In the age of ‘always on’ technology, customer-centric developments are penetrating the business travel market in a bid to ease the booker’s buying journey. With the demand to deliver a seamless user experience, through the provision of one single customer touchpoint, the appeal and subsequent fruition of instant apps serving a number of requirements is constantly increasing.
In a recent piece for Buying Business Travel, our Group CEO Craig Chambers delved into an accelerating ground transportation industry topic – Mobility as a Service, also known as MaaS. In essence, MaaS is the integration of various forms of transport services into a centralised mobility tool, accessible on demand. To meet a customer’s request, a MaaS operator facilitates a diverse menu of transport options, including public transport, ride, car or bike sharing, taxi or car rental / lease, or a combination thereof.
For the user, MaaS can provide several benefits but primarily offers convenience; by facilitating access to a sole application to host various mobility options, with a single payment channel instead of multiple ticketing and payment operations. It aids user mobility needs and solves the inconvenient challenges individual journeys with different components can present.
The vision of a “world without traffic jams” (moovel) is certainly appealing however to achieve this, integration and regulation factors must be considered. Without governance, there is the potential that things could go wrong. However, as we have seen before within ground transportation, should cross-industry collaboration and regulation work in tandem, then there will be the support framework in place to tackle any issues that may arise.
Another positive to address is the bespoke customer experiences MaaS technology will enable organisations to provide, with the opportunity to build brand loyalty in new and innovative ways. For example, and looking closer to home, many people may not have had experience of chauffeur driven services but MaaS technologies will be in a position to provide this as part of a wider, integrated, premium package or add on service.
Embracing MaaS will undoubtedly provide more seamless experiences for travelers, through its offering of a full suite of bespoke, tailored services. However, within the business space it is difficult to quantify and analyse the implications it would have for travel buyers until it reaches mass market level and we can actively measure the results. We look forward to seeing what the future has in store.
Read more on Craig’s thoughts on page 80 of Buying Business Travel HERE.