Travel Leaders Unveils New Business Travel Tools for Agency Franchisees
By James Shillinglaw
November 05, 2011 7:31 PM
Travel Leaders Franchise Group, the franchised travel agency brand, at its annual National Meeting in Las Vegas, introduced a new suite of technology offerings designed to significantly reduce costs for its franchisees: Managed Mid-Office and Mobile App Program. Travel Leaders Managed Mid-Office technology will offer quality control and auto-ticketing solutions, along with full in-house technology support.
The moves support Travel Leaders’ focus on providing its agency franchisees “best in class” tools to help them boost their corporate travel business under programs called Envision and Envision Plus. These programs aim to make Travel Leaders’ agencies more competitive when bidding for corporate travel accounts against larger travel management companies.
The Mobile App Program features a mobile app that Travel Leaders associates (franchisees) can provide to corporate travel managers to track travelers, push interactive itineraries and notify travelers of potential issues during their trips. Travel Leaders Managed Mid-Office and Mobile App Program, in turn, will enable associates to focus primarily on the personalized service they deliver to their clientele.
“Through the introduction of Travel Leaders Managed Mid-Office and Mobile App Program, we’re now providing our agency members with proven, quick and painless ways to easily implement mid-office technology products for their business accounts with minimal effort on the part of our associates,” said Roger Block, CTC, president of Travel Leaders Franchise Group. “Competitively and simply priced, our new programs remove the need for agencies to dedicate costly resources to maintain and manage these mid-office solutions. Plus, our Associates have the comfort of knowing that they have one team to call for the management of the full range of self-booking tools, auto-ticketing, quality control and apps: our expert headquarters team.”
Block said that industry studies from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and other trade organizations have shown how these types of solutions can greatly lower the average transaction cost for an agency. “Our affordably-priced Managed Mid-Office program can increase agency efficiency and reduce errors through such tools as fare-checking, file-finishing, auto-ticketing and policy exception-logging, all while contributing to greatly enhanced client value,” Block said. “Perhaps even more critical is that a good quality control system can protect a travel agency against risks from debit memos related to duplicate PNRs or rogue independent contractors.”
According to Block, the genesis for Travel Leaders Managed Mid-Office came after receiving feedback both from existing and potential associates. “It became clear that there was a huge demand in the marketplace for a simpler, more predictable and less costly way to implement automation,” Block said. “Already, our booking tool program is used by over 130 of the Travel Leaders agencies, managing over 600 corporate client sites. One technology company has even gone so far as to say that they prefer Travel Leaders’ in-house support team because of our ability to offload the lower level support demand and only escalate to their support team with qualified questions.”
Travel Leaders’ Mobile App Program strategically dovetails with an increasing demand among corporate clients for robust Duty of Care support, so a company can know where all of its travelers are at any time. The Mobile App Program will enable Travel Leaders associates to provide greater peace-of-mind to their corporate clients, especially when travelers are impacted by any type of event or issue that could potentially impede travel, such as a natural disaster or political upheaval.
“The introduction of our exclusive negotiated Mobile App Program provides our business-focused Travel Leaders associates with three powerful client tools that help in further differentiating themselves from their competition, particularly around Duty of Care concerns,” Block said. “First, the Mobile App Program features an interactive itinerary and flight tracking that allows Travel Leaders Associates to notify travelers of potential incidents they may face with their trip, ranging from weather-related issues to political strife. Second, the Mobile App Program provides our Associates with a web-based management console to easily see where all of their travelers are physically positioned relative to any disasters or events that are occurring – this will enable our agents to reach out to each affected traveler with personal assistance if necessary, including through itinerary changes. Finally, the Mobile App Program also provides corporate travel managers with their own Web-based console on which they’ll be able to not only view where their travelers are, but they’ll also keep tabs on how our agents are assisting them.”
Block pointed to the success Travel Leaders agencies already have achieved in attracting new business accounts through Travel Leaders’ Envision and Envision Plus business travel programs. “By effectively serving as an extension of our business travel agencies, including through Travel Leaders Managed Mid-Office, Mobile App Program and Envision, we’re not just enabling our Associates to contain costs, but we’re actually reducing them and allowing them to do what they do best: serve the customer with personalized care,” he said. For more information about Travel Leaders Managed Mid-Office and Mobile App programs, call 866-225-9026.