People are broadly familiar with the acronym B2B – or business-to-business – which, according to the dictionary, involves arrangements or trade between businesses, rather than between a company and the general public (known as B2C, or business-to-consumer).
Traditionally, companies such as ours strategically managed their clients’ travel: they designed travel policy, negotiated with vendors, ran day-to-day operations of the travel program, looked after safety and security, travel and expenses management, and reporting. That is why we used to define our business model as B2B.
But, while these tasks will remain very much part of our daily job, what we do goes far beyond travel managers and their companies. It is about connecting people and helping businesses succeed. So we define our proposition as B2B4E - or business-to-business-for-employees.
Because travelers are more than just travelers: they are employees. And while on the road, they need to be productive, engaged, and looked after.
We can bring the best consumer experience to employees while helping clients maximize productivity.
We play a critical role in helping our clients support and engage their employees when they are traveling. Ultimately, this is about our clients unleashing the talent of their people and we help them achieve that potential.
To get there, we thought hard about what it means to be B2B4E:
- Help businesses and employees find a middle ground – For us, it’s about helping clients create a travel program and policy that keeps budgets on track while also looking after travelers. For instance, why ask travelers to get up at 3 am to catch a flight if there’s one at a more sensible time for $35 more? Will the lack of sleep not affect their performance?
- Customize your offer – Using technology to personalize your offer. If employees are only allowed to stay in certain properties included in their travel program, why show them pages and pages of search results? Time is precious, and people are busy. Relevance is key.
- Broaden your offer – As consumers, we expect an anytime, anywhere, anyhow service. So it is key to ensure people can interact with you through multiple channels 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. To paraphrase the late, great Freddie Mercury – “they want it all, and they want it now.”
- Be unforgettable – Offer a positively memorable experience. Blow your customers away. If you erase all the hassle and anticipate their needs, they will love you.
- Keep innovating – Don’t rest on your laurels. Technology and innovation are continually evolving, so don’t stop – there’s always a better way to do things.
- Build a customer-centric culture – Everyone in your organization has a role to play when it comes to delivering your promises to clients. Make sure your employees remember this for their employees.
Blog author: Julian Walker, Head of External Market Communications and PR, CWT.