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Use Click-to-Call to Make it Harder for OTAs to Poach Your Guests.
By John Smallwood
Tuesday, 12th April 2016
 

Although online and mobile bookings continue to grow, studies find that potential customers still value being able to speak with a knowledgeable person at your hotel before they book.

According to Google’s report, "The Role of Click to Call in the Path to Purchase", 68% of hotel guests that use a smartphone consider it extremely important or very important to have the option to instantly call someone while they’re booking a room. 

Clearly, hoteliers can benefit by offering click-to-call as an option for customers to quickly and easily connect with the hotel to make a reservation.  As customers reach the critical booking phase, click-to-call makes the process of contacting a hotel simple and fast.

But there is another reason for hotels to implement this simple and easy way to connect: it provides an effective method to beat the OTAs to the punch.  

We know that many customers who find your hotel on an OTA site will visit your site for additional information.  We also know that OTAs make it very easy to make a reservation, so you should do the same. 

If you can get a customer to call while they are looking at your site, you stand an excellent chance of having them book with you directly - and if they can connect with you with a simple click, it’s empowering and makes it clear you want them to be your customer.  

Although it’s undoubtedly important to provide that quick method for your customers to call your reservations team, the way those calls are then managed is crucial to convert of the calls into revenue.

According to Google’s report, the main motivation people have for using click-to-call is to quickly get an answer and accomplish their goal.  An effective central reservations team at your hotel can ensure that expectation is always fulfilled. 

By understanding a customer’s needs and quickly resolving potential queries, the value that people place on speaking over the phone can be magnified and a greater number of potential bookings will result. 

Ultimately, click-to-call can be a highly effective way of increasing call volume, but a surge of calls is beneficial only if calls are answered swiftly and correctly using a proven sales conversion method.   It all comes down to balance: hotels that implement click-to-call into their marketing efforts and combine it with an experienced and efficient reservations team will reap the biggest rewards. 

This is one in a series of short essays by John Smallwood, CEO of Travel Outlook Premium Reservations Call Center about voice reservations, the second most profitable revenue channel. Travel Outlook is a hospitality company that takes voice reservations calls for its clients.

www.TravelOutlook.com / 844-TRAVELOUTLOOK

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