There were a lot of great topics covered at the recent GBTA Convention. For me, one of the most interesting was the GBTA Foundation research which addressed priorities, challenges and implications of travel programs.
During this session, the following research findings were featured:
Only 36 percent of those surveyed are “very satisfied” with using an online booking tool.
For the other 64 percent, the main reason for not being “very satisfied” was user experience.
These statistics are very telling – but not surprising to us at KDS.
The user experience is at the root of driving adoption – and that’s in KDS’s DNA. Everything we do is designed with the end-user in mind. We don’t do innovation for innovation’s sake. It doesn’t matter how “cool” you think a tool is,if your target users aren’t using it, it’s no good to anyone.
End-users want simplicity and speed. They want user-friendly and familiar. When it comes to booking their travel and submitting their expenses, they want to use something that looks like one of the many consumer-oriented tools they regularly use.
The reason our customers see a higher than average adoption rate is due to the ease of use and completeness of our tool. It’s designed with the regular consumer in mind. It has all of the content that users need, accessible in a way that they desire. When a corporate tool is as easy as a consumer website and everything you need is included, you immediately see an increase in adoption.
And with adoption comes the many benefits to the organization: financial savings, increased efficiency, accurate and timely spend data, duty of care and compliance issues addressed, etc. Here is just some of the feedback we’ve received from customers:
“The adoption rate for France, Netherlands and Italy reached 80 percent, and it helps us to save a lot. The implementation was truly successful.”
“The adoption rate reached 98% after implementing KDS.”
“As a result, we(company) has have seen the online adoption rate improve dramatically, which means less interaction with their our travel agency and hence more cost efficiency.”
“Within six months, we(company) saw an adoption rate of 60 percent, resulting in a 10 percent reduction in travel costs and a 50 percent overall reduction in transactional expenses right from year one.”
“Results are: 80 percent adoption rate; average ticket costs down 15 percent; total travel spend down 30 percent.”
Over the years, I’ve had experience with most of the solutions on the market today. In my opinion, Traditional T&E solutions on the market that focus on booking outside of corporate channels simply aren’t designed with the end-user in mind, and, as a result, they struggle to drive high levels of adoption and the previously mentioned benefits.
My thoughts were reflected in the survey conducted by Business Travel News and Travel and Transport in 2014. This research found that among new functionality desired for corporate online booking tools, door-to-door trip planning ranked high among those surveyed.
The resulting whitepaper from the research noted: “The overriding concern of buyers is providing travelers with the functionality, inventory, speed and convenience found on consumer tools. Managed tools must continue to deliver value to travelers and the corporations… The traveler views the tools as just another work tool and they want ‘less complication, more efficiency and help managing the entire lifecycle of a trip.’ Of course, we can’t forget other business stakeholders like the chief procurement or financial officer who wants the tool to ‘manage a highly complex supplier network,’ wants data and is ‘challenged by fragmented content.’”
All of this makes a compelling argument for going with a tool that was designed with the end-user – and their wants and behaviors – in mind. Doing this helps drive adoption. Otherwise, it’s just another tool that sits on the shelf, leaving the benefits that companies could achieve right there on the shelf next to it.