Business travel: what are the experience needs of SMEs/ETIs?

@Nigel Tadyanehondo

Value for money, time spent, support, return on investment… SMEs and ETIs today have very specific needs for the management of business travel. With more than 1,000 employees around the world, the agency TEADS, which specializes in the sale of online advertising space, chose TripActions for its ability to draw inspiration from the leisure market. The opportunity to interview Emeline Decrouy, Global Procurement & Travel Manager TEADS as well as Zahir Abdelouhab, General Manager France of TripActions, in order to understand the expectations of SMEs and ETIs in terms of digital experience.

What are the expectations of an ETI such as Teads in terms of user experience, flexibility, deliverability in the use of an SBT?

Emeline Decrouy : I think the needs are the same, whether you are an SME or an ETI. Nobody wants a gasworks. When we launched our call for tenders, we were looking for a business travel agency capable of supporting us on the international scope. TripActions is the only one able to address Asia and LATAM. We also wanted an easy-to-use tool that looked like hobby tools. We all use Skyscanner or Booking in our personal life and we don’t want to spend three hours booking a trip in our professional life. What we liked about TripActions is the intuitive display, the fact that there are a lot of photos and the support when making a reservation. Messages guide us to find the best prices and times. The average age at Teads is 35 and we notice that people don’t want to spend more than they need to, like they would for their own travel.

At TripActions, are you inspired by leisure platforms?

Zahir Abdelouhab : I think employees do indeed want to use tools similar to the ones they use every day. The balance of power has reversed, the company must take care to satisfy its employees and for this it must provide them with a work experience similar to that of the house. That’s why we thought about a gamification system and allowed the solution to be used for personal trips. The collaborator has two profiles, one professional, one personal and he can easily switch from one to the other. I agree with Emeline when she says that collaborators don’t want to spend more than necessary. A good rate of adoption of a solution is synonymous with better control of budgets for the employer.

The issue behind all this is ultimately the attraction and retention of talent?

Zahir Abdelouhab : The attraction and retention of talent are indeed the sinews of war and even more so in a context where the shortage of employees is felt in certain sectors. We are thinking about several services and features that could make the difference, including a budgeted payment card that would allow you to invite prospects or customers to the restaurant. We already offer a wellness-dashboard which measures the well-being of employees. If the company sees that an employee has chained three long-haul trips, it will be notified and may offer him to be upgraded in business for his return. Our Live Traveler Map informs the position of the employees in real time, which makes it possible to ensure their safety during incidents. Business travel was previously handled in silos. I think that now the relationship between employers and employees is closer and facilitated by technology.

At Teads, is talent attraction and retention an important topic?

Emeline Decrouy : Honestly, none of our employees left because they were not satisfied with our business travel agency. But we have more and more questions about the travel policy during the recruitment phases, it’s true. The workflow from the intention and approval of a trip is simple with the TripActions solution and this is a positive point for the employee.

What were your CSR expectations?

Emeline Decrouy: We wanted a company that offered to reward good shopping behavior. TripActions notably rewards employees through Amazon vouchers when they book a hotel at the optimal price, we found that interesting. We are also thinking about offsetting our carbon footprint and the platform allows us to monitor its impact when choosing the means of transport.

Do you find these needs with most of the SMEs/ETIs you work with?

Zahir Abdelouhab : Previously, employees chose to travel with a particular company to earn miles on their personal account. At TripActions, we offer them to enter their subscription cards into the system so that this is done automatically. This does not pose a problem for employees working in the USA, but in France it is more complicated, which is why we want to adapt it. On the ecological part, I think that the current need for companies is to measure their carbon footprint. Then comes the step of budgeting for this footprint and then comes that of reducing it. Both the company and the employees can now see the financial impact of their business trips, which helps to raise their awareness.

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Business travel: what are the experience needs of SMEs/ETIs?