Faced with a disheartening political panorama, one October morning in 1835, Antonio Meucci and Ester Mochi leave their natal Florence to start their voyage across the American continent. Some 20 years later Ester, immobilised from rheumatism cannot leave her room, located on the second floor of her Staten Island residence. Antonio, an industrial engineer, invented a telephone to connect the ground floor of their home with his wife’s room. A romantic start to the age of telecommunications.
But, returning to the 21st century, let’s briefly enumerate the combination of present day hotel distribution: website, OTAs, offline travel agencies, corporate, GDS, metasearch engines, tour operators, opinion portals, flash offer platforms, and, if I’m pushed, even social networks take part in the distribution channels. But, what about the telephone? They told us to connect to social media to listen to our clients, and we forgot the most basic, easiest way to interact with our clients: the telephone.
Is your business’s voice channel under control?
What do you know about its conversion rate?
Have you noticed that some clients will call your hotel rather than book online?
Do you have a different strategy implemented for this channel?
Do you think you have the correct profiles tending the phone calls?
Do you view it as a main feature and revenue generator?
I will share with you 4 premises about the value of a proper Contact Centre, I hope they at least will offer some clarification:
1. A channel with a better conversion rate than a website and a distribution cost lower than an OTA
Let’s be clear, a website can never reach the same interaction levels as a telephone agent. An agent can easily guide the client to booking, answering any questions they may have automatically. Any requests about the type of room, capacity, restaurant opening times, access, payment methods, cancellation terms, etc. can be explained straightaway, during the booking process, increasing conversion rates significantly. On the other hand, many users are wary of entering credit card details into online payment programs, and therefore prefer to use the website as a tool for information and comparison before booking, and go on to use the phone to make the actual reservation. Finally, if we weigh out the distribution cost per voice booking, it is a lot lower than that of any OTA.
2. It allows us to implement Revenue Management style strategies
There are nearly endless possibilities. We can develop exclusive actions according to market type (nationality, language, etc.) or type of client (business, vocational, etc.). We can create specific campaigns for the voice channel that are totally different from other channels. We can even break with parities and launch proposals depending on the time, automatically offer a price match, promote exclusive upgrades, etc.
3. Higher average price per booking
Listening to the client, as well as understanding their needs better, allows us to offer more services, increasing the average price per booking. Superior room and breakfast are the services that are most often added to a booking, but there are other services the client may not have known about before calling (airport transfers, late check out, etc.).
4. It increases the conversion rate of our website
We can see how national and international chains that opt for this channel use a Contact Centre and publish the phone number on the booking button, to make it easier for the client to finish the process. Clients prefer to book with a hotel that has telephone backup in case there is a problem with their booking.
Where did we collect this data?
Easy, in 2016, the Idiso Contact Centre, received just over 1.8 million calls, we managed nearly 320 thousand bookings and generated sales of over 150 million euros. We are the only Hotel Exclusive Call Centre in Spain (we are not interested in offering any other type of service) the department is made up of more than 300 professionals who offer their service in 7 languages 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
If you would like us to help you increase your profits through this powerful channel, please contact us at : firstname.lastname@example.org.