The Pentagram of Business Travel

October 8, 2009
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10,000 meters over the north sea going from Heathrow to Koln. I am not actually going to Dusseldorf, but my hotel messed up my wake-up call. Instead of calling at 05:00 they call at 06:50 so I missed my earlier flight. Even though I raced to LHR and to the airline. Of course the airline charge a fee to change – but it was not my fault, it was the hotel’s I try to explain, but that of course is not their problem.

 

I guess I will sort it out when I get back to the hotel.

But this made me think about the five major players in business travel – transportation, hotels, communications, financial services and government – and the amount of data that is generated during a typical business trip. Data on bookings is created from websites, phone calls and physical check-in through your bank or credit card, travel agent and airline and possibly your phone company.

Think about this from a Net Promoter Score standpoint – would I recommend my company experiences to someone else?

My phone is a lifeline to my commitments elsewhere, information about where I am going and of course to my family. I am used to full, no-cost data, but internationally this is expensive. I constantly


10,000 meters over the north sea going from Heathrow to Koln. I am not actually going to Dusseldorf, but my hotel messed up my wake-up call. Instead of calling at 05:00 they call at 06:50 so I missed my earlier flight. Even though I raced to LHR and to the airline. Of course the airline charge a fee to change – but it was not my fault, it was the hotel’s I try to explain, but that of course is not their problem.

 

I guess I will sort it out when I get back to the hotel.

But this made me think about the five major players in business travel – transportation, hotels, communications, financial services and government – and the amount of data that is generated during a typical business trip. Data on bookings is created from websites, phone calls and physical check-in through your bank or credit card, travel agent and airline and possibly your phone company.

Think about this from a Net Promoter Score standpoint – would I recommend my company experiences to someone else?

My phone is a lifeline to my commitments elsewhere, information about where I am going and of course to my family. I am used to full, no-cost data, but internationally this is expensive. I constantly look for WiFi locations to get my e-mail and web access. I bought a package for emergency data – today I need to use it. The prices go from <$1 per megabyte to >$5 mb if I go over my plan. I will spend the day checking my usage… No, I would not recommend it – even though the voice service is much better than my home voice service.

How was your trip? The airline might ask. We’ll not so good, I got to my meeting late, it cost more and it was stressful. It was not their fault – but they took advantage of it by charging me fees to change my ticket that far exceeded any costs they may incur. We know they are simply trying to be like banks and charge as much as possible whenever they have you in a difficult situation. So even if the flight is good, I am still not going to be thrilled. Yes, I would recommend them but I am a bit on the fence

How was your stay the hotel might ask? What data will the hotel analyze to see that I am very unhappy with my stay – because of one small mistake on their part that made me 3 hours late and $200 poorer? A perfectly good stay ruined by a simple mistake. How do you find the data that identifies this problem. Will anyone report it? I am going back to this hotel – will they know? I stay at this chain all the time – will I continue to do so? Whether I would recommend this company or not will be decided in a few days.

How has my banking been? Pretty good, pretty good. Except when they turned off my card for the weekend because their computers didn’t like that I paid them twice on the same day. That’s The pentagram of business travelright, they shut off my card because I paid them twice. So I didn’t have my card for a weekend while I was 5,000 miles from home. But they did explain it; they have worked with me to make important charges went through. So right now, I would recommend them. But we will see how I feel when I get back.

Surprisingly, Although I have had to deal with the governments only at customs and on public transportation, they have been great. Few lines, fast service at the borders and no problems. Yes, I would recommend my government interactions. Maybe that says something about the economy these days that governments are doing better customer service while the companies are not. I also says something about setting expectations.

I am probably basing my expectations on my experiences in the US which probably follow the ACSI index to some extent. I also probably have higher expectations some countries and lower in others.

Paul Barrett

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