TripIt’s new program for travel management companies (TMCs) is hitting its target. The Concur unit designed TripIt for TMCs with industry input and six major firms have lined up as launch customers.
“For us, it’s all about improving the customer experience,” said Ivan Imana, chief information officer for the Adelman Travel Group. “When something goes wrong during a business trip, the traveler doesn’t always have the TMC’s contact handy.
“With this program, we’re just one touch away. It doesn’t get much easier for the traveler.”
The new program, announced at the recent Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) convention in Orlando, adds the TMC logo to TripIt itineraries for participating TMCs.
TripIt Pro travelers also see the TMC logo on every flight alert. The logos are live links that call the TMC call center with one touch or click.
“We’ve been partners with Concur for several years at the IT level,” Imana said. “Travelers don’t have to do anything differently. The technology all works behind the scenes, passing data easily and effortlessly in the background.
“If there is a travel problem, or just a question, the traveler just hits the logo and it calls right to us.”
Travelers don’t have to sign up for the new program, but they do have to forward travel confirmation emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. If the travel was booked through a participating, TMC, the TMC’s logo and contact details appear in the TripIt app.
“TMCs are ready, willing and able to service travelers, but travelers don’t always know how to contact them,” said Jugdeep Bal, Concur senior director of business development for TripIt. “As long as your TMC is part of the program, that contact shows up automatically.”
Adelman worked with Concur to develop the new program. So did Christopherson Business Travel, FCm Travel Solutions, FROSCH, Travel Incorporated, and World Travel Service. All six TMCs are launch customers.
“For us, the key is keeping it straightforward,” Imana said. “We don’t need to train our clients or their travelers to do anything new or different.
“It’s all in our partners’ systems, working in the background,” she added. “We like the kind of technology TripIt is bringing to itinerary management.”
Ready to expand
Bal said Concur is ready and eager to expand TripIt for TMCs.
TripIt for TMCs is available worldwide and TMCs do not need an existing relationship with Concur to join the program, he said.
Mega TMCs with their own apps, however, may not be interested, Bal said.
Other travel firms can find immediate value from a live, on-screen click-to-call logo that reinforces the TMC’s presence and ability to help 24/7.
“The long term solution is an open view, not a myopic view that users will always use your proprietary app,” Bal said. “We just want to get more and more travelers using TripIt.
“TMCs are the primary access point for business travelers, so it makes sense for us to work with TMCs,” he added. “It’s a win-win-win for us, for TMCs and for their travelers.”