Keen to retain more revenue within your business? Prefer to attract more direct bookings through your website? 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, google and social media!
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 searching you on Google and landing on your website and social media pages. This is providing you with an opportunity to directly engage with your potential guests when they land on any of these platforms and attract the direct booking. But how you may ask?
Did you know that Live Chat allows you to engage in the moment with your online guest when they are either:
1. Searching for you on Google;
2. Landing on your website; or
3. Visiting your social media pages.
Live Chat systems are now not only for your websites, but now integrate with all platforms your guests use, looking for more information about your products and services. Of course, not all Live chat systems can do this as well as offering a live team ready to engage your guests 24/7, so you need to do your research carefully. You need ensure you set up live chat systems effectively to ensure success.
At Chat2, our live chat service is not only on your website, but our service integrates with Google Chat, Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct Messages. We ensure a successful setup and initially generate around 200 – 300 responses to upload into the system so the AI can assist our live operators to knowledgeably respond to your guests.
Our Chat2 Concierge service captures your guest’s attention in the moment they arrive on your website or social media page or are searching in Google! The service 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.
Chat2 Tip 1 – Respond fast 24/7
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 24/7 Chat2 Concierge service is meeting this expectation and enabling tourism businesses of all sizes to compete against the OTA’s.
Around 30 – 40% of enquiries are now received outside of normal trading business hours for our tourism and hospitality clientele.
The Chat2 Concierge service enables tourism and hospitality businesses to be available to their guests 24/7, providing answers quickly to questions they may have and guiding your guests towards an online booking. Our service is manned by real people who are there in the moment your online visitor arrives, obtaining trust, providing reassurance and ultimately obtaining the booking or lead (70 – 85% conversion rate).
Chat2 Tip 1 – Respond to your online guests fast and effectively, so your visitor wants to stay and spend more time finding out what you offer. You can do this by introducing our Chat2 Concierge service that engages your guest 24/7, keeping them on your website while answering questions in the moment they are being asked and guiding your guest to book in the moment.
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.
It’s helpful to promote the benefits of booking direct by offering that little extra, enhancing terms and conditions or our team share the benefits to the guest on the importance of booking direct.
Chat 2 Tip 2 – Make it easy for the guest to navigate and book online, maybe offer that little extra to promote booking direct or ultimately provide an enhanced online customer experience utilising a service like Chat2 Concierge 24/7.
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 team are highly assisted with the artificial intelligence built into the Chat2 software, to ensure your guests will always receive a response that is on brand and on message, while being professional, warm and friendly that is adaptable to the request.
It’s important for potential guests to always receive knowledgeable and consistent answers, in line with the branding of your business. You will discover if you trial a service like Chat2 Concierge, enhancing the online customer experience, your guests will return to your website again and again (boosting Search Engine Optimisation SEO as an add-on 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 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 while attracting the direct booking.
We know the service works!
Tourism Case Study
One of our tourism operators who has been utilising the chat2 Concierge service since 2017. They have 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 Australia went into lock down.
The Chat2 Concierge service was not impacted by the COVID-19 event and operations and continued normally. The service kept this tourism operator open with an online presence. When visitors arrived on the website, they were reassured that the business would restart activities once 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 received more online enquiries than ever before. May 2021 saw 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. Unfortunately lockdowns hit the southern states in July 2021 and the loss of confidence rocked the tourism industry once again.
Now in 2022, the number of enquiries in January started above 2021 and has continued to surpass all previous years! This Tourism Operator has consistently and continually been online and is not reaping the benefits over its competitors by being so available to its guest, many internationally that are now returning, so it should only be onwards and upwards from here.
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 through various platforms.
We recommend you enhance the online Customer Experience on your website, through Google and social media pages. You can trial your first month of Chat2 Concierge complimentary. Though there is a small upfront fee to create the specific knowledge base of responses customised to your business. The service makes it attractive to your guests to book directly in the moment they are looking to book, as they are receiving instant answers to questions, they learn of the benefits of booking direct and the service is consistent and reliable 24/7.
In May 2022, the Chat2 team are attending the Australian Tourism Exchange 2022 event, so if you are attending, Kellie and Karen would love for you to come and introduce yourself and say hi. There will be a special opportunity for all attendees at the Event.