Why Live Chat is Key to Direct Bookings

 

The Internet Booking Engine… it’s quite a complex piece of web software. And, as a core component of your website, it’s your silent salesperson that delivers the biggest impression once a visitor has moved beyond your homepage. Which, is only where your visitors spend 5-10% of their time. 

And, while the booking engine is such an important piece of your online presence, often times there is really not much you can do to control the experience in it. Did you know that the average hotel website is only 6 pages deep (not counting the Internet Booking Engine)? 

70% of the chats that take place in Hoperator originate in the booking engine. And, do you know what the majority of these chats are about? You guessed it... reservations. Almost 50% of the chats involve questions about, or assistance with reservations. Many times it's regarding issues completing a reservation, questions about group bookings, modifications to a reservation that was just made and the most common... questions about the room that they are looking at right now. 

So, what can you do to turn a visitor’s engagement in your booking engine from a passive experience to an active one? How can you bring your hotel’s personality into this experience and use this to help decrease abandonment and drive direct bookings? 
 

In other words, how can you get someone who's probably going to bounce, to actually continue down the funnel or engage with your hotel to ultimately make a reservation?

 

Hoperator monitors all activity on your website and booking engine in real-time. It's like having the Google Analytics real-time feature in your booking engine. Only, it's much better and more detailed. And, with Hoperator you can automate targeted messages to your website and booking engine visitors based on their real-time activity.

So how do you do this?

With Hoperator you can set up what we call Event-Based Greetings that display based on the visitor's activity. It’s pretty simple to do. We’ll even do it for you. All you have to do is ask us. In fact, one of the first things we do when we onboard someone new is to talk with them about their goals with Hoperator and how we can help them achieve those goals. Many of which involve custom Event-Based Greetings.

A key component to Hoperator's Standard Plan is the Event-Based Greeting. Let’s take a look at a few examples of what is possible with Hoperator installed on your booking engine and using Event-Based Greetings to target your website visitors based on their activity.

 

Scenario 1 - Query Based Promo

Let's say your hotel is seasonal and as we move into fall you want to push extended weekend stays to include a Friday night when someone does a search for a Saturday night only reservation. One way to do this would be to offer a special promotional package based on the reservation query in the booking engine when a visitor searches for availability for a Saturday night.

You could even target searches that include a specific room or occupancy and offer them a discounted rate if they add Friday night as part of a package. Or, you could throw in what would normally be an upsell like a higher end room or a tour add on, etc. You can even target local or regional visitors versus those from out of state or country.

In Hoperator, this Event-Based Greeting displays in your booking engine whenever this activity is performed, enticing your visitor to take advantage of the package offer.

 

Scenario 2 - Referral Based Promo

Do you run search engine ads, display ads or do any ad retargeting? With Hoperator you can track these types of referrals to display specific greetings based on this traffic. A greeting for this type of activity helps reinforce the promotion that brought your visitor in the first place and confirms to them why they are there, giving them a slight push to follow through with the action. 

Along with the Event-Based Greeting, you can create a Custom Activity within Hoperator's Activity Workflow to record this action. You can even send a real-time notification to your reservation team or staff to let them know when this occurs.

When notified, your reservations team can actually intercept the visitor with a custom message on the fly to try and engage the visitor in a chat or to get them to just take action.

 

Scenario 3 - Preventing Checkout Abandonment

While industry average direct booking conversion rate is pretty dismal, it’s no surprise that the average check out form abandonment rate is 90% on average. Your website visitors are SO CLOSE to booking, but they don’t.

With Hoperator you can create a combination custom activity and custom greeting to entice visitors to complete the booking. Hoperator can record the activity in the visitor activity stream within the dashboard so that you can monitor which field is the jumping off point for your visitors and potentially change your form layout in your booking engine. On top of that, you can then display a custom greeting to pull the visitor through the form. This could be an offer redeemable at check-in if they are past the promo stage in the booking process.

Another option is to store the data from the form to redisplay the reservation information that you are now "holding" if the visitor returns to your website. And then, you can set up an automated message to prompt that visitor to finish their reservation.

 

70% of Hoperator chats originate in the booking engine.
50% are triggered by Event-Based Greetings.
15% of chats convert to bookings.

 

These are just a few common examples of custom workflows you can create with Hoperator that are responsible for helping our customers achieve a 5x increase in direct conversions. 

Because Hoperator is a 100% real-time platform, custom activities and notifications can be triggered for any of the scenarios above. These custom activities and notifications allow Hoperator to record these events in real-time and send notifications to Hoperator users (Desktop, Audio, SMS and Email) or to third-party applications.

 

Interested in seeing how Hoperator can help you drive more direct bookings? Get started today or contact us to learn more.

 
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