It’s a common misconception that live chat in the hospitality industry requires someone answering messages 24/7. Because Hoperator is never offline, we capture your visitor’s questions so they can easily be answered later. However, even if your live chat provider doesn’t offer this feature, there are other things staff can do to not only save time answering live chat inquiries, but also increase the value of engaging with potential guests.
 

  1. Create a FAQ cheat sheet

    Customers frequently have the same or similar questions. To avoid continually rehashing the details, have a list of commonly asked questions with pre-approved answers your staff can easily and organically plug into a conversation.
     
  2. Compile a list of local recommendations from each of your staff

    When guests consider a booking, often the amenities of the local area can seal the deal (hyperlink experiential travel). Your staff knows the area better than a random travel blogger. Ask them for their favorite restaurants and attractions so the best ones can be shared with potential guests. Platforms like Hoperator make this simple by enabling your staff to pull and store information directly from Facebook and Google which can be used at any time. 
     
  3. Keep a list of rates available

    On average, live chat questions are answered in less than 48 seconds; questions about rates should be in that category. A list of available rates should be kept updated and within reach of whoever on staff is answering the live chat.
     
  4. Create a contact sheet of your partners

    While it’s not your business, questions about companies you partner with should be answered just as quickly as questions about yours. The decision to book may hinge on the ability to recommend a good bike tour company. 
     
  5. Note when your website visitors come

    What time of day is your live chat the busiest? What time of day are you receiving the most bookings? Not all platforms will offer this, but some simple analytics can help you dramatically increase your guest count (hyperlink hospitality change/future) by giving you insights on when your staff should be available to answer questions.

The initial conversation is the beginning of a relationship which ends with either a successful conversion and the possibility of a lifelong customer, or a lost opportunity (hyperlink to digital customer service). But this doesn’t mean you have to hire someone to answer live chat 24/7! Anyone working the front desk should be able to quickly answer questions and build trust with a potential guest, both online and off. But, it’s important to remember that live chat is only one of the tools you can easily use to attract and retain guests.

Photo by Valentin Antonini on Unsplash