It’s a common sound nowadays. Hoteliers stressing out on the fact that the OTA’s are taking more and more reservations away. Therefore, it remains a mystery to me when visiting a hotels website how little of them are using a live chat application. I have been using various live chat applications over the past 4 years now on all my websites. Looking back, I can’t even imagine working without those simple, low cost and highly converting applications. They are cheap, easy to integrate in to your website and provide numerous options to reach out to your website visitors and approach them. It really increases your options on getting more direct bookings!
Let me give you 3 real live examples of how and why this works so well for me.
What’s the real use of your SEO and targeted PPC campaigns? The answer is simple right. Attracting as many targeted users to visit your website. So, what happens once a possible guest reaches your website? Normally speaking they browse around a bit, they might check availability and prices and ultimately get interested. Fact is that you have about 20 to 30 seconds before their mind moves somewhere else. This is where chat comes in.
Most if not all chat apps nowadays offer a welcome message on your homepage, but their real value is in the customizable chat pop-up boxes. Those pop-up messages are designated to the page the users are visiting, the so-called trigger messages. How to get a visitor to interact with you? Its easier than you think. By using those customizable and targeted trigger messages within your chat app.
Let me give you an example that I use myself. This particular trigger message applies when a visitor shows interest in our popular beachfront accommodations. This is what the message looks like:
And that’s how easy it is. You have informed the visitor in a non-intrusive way that there is no change available to book that beachfront room anywhere besides directly with you! This stops them from shopping around and visitors interested in this room will actually reach out to you. Once they do its up to you to close that deal DIRECTLY! Here is one of the many chat examples I have that resulted in a direct booking with a value of over THB 12,000 in just 20 minutes!
Visitors are way more less likely to send you that email through your “Contact Us” page compared to reaching out to them using a triggered message. Most if not all consumers require that “instant satisfaction moment” nowadays. Don’t like your series on Netflix, switch it off and watch something else instantly. Don’t like that song you are listening to on Spotify, skip forward and find a song that you like, instantly.
Its no different when visitors have questions while looking at the information they browse through on your website. Once a visitor does visit your Hotels Contact Us page it means something. They need additional information regarding their possible stay with you. You will be pleasantly surprised how many visitors will ask you that question they have but would have never taken the time to fill in that ever boring and high barrier Contact Us form.
And again, its so easy to start the conversation with this visitor. Here is how I do it:
And for me it’s a proven fact that the conversion in having actual direct contact is way higher this way compared to asking your visitors to fill in that static and standard Contact Us form!
Using chat, I have discovered how many Guests actually come back to my website after they have confirmed there stay with us. Before using chat, I had no idea. Going back to that “instant gratification” consumers expect nowadays, having chat available on your website hands you over that so important opportunity to solidify that Guests satisfaction level on a silver platter. Answer simple questions about how is the weather today, can we upgrade to another room type might it become available before we arrive, how far are you from the city / beach / attractions and so forth. I guarantee you that your Guests will appreciate those fast and easy interactions. Even Guests changing the dates of their reservation is done in a few minutes:
Besides that, it is a great way to upsell your guests. They will have questions about transportation, even if you offer those services during the reservations process in your internet booking engine. Offer them your pick-up service. Questions about your restaurant and bar? Offer them a voucher for any amount with 15% discount for example. Close the deal during chat and they can pick up the voucher and pay for it when they check-in. They will ask you questions about birthday / honeymoon / engagement / wedding packages and so forth. Make sure you are ready to provide them with options and again, close that deal in a matter of minutes!
So, summarizing all this in a short and concise way. If you want to increase your Direct Bookings and you are not using a chat application, make sure you subscribe to one and get it installed on your website in a matter of minutes. FYI, I am currently using the chat app www.jivochat.com.