Reducing travel costs effectively by nudging employees in the right direction

For a large service provider, we introduced “nudges” into their travel software to make business travel more cost-efficient. This helped to reduce average travel costs and total hotel expenditure without mandating hard rules or strict guidelines. Thanks to the effective nudges and points of application we identified throughout the user journey, travel expenses went down over time and new sets of soft nudges helped employees establish good habits.

How did we do it?

We wanted to make sure employees have full decision-making authority when they book a train ticket or a hotel accommodation. So, we incorporated our nudges directly into the booking process to ensure compliance.

The first step was to define KPIs that allowed us to measure behavioral change and success in terms of data such as ‘costs per booking’. Taking the status quo as our starting point, we analyzed the booking journey to identify the most suitable areas for our nudges. Then we developed different nudges and categories of nudges to implement at various stages of the journey. The nudges that proved most effective in our test and a control group sample were then rolled out for all users of the travel system. By continuously updating these nudges, we were able to maintain or even expand their impact and prevent bad habits from forming, which resulted in sustained nudging success over more than 2 years.

What value can we create for you and your business?

Instead of mandating hard rules and guidelines, nudges unconsciously trigger behavioral changes among users, even as the decision-making authority, e.g., favoring one accommodation over another, remains intrinsically with the user. This helps you implicitly change the behavior of your users, e.g., employees or customers, in a direction that aligns with your objectives and increases compliance with less resistance from the workforce. Your enterprise will not only reduce costs and ensure compliance at the employee level as a result, but also optimize conversion rates and increase revenues as well as return on ad spend (ROAS) by influencing micro-decisions within your target group.

Our experts at the Deloitte Neuroscience Institute are experienced and trained in the effective use of behavioral economics and in the design and implementation of nudges to e.g., optimize your website conversions, increase compliance with company guidelines or establish more sustainable behavior in your organization. Explore how we used behavioral economics to reduce travel costs for one of our clients.