5 ways hotels can respond to future guests faster and better
Think of your website as your hotel lobby: it’s your meeting place for new and potential guests. Any service associated with your site should be 5-star too. Aim to ‘wow’ your guests before they’ve even begun their stay!
This also means fast responses to online queries. And we mean really fast. A recent study from Velocify shows that if you contact potential customers within one minute of their presence on your website, your conversion rate will almost quadruple (+391%).`
They also found that 72% of customers believe that the first company to call them had an advantage over the competition, which translated directly into revenue.
Don’t you quite know how to put this into action for your hotel? We’ve established five easy ways in which your hotel can make sure guests don't think twice about booking with you:
1. Have an FAQ page
The easiest way to answer future guests is to let them help themselves. With a section dedicated to Frequently Asked Questions, your online visitors will have a simple overview where they can quickly find most of their answers.
Of course, not all future guests may prefer this, so do read the following 4 ways to give personal and fast answers.
2. Get a mobile or tablet app
Hotel staff are often walking about, and your receptionists may be busy attending to guests. Yet emails are constantly coming in from potential guests, who expect a timely answer. Try to arrange some back-up to your service team, or - if this isn’t financially feasible - let some of your staff carry around a mobile device, alerting them when a customer enquiry comes through. This will allow them to respond much faster than before. Putting your hotel at the forefront of fast service will boost customer loyalty enormously.
3. Have multiple people on email duty
More staff means more flexibility, and peace of mind that all emails will be answered timely. Fast and good replies boost the number of bookings, so it is well worth it.Just make sure that different people don't answer the same email...
This will make the pre-arrival experience just as good as the arrival itself. The real first impression is online!
4. Offer live chat to your online visitors
If you want the best way to respond to guests fast, you can’t look past a live chat service for your hotel website. It’s fast, effective, and your immediate availability and willingness to your potential guests will boost your relationship with them. Using a live chat service means that you and your (potential) guests are in the same place at the same time.
Live chat offers a convenience factor, and doesn’t leave guests looking for assistance elsewhere. Online visitors who engage in a live chat conversation are up to 15 times more likely to book than those who don’t.
5. Have pre-made replies ready to go
Many potential guests will have the same query, so why not make a few pre-made responses that you can (carefully!) insert in your answer?
Make sure to alter the response to match each particular guest. Using his or her name is an obvious must. If the query is a little more specific, then be sure to add or subtract from the response. The great thing about a system like this is that the more queries you receive, the more pre-made responses you can add to your list. Soon there’ll be nothing your staff won’t know how to answer!
Fast and quality responses will allow you to get the most out of your website and platforms like bookings.com. The average response time is under 2 hours and consumers are using this time scale to compare hotels when looking online. How will you give the best first impression?