Is Your Live Chat Helping or Hurting Your Business

 

Today, almost everything is available and accessible 24/7 and when it’s not, it’s annoying right? For most, patience is at an all-time low and speed and personalization has never been more important. Whether you are a travel agent or a hospitality business this goes for both internal and customer communication. 

Communication has evolved over time to remove hurdles and add personalization. Take the phone for example. Do you remember the jump from rotary dial to touch tone?

The telephone, the key communication device that has been the conduit for voice communication for so many decades is now just an app on a little computer that fits in your pocket. And, the majority of the conversations that take place on it are not even done in that app, but many, many other ones!

Because of this, we have dubbed today and the foreseeable future, the “Messaging Era”

As communication has become more immediate and omni-channel, the time we are willing to wait for an answer has decreased significantly. We’ve also become more diverse in our channels causing communication to become even more fragmented. If you’re hotel or travel agency is sending out emails, but you have live chat on your website, can you sync your customer conversations across multiple channels? Or, if you have a reservations team fielding live chat and phone calls, but your hotel is sending out pre-arrival communication, do the two even sync up?

I have certainly experienced recent scenarios where they had not. It costs money to be disconnected. And, if you’re disconnected a large percentage of your customers will not be able to achieve the level of service they expect. Not to mention the operational inefficiencies to get your teams up to speed on a particular customer request.

Consider this, your customers are a moving target. And, at any given moment they are in one of the four stages of the customer experience journey.

  1. Trip Planning
  2. En-Route
  3. In-House
  4. Post-Stay

And, if your service is exemplary, you are hopefully moving your customers back to Stage 1 after their stay where you are a part of this process. 

As a travel service or hospitality provider you don’t have the luxury of selling and accommodating a stationary customer. They are on the move even when they are in-house.

If you are only using live chat, then at any given point in time, you may not be able to connect the dots in a communication chain from a customer regarding a customer request that has been through multiple stages of the guest experience. Remember the results from our recent Focus Pointe survey?

While technology can increase the speed of connection, it can’t speed up the resolution of a customer’s question especially if your channels are disconnected. 

 
 
Hoperator