New York – June 14 2021 – American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), the world’s leading business partner for managed travel, is one of the first travel management companies to use WhatsApp to service travelers. By adding this popular channel to its chat capabilities, GBT is giving travelers and travel managers more choice in the way they communicate with travel counselors. This will help speed up on-the-go service and provide better duty of care by letting travelers choose the most convenient way to reach out from their phone when they need assistance.

With two billion monthly active users across 180 countries, WhatsApp is the most popular messaging platform in the world. By expanding its existing live chat assistance to WhatsApp, GBT is continuing to build on its strategy to serve travelers on their favorite messaging platforms.

Felicia Schneiderhan, head of GBT’s chat adoption strategy, said: “The channel shift to chat is even more profound than when people switched from the telephone and fax machine to email in the 1990s. Messaging is becoming the dominant communication channel in people’s private and professional lives. We want to meet our travelers where they are and where it is most convenient for them.”

More people rely on messaging to get services in all aspects of their lives, including business. Recent research shows that 85% of people across generations report they want to message with companies.*

Schneiderhan says the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend. “Being able to get new digital channels to our customers quickly is an important part of getting ready for the return to travel. The pandemic was a catalyst for a rapid rollout of the WhatsApp solution.

“Our clients recognize the value of travel counselor assistance, so it’s important to have a broad choice of chat options for quick and convenient service,” she added.

WhatsApp is the latest addition to GBT’s chat channels. Travelers are already messaging with travel counselors through Apple Business Chat, on the Amex GBT Mobile app and through the Connect Portal™ platform on desktop, a single online hub where travelers access the full range of their company’s travel management tools and information. GBT’s chat capabilities have already proven successful, with a 90% customer satisfaction rating across all of its chat channels.**

WhatsApp is currently available to GBT mid-market clients in the U.S. and will be available to large and global clients around the world in the coming months.

* “Consumer Preferences for Conversational Commerce” (Study commissioned by LivePerson: 5,066 people across US, UK, France, Germany, Japan, Australia), Sept 2020

** American Express Global Business Travel internal reporting, January-December 2020


About American Express Global Business Travel
American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is the world’s leading business partner for managed travel. We help companies and employees prosper by making sure travelers are present where and when it matters. We keep global business moving with the powerful backing of travel professionals in more than 140 countries. Companies of all sizes, and in all places, rely on GBT to provide travel management services, organize meetings and events, and deliver business travel consulting.

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