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Photo: Jacky Chiu
Photo: Jacky Chiu

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​In Times Like These: Collaboration is essential

As we search for a sense of normalcy, this crisis presents an opportunity to better lead by example, better care for clients and colleagues, and change to position for the best possible future.

CWT has a long track-record of adapting to fast-changing scenarios, and I’ve seen first-hand, great traveller experiences delivered under duress, and people using the crisis to adapt and improve processes.

So innovation and cost-saving are not mutually exclusive partners – as witnessed by customer thank-yous, including this one: “You really made a difference to many of our travelers. Do not underestimate the impact you are having on our staff and their families.”

These and some real-life examples have helped me refine my thinking on the three key benefits of a team approach in crisis situations:

1. Disruptive thinking changes conventions

Partnering with one global customer, to respond to the EU/US travel ban, we rolled out 24/7 myCWT messaging for them in less than 48hr, while for many who wanted a simple change option, we launched a one-click cancelation feature on our mobile and web myCWT channels.

2. Move fast or miss the bus

As government restrictions have been enforced, home has become the new office for many. So, within a matter of days, a combined front-line/technology team built a secure VPN based toolkit to enable smooth operations without locational issues.

3. Continue to optimize – rewards will follow

We’ve not only adapted resources to accommodate booking volume changes but also maintained key investments. We have created a new remote rollout approach for our new counselor platform - ensuring that when all of our travelers return, they will be serviced on our new platforms.

My conclusion is that, while companies tend towards rigidity, and become top-down-driven to preserve cash in crisis mode, the above showed me that by releasing an organization’s innovation and energy, and accentuating multi-functional teamwork, you can empower your staff to help you face the crisis head-on by challenging the way you have historically done business.

Blog author: Niklas Andreen, EVP & Chief Traveler Experience Officer, CWT

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CWT is a Business-to-Business-for-Employees (B2B4E) travel management platform. Companies and governments rely on us to keep their people connected – anywhere, anytime, anyhow – and across six continents, we provide their employees with innovative technology and an efficient, safe and secure travel experience. Every single day, we look after enough travelers to fill more than 100,000 hotel rooms, while our meetings and events division handles more than 100 events every 24 hours.