While booking business trips, employees spend money on various business travel products. However, most employees spend a significant percentage of their business travel budget on accommodations. They pay higher rates to book hotels that offer additional facilities and amenities.
Likewise, they spend more money on hotels to stay in prime locations. Your organization can only control the average business travel costs by negotiating with various hotels and hotel chains for corporate hotel rates.
You can get corporate hotel rates by negotiating with suppliers using a travel manager, corporate travel consultant, or travel management company. The negotiation will result in formal corporate hotel contracts that enable your employees to avail discounts and other facilities using a unique corporate code.
But your company or startup cannot get the best corporate hotel rates without accurately crafting and managing corporate hotel contracts. Hence, you should focus on several aspects and adopt the best practices to manage corporate hotel contracts more efficiently.
9 Best Practices for Managing Corporate Hotel Contracts More Efficiently
1. Define Contract Scope
You can explain all aspects of the agreement between your organization and the hotel supplier by defining the contract scope. While defining the scope of the corporate hotel contract, you need to clearly express important information like the duration of the contract, corporate hotel rates, add-on services, reporting frequency, and communication requirements.
At the same time, you should explain the rules of booking cancellation and rescheduling to avoid misunderstanding in the future. The contract scope will help employees understand what they can expect and what they will get by choosing a specific supplier.
2. Keep Rates Flexible
Most hotels increase occupancy rates by offering huge discounts to customers. Your employees can use the special offers and discounts to book hotels at lower than corporate hotel rates. Hence, your corporate hotel contracts should focus on keeping rates flexible.
While drafting the contract, you should consider adjusting corporate hotel rates according to occupancy. The contract should clearly define the discounted rate the hotel will provide according to the time of booking.
3. Set Room Block Limits
Despite offering corporate hotel rates, many establishments do not focus on preventing overbooking. Your employees cannot book accommodations at negotiated rates when the hotel occupancy rate is 100%.
Hence, you can manage corporate hotel contracts efficiently by setting room block limits in advance. The limit will make a specific number of rooms available during peak seasons. Hence, they can book accommodations at corporate hotel rates throughout the year.
4. Don’t Impact Business Travel Experiences
You must remember that employees cannot accomplish business travel goals if they are stressed or feel unsafe. Often, employees experience stress during business trips due to the lack of options for choosing accommodations.
While getting corporate hotel rates, you must ensure each employee can compare multiple hotels according to her preferences. Hence, you should negotiate with multiple suppliers and enable employees to choose from more hotels that offer corporate rates.
5. Keep the Contract Accessible
Corporate hotel contracts help employees compare accommodation options at the time of business travel booking. Hence, you can manage the contract more effectively only when employees can access the document instantly and seamlessly.
It is always important to keep the contract accessible to various stakeholders over the Internet. Also, you must create opportunities for employees to understand the terms of the contract by asking questions before booking business trips.
6. Resolve Issues Early and Regularly
Despite having a written corporate hotel contract, you cannot rule out the chances of conflicts and issues. For instance, some of your employees may find it difficult to book a room. Likewise, some of them may need additional services without paying extra charges.
You can manage the contract efficiently only by resolving the issues and conflicts without any delay. It is always advisable to maintain good communication with the hotel. You must ensure your travel manager can resolve the issue quickly by interacting with the hotel’s customer support executive.
7. Review the Contract Regularly
Hotels and hotel chains differ from each other primarily in the category of guest experiences. Many hotels do not provide superior guest experiences despite offering facilities and amenities. Hence, you can only keep business travelers safe and comfortable by contracting with the right hotels.
By reviewing the corporate hotel contract, you can check if a hotel meets your employees’ expectations. Also, you can assess a hotel’s quality accurately based on employee feedback and information. The review will help you boost your employees’ experiences by adjusting the contract.
8. Leverage Real-Time Data
The new-age travel management solutions help you access employees’ travel and expense data in a centralized location. Also, they make it easier for you to analyze real-time data using data analytics. You can manage corporate hotel contracts more efficiently using the data-driven insights shared by travel management software.
The insights will help you understand employees’ travel booking patterns and identify hotels preferred by them. You can leverage these insights to negotiate with hotels for better corporate hotel rates and additional facilities while renewing the contracts.
9. Consider Alternatives
There are several options that help your business control corporate hotel spending without managing corporate hotel contracts. For instance, you should consider implementing travel management software that enables your employees to book hotels at negotiated rates by providing access to a travel inventory.
Likewise, many third-party websites enable your employees to book hotels at promotional and off-market rates. Also, you can work with a corporate travel consultant to book hotels at the best available rates without making any agreements with suppliers.
Your organization can control business travel costs significantly by getting negotiated or contracted hotel rates. But you can get the best corporate hotel rates by managing corporate hotel contracts more efficiently. You must consider several factors to craft a solid corporate hotel contract. Likewise, you should adopt many best practices to manage corporate hotel contracts more effectively.