Satisfied With Your TMC?


Today, the GBTA Foundation released a study showing travel managers in both the United States and Latin America report high levels of satisfaction with their Travel Management Company (TMC). Not surprisingly, cost and savings were considered key factors in both regions when it comes to considering what TMC to use.

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The study, “What Drives Travel Manager’s Satisfaction with TMCs – A Latin American & North America Study,” sponsored by Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), surveyed more than 500 corporate travel managers in North America and Latin America to identify what drives satisfaction levels of travel managers in relation to their primary TMC. Travel managers were asked to rate their level of satisfaction in the areas of  cost savings, services, innovation, technology, online booking tools, program management, safety and security and global services.

In North America, cost and savings were seen as the most important drivers for satisfaction, followed by online booking tools, innovation and technology. Latin American travel managers, however, placed a high priority on global services, citing these services as a key driver alongside safety and security services. Proactive security alerts, travel tracking and security consultation were the most important elements of safety and security services among travel managers in North America who use these services through their TMC. For Latin America, 84 percent of travel managers who use their TMC’s safety and security services indicated they were satisfied or very satisfied.

When it comes to savings, air savings was ranked as the most important element related to cost savings. Overall, 61 percent of travel managers in North America and 55 percent of travel managers in Latin America were satisfied or very satisfied with the savings they realized as a result of working with a TMC.

For services, technology and program management we saw a difference between the two regions. In North America, call center services and traveler satisfaction measurements ranked as most important, while in Latin America on-site services topped the list. In North America, travel managers are most concerned with the ability to drive technology development and ease of use and service support; in contrast, for travel managers in Latin America, a range of products and quality are the most important key drivers of satisfaction. In North America, having a single point of contact to resolve problems is the most important aspect of a TMC’s program management services. Measurement of objectives and program performance ranked as most important in Latin America.

TMCs understand innovation according to the report. Just over half of all the travel managers surveyed said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the innovation they see from their TMC.

Travel managers in North America are reportedly having better experiences with online booking tools through a TMC. Almost two-thirds (63 percent) of travel managers in North America are satisfied or very satisfied with their online booking tool, compared to about half (51 percent) of Latin American travel managers.

The report gives a better understanding of what travel managers value in their TMC relationship. Roughly four out of 10 travel managers who responded to this survey said they are likely to change TMCs within the next year. By understanding what drives satisfaction levels, TMCs can focus on what specifically drives the most value in a travel program.

Want to learn more? The GBTA Foundation will hold a webinar, What Drives Travel Managers’ Satisfaction with TMCs?, on October 29 at 2 pm ET featuring Barbara Barnard, senior vice president, U.S. Corporate, CWT and Joe Bates, vice president of Research, GBTA Foundation.

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