A cashmere sweater for $85; marked down from $600! George from the classic tv show, Seinfeld, knows a deal when he sees one. Or is he just blinded by the ridiculously low price? As the episode continues, we learn that the beautiful cashmere sweater is damaged with a small red dot. However, George marches on with his purchase, only to find out that no one wants the cashmere sweater. It’s priced low for a reason: the quality falls short of the expectation.
So how does this relate to corporate travel? Well, nowadays, there’s a number of travel management companies offering “cashmere” quality service, for an unbelievable price…as long as you don’t mind the “red dot.”
So how do you know? Like anything in life, ask questions! Ask yourself the following questions when presented with a ‘red dot’ quality deal:
- Additional Fees. Is everything included in your corporate travel agreement, or are there additional fees? A few examples of items that are often included as additional fees are; after-hours calls, premium/proprietary technology, dedicated Account Management and Agent team, implementation, and supplier negotiation assistance.
- Flexibility. Are you going to be locked into a contractual term? What are the annual fees and early termination fees?
- Customization. Are they willing to customize your solution, including access to their premium/proprietary technology?
- Service. Will your travelers be subject to a Call Center environment when they need assistance? Or will you have a reliable account manager to ensure everything is set up correctly? What is their client retention rate, employee turnover rate, and employee’s years of experience? These are all questions you should ask before committing to a new corporate travel management company.
I know that it sounds like a lot, and while there are many other questions that you can ask, just be sure to dig a little deeper! Don’t get caught with what you believe is quality cashmere, only to find out that it has a red dot!