Uber for Business

Three questions business travelers ask themselves on the road

February 23 / US

If you’re a travel manager, you’re probably used to fielding practical questions about booking a trip or submitting expenses. But you aren’t a mind reader.

It can be difficult to capture glimpses into a traveler’s decision-making process, even when post-trip surveys are sent out and regular traveler check-ins are scheduled.

In this post, we guide you through the most pressing questions travelers ask themselves and how travel managers can help put their minds at ease. We gleaned our insights from research conducted by Uber’s internal user experience research (UXR) team, which set out to map a traveler’s decision-making process and motivations on the road.

Question 1: How can I make this trip as stress-free as possible?

In our survey, 44% of travelers shared that a stress-free trip is important to them. That’s because travelers know first-hand how stress can affect their performance. Running on a tight schedule and devoting energy to minor inconveniences can cause unnecessary stress and divert focus from the traveler’s task at hand. As a result, travelers are eager to remove friction from their trip at every possible opportunity.

While it may sound obvious that travelers don’t want to feel stressed, it’s important that travel managers understand the scale and scope of stressors. Unhealthy food options might appear to be less stressful than a timeline-altering flight delay, but the 2 disruptions can be equally rattling. Although the latter may be out of the traveler’s control, the former affects basic personal care. Remember: your travelers have needs, too, and when they aren’t met, the travelers have less bandwidth to focus on the purpose of their trip.

How to put a traveler’s mind at ease

  • Allow for extra travel time. A packed schedule compounds a traveler’s worries. Allowing some breathing room enables travelers to focus on their well-being and prepare properly for their trip’s purpose.
  • Simplify the process. From booking a trip to making changes on the road to submitting expenses upon return, all instructions for travelers should be clear, concise, and easy to follow.

Question 2: Is this a good use of my time?

Unsurprisingly, our survey reaffirmed that a traveler’s main goal is a successful business outcome. It also uncovered that travelers are nervous about being late or missing an appointment altogether while on a business trip. Both underscore the importance of efficient timing while traveling, whether that’s being on time, allowing for extra time to add finishing touches, or spending less time on getting from point A to point B and more time with clients.

As it turns out, efficiency helps travelers and travel managers alike. The entire company benefits when a traveler’s physical and mental energy is dedicated to the business at hand, rather than the minutiae of travel arrangements. Luckily, efficiency is not difficult to strive for: travel managers can opt for direct flights and nearby hotels and note these preferences right in their official travel policy.

How to put a traveler’s mind at ease

  • Strike unnecessary steps from your travel policy. Work to eliminate redundancies from the traveler’s responsibilities. The end result is a more efficient travel policy for the company, too!
  • Opt for convenience whenever possible. Easy-to-use, familiar, and well-liked products and services support efficiency, reliability, and traveler well-being, all contributors to the good outcomes that grow your business.

Question 3: Is this a product or service I can rely on?

Our survey found that business travelers are risk-averse; 61% of those surveyed place reliability in their top 3 priorities while traveling for work.

Travelers don’t want any surprises on the road, nor do they want to experiment with something new when there’s an important task at hand. They want proven solutions that work as expected and deliver a familiar customer experience they can depend on.

Reliability is key to efficient, stress-free planning. Knowing what to expect helps travelers reduce their stress levels and operate efficiently. These expectations could be as simple as ordering morning coffee at a familiar hotel chain, or as high-level as knowing a flight rescheduling procedure with a certain airline.

Importantly, reliability plays a larger role companywide. Tremendous time and resources are poured into planning a company trip. Using an unproven vendor, service, or procedure can be a costly prospect for the company’s bottom line.

How to put a traveler’s mind at ease

  • Work with tried-and-true brands. The lack of a learning curve reduces traveler stress by supporting experiences they know inside and out. This leaves their mind free to focus on their meeting, presentation, or conference.

Summing up

When business travelers make decisions on the road, they want to know that their choices will support the positive outcomes they’ve set out to achieve on the trip. This involves tackling 3 major imperatives: efficiency, reliability, and stress reduction. A reliable product or service leaves little chance for surprises while traveling, and efficient choices save precious time. Both work in tandem to reduce stress on your traveler, which in turn ensures that they’re performing at their best. In the long run, a traveler’s savvy choices leave them free to worry less about travel plans and focus more on landing that new account.

Want to learn more about what your business travelers are thinking? Download our guide Inside The Mind of a Business Traveler to get Uber’s research findings about what goes into their decision making while on the road.

Download guide