June 13, 2024

Ask the expert: Policy and compliance

Tammy Morgan, CWT Vice President Global Market Management, shares her expert insights on how to set policies and drive compliance

How can policies drive compliance?

Policies are the foundation on which an organisation can set expectations. However, a policy alone will not drive compliance. First and foremost a policy must be visible and accessible in any channel in which travellers want to have access: desktop, phone, company app, etc. Secondly, it needs to be easily digestible. Overly long and complex policies make compliance more of a challenge. Focus on simplification – a global policy with as few regional nuances as possible, keep it succinct around core policy elements and keep the length of the policy as tight as possible. 

What else can travel managers do to drive compliance?

Ensure your policy is tightly built into the entire booking process. Consistently programme policy parameters into all available digital channels as well as within the full-service channel. Travellers should not see a difference in how the policy is interpreted or administered regardless of how they are booking travel. Timely data consolidation and review is the next step, both pre and post ticket, to provide visibility and the ability to communicate and educate travellers. Focus on leakage, compliance by business unit as well as performance by individual travellers. It is vital to have an internal governance structure in place to address non-compliance and set expectations moving forward. 

What are the common pain points?

There are a few key areas where policy compliance has historically been a challenge. Individual preferences for a particular supplier can sometimes dictate choice as opposed to company preferences. Additionally hotel leakage in general continues to be an area of focus for most companies.

What can be done to overcome these challenges?

In the pre-travel phase, these and other common areas of leakage can be addressed in the initial set-up of the policy, coupled with effective messaging and guardrails in the booking process. Post booking ensures you have an effective messaging tool in place to address non-compliance and include a governance process if you want to affect change prior to ticketing or travel. Using this data post ticketing and providing visibility to leadership of the outliers can be an effective means after the fact to set ongoing expectations and provide education.

How can technology help to drive compliance?

In today’s travel environment people have learned to be self-sufficient and they rely heavily on digital platforms to provide them with everything they need throughout their journey. Make sure you are meeting them in their space and find ways to drive compliance, whether that’s by messaging directly throughout the booking or travel process, using digital platforms to direct and educate on policy or offering chat features for quick questions to be answered. We cannot stress enough that the policy should be accessible in whatever medium travellers choose to consume travel through.

Has compliance increased since Covid and why?

As programmes have started to emerge post Covid, travellers are more than ever seeking support and direction when it comes to travel. Safety and wellbeing have also become front of mind. Travellers want to be prepared when going on a trip and make it as seamless as possible. They need to have all the necessary information at hand and understand new protocols based on their destination. Now is the time to prioritise your travellers’ safety and wellbeing, with a clear focus on visibility and education to drive compliance.