Revolutionizing business travel: Interview with TravelPerk VP Marketing Gideon Pridor

Barcelona-based TravelPerk, a corporate travel booking and management startup, has been named market leader in the ‘Travel Management Software’ category in G2 Crowd’s Winter Grid Report. This report is put together by G2 Crowd, the business solutions review platform, and is based on customer satisfaction comparisons of leaders in the market. Get the full G2 Crowd report for free here, and see why their customers rate them #1.

Corporate travel management is a very painful and inefficient experience, and a massive unsolved problem. It’s a $1.2 trillion market that is still dominated by outdated tools and travel agents. Plus a huge chunk remains unmanaged as some companies book directly with consumer travel websites, wasting time searching for the best deal, with no governance and control over spending, policies, approvals and invoices. It just doesn’t work. TravelPerk is here to solve that, providing a platform to book and manage all of your business travel in one place.

 

TravelPerk VP Marketing Gideon Pridor

 

  • How has TravelPerk managed to be #1 rated business travel management software?

 

It’s all down to how obsessed we are with customer satisfaction. Since the beginning, we’ve sought to put them first and it’s why they’ve done the same for us in rating us #1 on G2 Crowd, and on any other place where they can share their opinions, such as other software review sites (like Capterra) and social media. We live and breath by our mission to provide a 7-star service at all times. Yes, 24/7 support may usually be provided by travel management companies, yet it is, by far, the most defining factor in business travel satisfaction. Reviews show that it is the leading point of frustration with traditional travel management companies and legacy tools. If something goes wrong, as things do when you travel, you need to be able to rely on your solution—trust is key.

 

This value is embedded in the whole company. Every Friday we have a company-wide presentation, which always includes a ‘7-star story’, shared by a member of our customer support team. It’s a story which reflects how we’ve gone above and beyond that week for a customer. One week we heard how an employee ordered a giant monkey toy to a customer’s hotel room, after finding out it was their favourite animal. It’s not about simply offering 24/7 support, just to say you have it—this is the standout feature separating companies into those travelers love, and those they hate.

 

Another key component in winning consistent promoter reviews is the way we gather customer feedback and listen to them, which we do through a number of channels. One way is by sending out customer satisfaction surveys and making sure every comment is read, documented, and taken into product consideration. Between May and December 2018, we received more than 4000 comments from customers. We also make it a point to regularly meet with our end users face-to-face to learn even more. Our sales team, product team, designers, and our Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer all attend these meetings, so everyone is aligned with customers’ needs. We then use this feedback to decide on how we develop our product. It’s why we’re able to offer a business tool with a consumer-level experience, designed to delight the users—it’s exactly what they’ve asked for!

 

In a world where 9/10 travelers simply hate the way their companies make them book travel, and finance and travel managers have limited visibility and control over travel spend, customer satisfaction is our secret weapon.

 

 

  • 3 years and 3 funding rounds later—what is your expectation for 2019?

 

 

This month is actually TravelPerk’s 4 year anniversary and we have lots of exciting plans for the first part of 2019. With the new funding and the growth achieved in 2018, we are ready to scale everything—customer support, operations, product features, while expanding to new markets, and continuously improving the experience.

 

We’ve already started expanding further into Europe, opening offices in London and Berlin in October last year, and this will continue as we plan to open 2 – 3 additional offices in other cities soon. Rapid hiring will continue in order to scale our team to over 300 people this year. We also plan to enter into new markets (more news of this to come later this year!) We’re dedicated to getting people the best human support when they need it the most, and so we’re happy to be closer to our customers in these countries and on the ground to help them where they are. This year we’ll continue localizing in order to strengthen our service to local companies with settings preferences, languages and customer support.

 

We’re really focused on improving the traveler experience, even more, this year. This means building on our mobile app to bring travelers everything from booking to reporting in the palm of their hand—growing our inventory, increasing flexibility around fares, and investing even more in customer support.

 

Customers’ needs will remain our top priority, and we’ll keep using their feedback to drive our product developments, to ensure we’re still working in sync and giving them what they really need.

 

 

  • What do you think other people should know about TravelPerk?

 

 

Firstly, it’s our dedication to our customers and providing this 7-star service. Our customer support team sit in-house and are key to our growth and mission. They’re available 24/7 for help when needed, meaning customers can enjoy less noise and anxiety, and rest assured that we’re taking care of them.

 

Secondly, we offer the world’s largest inventory, which users can book and invoice for, all in one place. It gives our customers more choice, more flexibility, and it’s just another reason why they’ve ranked us as leaders in the industry.

 

We’ve raised $65 million in two funding rounds this year alone, bringing our total raised to date to nearly $75 million. It’s given us the buy-in to keep taking business travel to the next level. We’ve been able to use this investment to rapidly grow the TravelPerk team (it tripled in 2018!) now at over 200. We’re incredibly proud to be named the fastest growing SaaS company in Europe (#5 globally)

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