We hear a lot about how over half of travel bookings are made on mobile devices or tablets now, so where does this leave the other 50 percent? As we make strides towards a wholesale adoption of new technologies it is easy to forget that there are large numbers of people that were happy with things as they were. There are around 50% that do not want to, or cannot book via mobile tablet or even online. This is a huge market to ignore. So, what else are people using to book their holiday accommodation?
Today we’re talking about the power of the humble telephone.
By 2020, 85% of research will be conducted without speaking to a human. Whilst this may seem that we are moving away from voice communication, 15 percent is still a huge part of your customer base. Some people just know what they like. 3% of Americans still use dial-up Internet. 3% may not sound huge, but that’s still around 9 million people. And whilst it is easy to imagine these last remaining souls as contrary Luddites resisting change, it’s worth remembering the saying ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.
Allowing people to complete bookings over the phone opens your business up, it gives your customers more options and more ways to reach you. One small feature such as telephone service caters for a whole new demographic that still want to use your company, still want to book vacation rentals, but do not want to complete transactions without speaking with a representative of your company. You can then enter your booking into the Kigo system and it will be updated across all of your portal listings, meaning you’re not going to be overrun with double bookings when using two systems to take reservations.
And as well as being an extra option for your guests, having an available telephone line benefits you as a property manager, too. Telephone bookings allow the transaction to be completed in one instance. They allow guests to ask questions and you to give an instant response. It lets you get descriptive and passionate about your properties, making bookings and conversions more appealing. It also gives you more options to expand into offline marketing and reach new audiences that do not use the Internet or Social Media on a regular basis.
For some people, it just feels more reassuring to speak to another person rather than to just fire their important personal information into cyberspace. People may just want to verify a detail or two before proceeding with their online booking. If you are in the middle of a booking an important question comes to mind, having the option to have it answered then and there will lead to far higher conversion rates. If you guests have to pause their transaction and wait for a response from your email, you are going to see a higher rate of booking abandonment.
Maintaining a dedicated service line for your customers is still a relevant part of the travel industry. Even having only instructions on when people can reach you and what can be done over the phone, if bookings can be made or if it is just for general information is a start. But, with customers in every time zone, and on different schedules, a 24-hour service will ensure that you never miss a booking. It is the only way to make sure that you make the most of every single lead that wants to know more about your business.
This is one way you can make sure that you are giving your business the very best chance of securing bookings from every single customer and visitor to your site. By retiring phone-based service, rather than forcing people to adapt, you shut them off and drive them towards companies that offer a choice of product and of service. So, if you were thinking about retiring your voice-based customer service it may still be worth retaining, as well as reminding your leads that they still have this option to contact you. If your business is not set up for telephone service, we’re offering our US customers the chance to join our contact center pilot phase where qualified operatives are trained to turn enquiries into bookings when you’re not available.
If you are not yet a Kigo customer check out our demo to find out more.