level of quality for organizing a business trip on different continents. This is due to the fact that this professional has relays, partners, and expertise that can vary considerably from one country to another. So choose carefully your provider according to the preferred sector of your sales!
The most prestigious international agencies are more expensive but have the advantage of being present absolutely everywhere you may need them. Smaller and more specialized agencies do not have this asset, but can often compensate for it by better customizing your business trip.
Rates and payment facilities
The budget of a business trip typically represents a considerable part of the professional expenses charged by the executives and employees of a large international company.
The administrative and financial director must, therefore, pay the utmost attention to the tariff conditions proposed, and not hesitate to discuss prices. The prospect of a large volume of travel to organize, in particular, can serve as a lever for negotiation with the agency.
The possible payment facilities offered by the service provider must also be taken into account when choosing the best interlocutor.
The ability to book an all-inclusive business trip, including not only flight but also accommodation and food, is a clear source of simplification for the DAF and avoids unnecessary duplication of expense reports and business expenses on-site.
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Services and ancillary services
Professional customer care, an essential part of a business travel agency
When it comes to business travel, the little things that matter together make a big difference!
Give full attention to the quality of services and ancillary services offered by the travel agency: your sales representatives and other executives and employees traveling will thank you for making their life easier.
A good travel agency pro can be very involved in the success and smooth running of the mission, for example by booking a seminar room on site and its preparation.
If the trip aims to explore a new market, some may even provide you with a complete address book to facilitate your first steps and multiple contacts without losing a minute.
Organizing a professional trip requires a high level of commitment, technicality, and professionalism. If you do not have the resources you need internally, using a travel agency is the best way to open new horizons of development for your business.