After years of being unable to travel as frequently and easily as before the pandemic, the expectations of travelers — especially business travelers — have changed.
We caught up with Don Moore, Senior VP, Business Rental Sales and Global Corporate Accounts at Enterprise Holdings to understand the changes afoot in the world of car hire and business travel:
From a 30,000-foot view, the norms and realities of business travel are constantly evolving. Today, corporate travel managers are opting for longer rentals and optimizing trips by planning several stops along their journey. Travelers are wholeheartedly embracing “bleisure travel,” blurring the lines between personal and professional activities. For short trips, many individuals are opting to drive instead of dealing with potential flight delays.
To meet the new business traveler — in all their unique needs and preferences — travel industry partners like Enterprise must welcome the changing definition of business travel and evolve their offerings to make travel easier and more convenient for customers through a full spectrum of mobility services.
New areas of mobility. As we celebrate our 65th anniversary we are prioritizing opportunities that build on and maximize our core business while also exploring ways to expand our expertise in new areas of mobility, putting time, energy and investments into our existing mobility portfolio (Truck Rental, Car Sales, Commute and CarShare) and in new areas such as connected car, electrification infrastructure and charging, mobility as a solution and fleet logistics.
With travel on the upswing and the workforce undergoing a significant transformation, we are working harder than ever to provide a satisfying customer and employee experience, all while continuing to advance equity, flexibility and sustainability across the business.
There are 5 key lessons that companies are embracing as they meet the new expectations of those hitting the road and skies:
- Convenience and personalization are key. Travelers are looking for optimization at every step of the journey, from the initial greeting at the counter to the final check-out or vehicle return. To ensure that every part of the process remains simple and frictionless, companies such as Enterprise are automating routine tasks like confirming fuel levels and mileage through connected vehicle technology.
- Technology is king. The pandemic increased expectations for a seamless digital experience, and new technology is a powerful tool in serving customers at the pace they desire. As new tech makes waves across the industry, many travel leaders are taking a “test and learn” approach to the user experience—and most importantly, prioritizing customer feedback before integrating these tools into their daily operations. Enterprise is taking a digital-first approach to deliver the convenience, personalization, control, confidence and transparency that customers want and expect from a car rental experience.
- An eye on cost. It’s important travel managers take a holistic look at all ground transportation options and any emerging trends. For example, rideshare costs have gone up in many markets and travelers might consider rental options to keep costs down. Or less experienced travelers might need education on rideshare costs as well as mileage reimbursement versus car rental options to take into consideration how these might influence costs.
- Loyalty programs are powerful incentive. Satisfied customers are three times more likely to return to their business travel provider, and flexible loyalty perks can keep them coming back for more. Enterprise is a pioneer in developing and executing industry-leading, global loyalty programs designed to reward customers and grow brand affinity.
- Building strong partnerships. Proactive communication and building relationships are critical to helping travel managers navigate their business moving forward. And, strong partnerships are especially important amidst such a dynamic environment.
Moving forward, it’s important that companies level set on what the current state of travel looks like for their organizations. While many people want to compare the industry to pre-pandemic levels, travel managers should be focused on what the future state will look like and how they need to tailor their programs to meet the needs of their travelers.
In this ever-changing environment is also important to take into consideration if travel reimbursement and policy adjustments need to be changed in order to help travelers get the best options when traveling. These adjustments can influence traveler satisfaction.
As the trends of tech and travel come and go, one thing is clear: Business travelers expect more from the industry. With 65 years under its belt as a trusted mobility leader, Enterprise understands that providing an unmatched customer experience is more important than ever. By embracing the lessons of the pandemic and evolving with the next generation of travelers, Enterprise believes the industry can emerge stronger on the other side.
Don Moore, Senior VP, Business Rental Sales and Global Corporate Accounts at Enterprise Holdings