Thursday, August 22, 2019

How to Capture Hotel Customers With Conversational Commerce

If you would like to capture more prospects and turn them into happy guests at your hotel, you need to use the latest technology to reach your goal. For example, many small businesses now see the importance of using state-of-the-art technology.

Most people who visit your hotel’s website won’t book a room right away, and many of them will forget about you before they come back. Use conversational commerce to move past that problem and increase your conversion rate. Conversational commerce gives you fantastic benefits:

  • Increased Conversions
  • Increased Loyalty
  • Increased Customer Retention
  • Gain Valuable Insights

You don’t know what you are missing if you overlook the raw power of conversational commerce. If you are ready to engage your prospects and build long-term loyalty that lasts, learn what this approach can do for your bottom line. As you read this guide, make a mental note of the benefits that stand out to you the most.

What is Conversational Commerce?

This section is for you if you don’t know what conversational commerce is or if you want a refresher. Conversational commerce is a new term, but the practice has been around since the dawn of recorded history. In simple terms, it’s about having a personalized conversation with your customers so that you can answer their questions and address their concerns.

Since you can’t have an in-person conversation with everyone coming to your website, you can use live chat software to do it. The software will detect when someone visits your website and open a chat window in case they want to speak with someone. When a prospect types something in the chat box, the software will alert your team and let them chat with the customer. Automated chatbots are another option worth considering, but having a real person on the other side is the best path.

Answer Your Prospects’ Questions

As a smart professional, you answer common questions on your website to make things easier for your prospects. Most people face the same challenges and have similar concerns when booking a hotel, but some of them will have a unique situation that requires a custom response. People who don’t get the answers they need are much more likely to walk away.

Conversational commerce defeats that problem and increases the number of leads who become paying guests. When you put chat software on your website, you can set up an automated greeting and wait for your prospects to contact you. Start answering questions when you get them, and document them so that you know what questions keep coming up. Also, find a way to answer common questions on your landing page to free some of your team’s time.

Offer Discounts When Needed

Chatting with your customers allows you to learn a lot about them and their situation. When people come to your website to book a room, they will sometimes leave if they don’t think the price is worth it. Others want to stay but can’t afford the prices listed on your website, and you need to do something if you don’t want to lose money.

People walking away because of your price is not an issue if you are at peak season. But if it’s off-season and you don’t have a lot of guests, it’s better to offer a room at a discounted price than lose a customer. Besides electricity, it costs you almost nothing to let someone stay, and some money is better than none.

Do Market Research

Many corporations spend millions of dollars a year on market research, and they have a good reason for doing it. Market research lets you understand your prospects on a much deeper level. You learn about their needs and desires, but you also learn about the terms and phrases they use. When you use conversational commerce, you get valuable insights that help you take your bottom line to a whole new level.

You discover what type of people are the most likely to stay at your hotel. In addition to those insights, you find out if your prospects are looking for something you don’t have. For example, a lot of your prospects could want room service or something else of which you did not think. Learning what is missing and filling the gap improves your business. Make an effort to understand the motives of your prospects each time you have an interaction.

Offer Detailed Advice

Most hotels don’t attract only one type of guest. Many hotels have guests from a range of backgrounds and walks of life, and each group has unique needs you must consider. When someone contacts you for help choosing a room, ask a few questions of your own.

You want to know if a guest is going to be in town for a business trip, to visit family or to take a family vacation. Someone on a business trip, for example, might need a room away from vending machines so that he can have a quiet place to work. Families might want a large room so that they don’t feel confined.

Invite Your Prospects to Join Your Email List

You could do everything right and still lose the prospect, and it’s not always your fault. You also get people who plan to book a stay but don’t remember to do so, and these situations cause you to lose more money than you probably think. You can reduce the number of people you lose by getting them to join your mailing list.

Once they join, you can stay in touch with them and improve their odds of booking a room with you. If you don’t already have one, set up an email list with an autoresponder. When prospects finish speaking with you, invite them to join your mailing list in exchange for a discount code or special offer.

Invite Your Patrons to Book a Stay

After nurturing your prospects via email, you should get an idea of where they are in their buyer’s journey. A lot of people will like your offer and want to book a room, but many of them will wait until you tell them to take action.

Don’t underestimate the power of inviting your prospects to take out their credit card and book a room right away. You could even have your customer service agent learn about the type of room a customer needs and provide a custom link to the checkout page. Speak with your team now and make sure they know how vital call-to-actions are, and you will enjoy the outcome.

You can make it easy for them (and yourself) by integrating your online and offline payment systems. Most online commerce platforms know this and allow you to run payments through the same systems on and offline with advanced POS card reader.

Final Thoughts

If you are serious about taking your hotel to a new level, conversational commerce is worth the investment. You will capture the interest of tons of people who would have otherwise clicked away from your website. This approach even lets you reel people back in by offering well-timed discount codes and other gifts.

Each step you take to understand and provide value to your customers moves you a little closer to your long-term goals. If you dedicate yourself to the process and make an effort to meet your customers’ needs each step of the way, conversational commerce is an effective strategy that benefits your bottom line in more ways than one. Add live chat software to your website today so that you can see the rewards for yourself.

Heroic
Heroic
Michelle Deery is a copywriter that leads the content production at Heroic Search, a link building agency in Tulsa. She strives to find new ways to help brands increase the reach of their consumer base

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