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Chat Blog Industry Trends

How to attract MORE Direct Bookings in Tourism and Hospitality Online: 3 Top Tips!

Keen to retain more revenue within your business? Are you weary of having to pay the Online Travel Agencies up to a 1/3 of your revenue to get bookings? Well you don’t have to look any further, we have 3 top tips showing you how you can save on paying exorbitant fees to third party agents and get more dollars through your door from your own website!

Chat2 Concierge’s Top 3 Tips

As you are aware the first place people go when considering holidays, vacations and travel activities is to one of those large third-party booking agents like Trip Advisor, Booking.com, Expedia etc. But what you might not realise is that many consumers start their research there, but then seek out the business website of the place they are considering staying, or the activity that looks appealing. They are landing on your website and social media pages, so it is essential you are able to keep them there, for as long as possible to attract the direct booking. You want to stop them from going back to the third-party website to book! But how you may ask? It’s pretty tough competing against the Online Travel Agency (OTA) giants, particularly as their booking engine may be very slick, their site is easy to navigate and now many even have real people there to answer any questions!

Well, a system has been created for anyone that can do all that and more. A service that captures your guest’s attention in the moment they arrive on your website or social media page! It provides a personal customer service experience, that will “wow” your online guests for a fraction of the cost of the hefty fees charged by the OTA’s, so they will want to stay on your site longer and will come back after booking for any further information they need saving you time.

The Chat2 Concierge service is regularly responding to comments,

“hey, I’ve just been on Agoda and they are offering this ……” or

“I’ve just been to booking.com and they are charging this….”

We are providing the opportunity to tourism and hospitality businesses to be able to respond to these comments and attract the direct booking by promoting their best offers in the moment they have their guest’s attention. Our Tourism Recovery Package ends soon…don’t miss out on 2 months free and 50% off set-up. 

Chat2 Tip 1 – Make your website more attractive

Technology has changed the way consumers behave online. They are no longer patient to wade through pages of a website looking for an answer. They are far more demanding than they have ever been before. 53% will exit your website if they cannot find the answers they are looking for quickly.

Did you know that even if you ask a question outside of normal business hours or on the weekend, online consumers still expect the business to respond in the same amount of time as if it was during normal business hours? It’s a tough and challenging expectation to meet, though our Chat2 Concierge service is meeting this expectation and enabling tourism businesses of all sizes to compete against the OTA’s.

The Chat2 Concierge service enables tourism businesses to be available to their guests 24/7, providing answers quickly to questions they may have. Our service is manned by real people who are there in the moment your online visitor arrives, obtaining trust and most commonly in this environment, providing reassurance around any health and cancellation concerns.

Chat2 Tip 1 – make your website attractive so your visitor wants to stay and spend some time finding out a bit more about what you offer. And don’t forget our Chat2 Concierge service enables you to do this 24/7 by answering questions in the moment they are being asked and when your guest is motivated to book. 

Chat2 Tip 2 – Encourage your customers to book direct

You should make it simple for guests to navigate and book directly on your website. As soon as your customer arrives on your site, make sure you have an eye-catching direct booking button to take their attention.

The Chat2 Concierge service assists tourism and hospitality businesses to obtain the direct booking, by guiding the guests through to the booking button. Frequently, guests just need some reassurance that they are in the right place and be shown where to select dates, guest numbers and room/activity types. Then they may have some questions around the types of rooms and activities, which the Concierge team are well placed to answer and continue to encourage the guest towards a direct booking. We have several different techniques we utilise to obtain the conversion in the moment the guest is looking to book.

Chat 2 Tip 2 – Make it easy for the guest to navigate and book online, with an enhanced customer experience utilising a service like Chat2 Concierge. 

Chat2 Tip 3 – Consistency and Reliability

Guests ask questions in such a variety of ways online, it is certainly very tricky for any chatbot to answer based on a limited range of pre-programmed questions and answers. It doesn’t matter what way the questions are asked, our Concierge service is set up so that our team are heavily assisted with artificial intelligence built into the Chat2 software to ensure your guests will always receive a warm, friendly, human response that is adaptable to request, consistent and is on brand and on message.

It’s important for potential guests to always receive knowledgeable and consistent answers, in line with the branding of the business. You will discover if you trial a service like Chat2 Concierge to enhance the online customer experience, your guests will return to your website again and again (boosting Search Engine Optimisation SEO as a side benefit).

When guests re-visit your website and notice you are still available to them 24/7, answering questions quickly and effectively, you will be gaining a higher degree of trust, hence an increase in the probability of obtaining the direct booking. Did you know that according to Forbes and Forrester Research 2021, that 66% of adults feel that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do for them?

Chat2 Tip 3 – Ensure the online customer experience you provide to your online visitors is consistent and reliable and you will attain a competitive edge over your competitors and attract the direct booking.

We know the service works!

Tourism Case Study

One of our tourism operators who has been utilising the chat2 Concierge service for the last 5 years, has seen their online enquiries grow from year to year, despite having to cease operations in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This operator was heavily reliant on the international back packer industry and after seeing significant growth in enquiries from 2017 – 2019, they had to cease their diving and cruise activities for a short time while the country went into lock down.

The Chat2 Concierge service was not impacted by the COVID-19 event and operations continued normally, the service kept this tourism operator open with an online presence. When visitors arrived on the website, they were reassured that the operator would restart activities once the restrictions were eased. Visitors were invited to keep coming back by the Chat2 Concierge team and there were even some future bookings that were obtained for the following year.

Eventually this Cruise Operator resumed operations late in 2020, with only the domestic market. Though despite losing their international clientele, they are now receiving more online enquiries than ever before. May 2021 has seen a 27.5% increase in the number of enquiries compared to May 2019, even without international guests. This is quite impressive growth, just by being there online consistently.

 

The Chat2 Concierge service empowered this tourism businesses to enhance their online customer experience to their online visitors 24/7, with a team of real people, who are providing visitors with fast and knowledgeable answers to their questions, but most importantly educating them on the benefits of booking direct, promoting the business, sharing the booking link and ultimately encouraging them to book direct in the moment. 

What’s in it for my business?

If you are keen to:

  • Attract more direct bookings at a much lower cost
  • Save money
  • Be available to guests 24/7
  • Increase online enquiries and conversions and
  • Improve Online Customer Experience for your guests

We recommend you enhance the online Customer Experience on your website and social media pages to make it more;

Attractive to your guests – timely, knowledgeable answers to questions in the moment

 Encouraging to your guests – so they book in the moment they are motivated to buy and

 Consistent and Reliable – your visitors know what to expect

Don’t Miss Out!

We invite you to trial NOW as currently there is a 2 month free offer* until the end of June for Tourism and Hospitality businesses. You can start immediately by finding out more here chat2.com/tourism/

Or

Alternatively, to find out more we have an information session for Tourism and Hospitality on Friday, 25th June at 10am. Just go to this link to book a spot.

*There is a one-off setup fee of $99, currently offered at 1/2 price.

 

Book an online demo here to find out more today or register to join us for our upcoming information sessions.

 

Businesses need to act quickly to cash in on this unprecedented online consumer behaviour!

 

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Chat Blog Industry Trends

The Simplest Way to Double Your Online Conversions

Have you invested thousands of dollars in your website? Would you like to convert more of your website visitors into actual paying customers? We can show you how! More than ever before consumers are going online to buy, particularly in the face of a global pandemic. It’s much safer to shop and buy online.

Across the world more purchases and enquiries are being made online.  There has been a massive spike in this behaviour.  This means that online traffic has grown exponentially, and your business needs to take advantage of this change in behaviour. It’s free traffic to your website.  But once visitors land on your website, how do you engage with them and stop them from bouncing off to your competitor?

 

Why are more consumers shopping online?

Firstly, it is safer to shop online. With the global pandemic, there is no need to go out into the public and risk your chances of being exposed to the Covid19 virus. It’s much safer to shop from your lounge room couch. This is what has driven this sudden surge in online traffic.

Secondly, it’s easier to compare prices with websites such as Amazon or Ebay. It’s much easier to compare products to see which one is better value for money. Amazon can even suggest other products that you may want to buy.

Thirdly, it is also cheaper and less time consuming as there is no need to travel anywhere as purchasing can be done from home.

A study done by the Bank of America in 2020, labelled the growth of this online traffic as “The Quickening”. In the United States, they saw a 10-year growth in online activity in just 3 months. A similar trend was also seen in Australia with 5 years of online growth[1].

Businesses like yours need to take note of this change in behaviour online and reap the rewards of website traffic growth.

Why would a customer want to shop from your website?

 

Why you need to take advantage of this change in behaviour

This massive growth in website traffic is unprecedented and no one knows how long this period of intense online activity is going to stay around. So it’s important to take advantage of this change now.

Bounced visitors are very costly. These are the website visitors that land on your website, take a quick look, can’t find what they are looking for and bounce off to your competitor.  If you are spending significant dollars in getting them to your website in the first place, then you are potentially wasting your investment.

The goal is to provide an effective engaging website so that when your visitor lands there, they stay, look around and engage.  The longer they stay on your site, the more likely they are to convert. So how do you engage with your website visitor and keep them on your website for longer?

 

How to engage with visitors to your website

These three simple steps will help you convert more visitors to paying customers:

  1. Interactive and Personal Websites
  2. Easy Website Navigation
  3. Memorable Customer Experience

 

Interactive and Personal Websites

You need to make your website more interactive and personal, not just with bells and whistles, but with real humans who can explain your products and services in ways that will engage them. Today’s digital savvy consumers want more and more information, transparency and reassurance. They want to find out more about a product before they buy it.

Our Chat2 Concierge service enables businesses to do this 24/7 with a team of real people online when your website visitor arrives on your website.  The team answer many of those simple, common, repetitive questions initially to gain trust but ultimately to convert your visitor the moment they are motivated to buy. We set up specific responses for your business that the team can draw upon, heavily assisted with the artificial intelligence (ai) built into the Chat2 software.

We do this for a fraction of the cost you spend on advertising and many times we are protecting your advertising investment.

If we don’t convert your visitor in the moment, they are online, it’s easy for us to obtain contact details for you to add to your future marketing strategies.

 

Easy Website Navigation

Ensure your website is easy to navigate for users.  Do you know what information is most commonly searched for when visitors arrive on your website? It’s important to have this information front and center on your website, so it’s easy for visitors to find. Our Chat2 Concierge service can easily identify this information to you.

The online visitor is exceptionally impatient nowadays and is no longer willing to wade through pages and pages of a website.  They want to find their answers quickly and efficiently, normally if this cannot be done in sixty seconds, they quickly bounce off the website. The Chat2 Concierge service does capture the attention of these visitors. It does this by inviting them to engage just before they leave the website.

You also get a great insight into the language and words that your online visitors use with our Chat2 Concierge service. You get to know firsthand the words and phrases used so you can incorporate them into your website content to attract more organic visitors to your website.

 

Memorable Customer Experience

Once a visitor arrives on your website, you need to gain their trust by providing them with a memorable online customer experience.  Contact Us forms on websites are no longer as successful as they once were, as many consumers are tentative to provide any personal details up front.  Also, it’s not normal acceptable human behaviour. 

When you walk into a shop you don’t immediately hand over your contact details before you get to ask a few questions.  Online customer service should be no different.

Many companies that attempt to use an online communication channel like live chat, set it up so the visitor is required to enter their name and contact details before they even ask a question.  This does not work and blocks about 50% of the engagement for your business.

Our Chat2 Concierge service engages your website visitor with a real human conversation, one that is warm and friendly and adapts easily to the tone of the visitor. We are able to engage your visitor easily and convert them in the moment they are motivated to buy. This can be direct through your website or obtaining contact details and handing over a very warm lead for you to do what you do best. Some clients have reported to us an increase of 20 – 40% in conversion utilising an online customer experience service like Chat2 Concierge. We focus on providing a warm welcome and memorable customer experience.

Conclusion

Even the smallest changes to your website can turn around your business. Having a personal and interactive website allows you to stand out in a very noisy space.  For maximum traffic, make sure you’ve done everything you can to optimize your site, such as having solid, user-friendly navigation. And lastly, make your customer experience memorable so that they want to come back again and again. Remember that good website design should be an integral part of your digital marketing strategy. Always keep in mind that the first impression is the most important one!

Join one of upcoming information sessions to learn how Chat2 can help you to double your website conversions is 2021!

To register go to https://chat2.com/info-sessions/

Businesses need to act quickly to cash in on this unprecedented online consumer behaviour!
 

Book an online demo here to find out more today or register to join us for our upcoming information sessions.

 


[1] Shawspring Research 2020

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How To

How to Login to Chat2

2 easy steps to log into your Chat2 Dashboard

1. Go to your website and login through your chat2 widget.

2. Enter your email and password

If this is your first time to log in you will need to set your password, so click the password reminder link to get a password emailed to you.

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Chat Blog Industry Trends

2021 – Year of Online Opportunity

 
The future has been pulled forward – now every business is an online business

Consumer behaviour in 2020 changed dramatically, which was hardly unexpected as COVID spread worldwide. 75% of consumers have changed the way they purchase.

 

Source McKinsey

 

In June 2020 Deloitte surveyed 10,000 US online adults and found and 65% of these consumers state they will maintain online digital behind buying behaviour, post-crisis. 42% said they would not return to shopping in stores once stay-at-home-restrictions are lifted.  

The change in behaviour drove an unprecedented acceleration in the digital environment. The United States  experienced 10 years of e-commerce growth in three months and Australia five years in three months.

 

Sources: Shaw Spring Research, Bank of America, U.S. Department of Commerce. KPMG COVID-19: Retail’s survival and revival.

 

 

Chat2 has been operating in the online customer service space for the last six years and we have been observing the escalating trend of consumers taking more of their purchasing activity online due to improvements in technology. 

Now with the ‘quickening’ the changes we had observed gradually have hit warp-speed.

As respected global researcher McKinsey said;

“If you’re feeling whiplash, it might be the ten years forward we just jumped in 90 days’ time.” 

Digitalization, online ordering, remote delivery and remote working have become the new norm. Businesses need to recognize the changing online environment as exceptionally significant, and take action now to take advantage of the exceptional opportunity this presents online or be left behind. In this new online environment businesses need to look at new ways to reach customers. Why?

If they do, they will be able to take advantage of this unprecedented online behaviour and move ahead of the crowd in this very busy and noisy space. 

Brands need to act now and launch themselves head on escalating their digital capabilities, looking at how they reach their customers, communicate with customers throughout the sales journey during the decision-making through to final purchase and after sales. 

Those brands that are now winning are being more creative, more authentic, seeking help from the online experts, and implementing digital capability fast.

Consumers are demanding businesses to provide a first-class e-commerce experience with seamless digital service. 

Now some brands have turned to AI (artificial technology) to attain their goal, though this strategy needs to be carefully managed to be successful. From our experience online, consumers do not want to engage 100% with AI alone, they demand human interaction and assistance by a real person. 

98% of people try and bypass IVR (interactive voice response systems) in order to get to a human agent. The top three terms used are “representative”, “customer service”, and “live person”. Hubspot 2018 Customer Service Expectations 

Particularly in this time of crisis, we are interacting with online visitors every hour of every day who are demanding more reassurance in that it is safe to buy (e.g. checking refund and cancellation policies) and that it’s safe to visit (i.e. what hygiene practices are in place). 

Traditional brand loyalties can no longer be taken for granted as 36% of consumers are trying out new brands, as the business they previously used has not kept pace with new  consumer demands for availability, instantaneous service and seamless digital engagement. 

Millennials and Gen Z have been the widest adopters of contactless activities. Gen Z (1996 to 2012) are on their mobiles on average six hours a day researching before they shop (Reuters Institute and Flamingo Group).

As consumers are now spending more time online during their buying journey, this has created the demand for businesses to become more available online. Consumers demand businesses to respond in the same timeframe out of hours or on the weekend as they would during normal business hours.

 

Australia Post Consumer Survey, Jan- April 2020 and Chat2 clients

 

This has placed a huge stress on businesses [especially smaller ones] who need to offer longer operating hours to meet this demand.

In this “new normal” digital environment, businesses need to include a clear digital route to market and integrate customer contact into their capability. 

We have seen that the early adopters of a digital strategy have been able to provide effective customer service and enhanced operation, with an increase or maintenance of sales during the COVID-19 event. This is a clear advantage over their competitors.

The profound impact of this pandemic requires businesses to reevaluate how they do business and communicate with their customers. Businesses have to modernize their core operations which is uncomfortable for many, moving away from how they have always done business. 

Bold moves are needed to build and maintain resilience to survive. The most important move to consider is the enhancement of digital communication and being online in the space where and when your consumers. 

Chat2 has been assisting businesses worldwide from large corporations through to the single business operator. We help businesses stand out from the crowd in this noisy online space, by providing a 24/7 online presence with a team of “real people” providing reassurance, responses to questions, guiding online sales, sharing promotions or obtaining leads. 

As we have been working in this online space for six years and noticed the escalation in behaviour changed to the COVID-19 crisis, we are able to provide the guidance and assistance necessary to businesses to enhance their online digital capability and service to customers immediately. 

If you would like to find out more on how we do this, go to chat2.com where you will find short videos explaining what we do, you can book for a free demo with one of our consultants to give your business immediate digital capability and connection with your customers.

Businesses need to double down on digital in the ‘new normal’ and test new methods of customer engagement (yes we offer a free trial) especially in these times of unprecedented online traffic. 

We can escalate your digital consumer connection to enhance your personalisation of messages, provide real assurance, attract/convert more sales, assist with customer issues, obtain more leads, accelerate loyalty, enhance customer experience and communicate proactively with customers 24/7 for a fraction of the cost if you were to do it yourself. 

Book an online demo here to find out more today or register to join us for our first information session of the year “2021 – Year of Online Opportunity”.

Businesses need to act quickly to cash in on this unprecedented online consumer behaviour.

 

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Chat Blog

How to be more ‘OPEN’​ for business this Holiday Season

With the Festive season upon us and staff winding down for the school holidays with plans for local vacations and staycations, our team are ramping up the for holidays!

2020 has been such a challenging year for many businesses and we are lending a helping hand to those who are struggling to remain open this Christmas. So if you are keen to remain open especially in the online space where the amount of visitor traffic has increased substantially over these last few months – then read on…. as we can help!

With the significant increase in online traffic, some businesses are struggling to keep apace to respond in a timely manner to the number of enquiries they are now receiving. We are helping many businesses to respond to their customers in the moment they arrive online, on their website or Facebook page, with a team of real people, professionally trained in your industry. We have been working in the online space for the last 6 years and we know the commonly asked questions and how to gain the trust of the online visitor to either encourage them to book directly in the moment they are motivated to buy or at least to get their contact details for your team to follow up and convert.

How do we know what to say? As a part of our Chat2 Concierge service, we create a knowledge base specific for your business. Apart from having the responses to questions that we see all the time, we also review your website to add those that are also likely to get asked. Your staff can review and add to this knowledge base before they go on holidays!

Once the knowledge base is approved, it is uploaded into our software where our team utilising the AI interface can draw upon the knowledge base to answer questions fast (on average 19 seconds), we personalise and edit the responses to ensure they are relevant for the questions being asked, we hold a genuine warm friendly conversation online with your customers (yes, don’t expect every chat to be done and dusted in 2 minutes, that doesn’t work on this channel), we obtain trust to either get the customer to buy in the moment or we obtain the contact details for you to follow up as well as adding to your own database.

We can answer general enquiries, or even some specifics depending on the quality of the knowledge base, we can take bookings, make bookings online, we can even respond to clients on emails as an additional service during the holiday season to encourage more sales and ease the burden of your own staff upon returning to work. Our aim is to promote and encourage purchases in the moment the customer is online. Or we obtain quality and genuine leads to push through to your skeleton staff to easily finalise the sale as we have done most of the qualification work.

Just by being there in the moment, consistent and responding fast, you are more likely to attract more enquiries than ever before. To keep your business growing and sales coming through during the festive season while most of your team are taking a well-earned break.

We are already saving our clients so much cost in ongoing labour costs just by being there and able to easily manage and answer online enquiries around those constant and repetitive questions knowledgeably. This infographic shows these savings for five of our clients.

As we are answering conversations for others in your industry and our operators can be managing up to 8 -9 conversations simultaneously we are able to take advantage of economies of scale and offer this service at an exceptional cost.

You can use our service just for the festive season (there is no contract) or you can choose to use us just for outside of business hours or of course every month 24/7, it’s your choice! Only until the end of November – you can accept an offer to start in December for only $30 for the first month. The knowledge base creation is normally $199 to create, though we will also include this and our Google Analytics integration for 12 months (normally a monthly fee) though this special ends Sunday midnight.

This offer will be available at this link for the next 3 days for Black Friday sales – just go to https://chat2.com/cash_in_online_this_christmas/