Interview with Roxanne George, Country Director FCM Switzerland
How does it feel to be a Travel management Company in 2020?
Against all expectations, things are going pretty well! We are lucky to be able rely on our parent company Flight Center Travel Group (FCTG), which brought together 900 million dollars (AUD) of capital injection. We have also implemented specific measures in our Geneva branch so that the resumption of activity takes place in the best possible conditions. There have been a lot of redundancy plans or closures with our competitors, but we managed to retain all of our employees and extend remote office work.
While FCM Switzerland did not close and business trips have been very limited, how did you keep busy?
Even with a greatly reduced travel activity, our teams are still active. If the trips are still rare, there is nevertheless a willingness of companies to prepare for post COVID, and recent vaccine announcements have encouraged further reservations. But it's also a great time to question yourself. We were able to focus on our long-term strategy and took the opportunity to do an internal audit of our invoicing procedures, in order to improve ourselves and train our employees to use new and more efficient practices, following feedback from our customers. Beyond that, our commercial activity in Switzerland is still growing and the projects of our customers' implementation is still ongoing. We have concentrated our efforts on maintaining our quality of service so that our customers are the not impacted
How long have you been on the Swiss market ?
Our adventure in the Swiss market began in 2010 with the opening of our agency in Geneva by a team of 5 people. Today we are a team of 25 business travel experts based in our Carouge office. Since the beginning, we have grown at least 30% per year thanks to our growing portfolio of clients: companies and organizations in all sectors combined, including BCP (private bank), Quotient (pharmaceutical sector), Cimpress (e-commerce / printing) or Find (NGO). Our presence in Switzerland was also marked by our partnership with the STM, the launch of which we supported in 2015, and we continue on the same path with ASTM today. The Swiss business travel market is particularly demanding on the quality of service. We have been able to develop in this market thanks to our unique model.
Please share more about your service model?
Among the major global TMCs, FCM is different because we rely on a international network (97 countries in the world), but remain a very human agency, accessible and local, which allows us to deliver a high-quality service with a strong relational dimension. Our model is very different from that of a call center: our agents are united within teams dedicated to a reduced number of clients, and are based only in our offices in Geneva. Moreover, we are reaping the fruits of our management model, our travel agents are rewarded based on their performance and customer satisfaction. As a result, our teams are enthusiastic and very involved for the benefit of our clients.
Thanks for this insightful update, Roxanne!