CWT’s leader of technology and digital solutions, Amir Kirshenboim, was CWT Finland’s guest at the Matka Nordic Travel Fair 2018. He brought with him a clear message: technology is, and will be in the future, a central piece in our services and the most important thing that will set us apart from our competition.
– Technology enables communication, efficiency, and better customer experience, right from the moment a trip is booked. With its aid we can utilize the information we have of our customers’ needs and background, which means that the booking process itself only requires a few clicks, Kirshenboim says. – Now that we have got the basics down, we can easily offer more services and support individual needs and wishes. For the company it is also important that technology makes it easier to make sure that travelers stick to the company’s regulations on travel.
A central point of departure is that our services should be easily accessible through all platforms. At the centre right now are mobile services, which of course are optimised for all devices. These are important services for the modern business traveler and CWT will be investing in them heavily.
CWT’s first step in the process of updating digital services was the creation of a new travel portal, which was named myCWT. myCWT enables our customers to access online systems chosen by their employers, to check and upgrade their traveler profiles, and to make use of our unique selection of hotels as easily as they can on the CWT to Go-mobile application. Already at the moment there are some 700,000 different accommodation options available, suited especially to business travelers.
Generation gaps are also taken into account when planning our products and services. We acknowledge that younger travelers no longer use their phones for calling and talking with customer service; they are more used to chatting. And in the future they will probably be the first to embrace the opportunities offered by artificial intelligence so that they can get the information they need as soon as possible. Thus, CWT is offering all its services regardless of platform. For some, the computer screen is natural, while others prefer a bot – a computer programme that acts independently based on the instructions given – answering their questions on social media.
Experiences and connections
– Business travel is still distinct from leisure travel. For one thing, trips are paid for by the employer, and they will hold cost efficiency as a high priority. Also, companies are responsible for their travelers during business trips, which means that security matters must be in order, and service must work even if emergencies or surprises come up during the trip, Kirshenboim reminds. – At the same time, firms want to make sure that they get the best employees, and one way they can do this is by offering various kinds of perks. In the future, giving business trips some leisure elements will be one important way to do this.
– On the other hand, we know that almost 80% of business travelers move in groups. They often have the same address, the same cities, the same events and similar interests, so why not connect them, Kirshenboim asks. – Through our services we get access to unique information about groups, which we can use to expand our services, such as connecting groups and individuals. If your college from another country is attending the same conference as you are, the application will let you know, and if you wish, you can book your flight for the same flight, or share your transportation to or from the airport and therefore save money, Kirshenboim describes the possibilities offered by the new service.