As governments, organizations, and the media work around the clock to make sense of the impact of Covid-19, the new normal is bandied around with casual abandon. But as business travelers grapple with issues for which there is no blueprint, one thing is for sure: Companies have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to scrap the old and welcome in the new - creating the optimum business travel environment of the future. So I don’t say 'new normal' – I say 'new you.'
We are working with customers around the world to help create this new paradigm, and despite all the noise, four core elements remain true in every scenario:
1. Employee wellbeing
Safety and wellbeing must be a top priority in a post-Covid-19 world, so now is an optimum time to integrate safety and security, data and 100% managed travel program compliance.
We’re looking at new technologies to offer information at the point of sale to help travelers make informed decisions around issues like entry requirements, quarantine restrictions, and even the last time a hotel was cleaned.
2. Travel policy essentials
Our customers are asking about new issues like pre-trip approval processes and how to successfully renegotiate supplier contracts in light of Covid-19. A post-Covid travel policy strikes a balance between employee well-being and savings.
To effectively revise a business travel strategy, access to historical data and the integration of real-time data from multiple sources, plus an understanding of the plan for recovery are essential.
3. Benefiting from educated advice
Companies will need assistance in how to bring back and manage business travel and conversation is a critical part of it - leaning in on experts, brainstorming with their peers, etc.
To facilitate dialogue, we host daily calls with client executives around the world to get real-time feedback. We launched a series of blogs and vlogs from our executive leadership team to help companies navigate the future along with a podcast featuring the International Olympic Committee.
We’re communicating with focus groups where customers of like-size, geographies and vertical markets can brainstorm, and we’ve also created microsites to guide clients, and a dedicated webpage.
4. Integrating the physical with the virtual
And what of those larger corporate meetings or industry events? As companies come to terms with realigned parameters, companies will need to see how to integrate the attendee experience and harness the energy generated from such gatherings into virtual offerings – a specialized proposition and skill set which many more are experiencing on smaller scales as you read this.
We will be publishing more on this subject in a subsequent post.
So, now is an extraordinary opportunity to re-evaluate everything, and engage in a more meaningful way with your travelers to provide choice, content and an environment to comply.
More than ever, innovation and growth depend upon it – so why not get in touch, and make the new normal yours.
Blog author: Kelly Kuhn, Chief Customer Officer, CWT