24/7 Voice Reservations: The Other Direct Booking Channel
Did you know that despite the dominance of online booking channels, Voice, or the 24/7 CRO, remains a prominent channel in the hotel revenue distribution mix, representing up to 50% of hotel direct bookings? Compared to direct web or OTA channels, CRO provides a highly personalized, loyalty-building consumer experience resulting in high-value direct bookings for both luxury and economy hotels alike.
When managed as a strategic channel, not just a cost of doing business for hotels, the Voice channel delivers bottom-line advantage over other channels:
- Increased Conversion Rates
According to Barilliance.com, the Travel Industry’s online booking abandon rate is approximately 81.7%* — which is substantially higher than hospitality industry call centers. Based on a recent third-party study, Cloud5 Contact Center typically delivers conversion rates up to 6+ points higher than industry average. Our experience has found, on average, each percentage point increase in call conversion delivers an incremental $1.3 million in revenue**.
- Incremental Revenue through Upsells
Skilled agents are trained in promoting upgrades and upsells based on the consumer’s needs and the agent’s knowledge of the property. A website can’t say, ”Since this is for a family vacation, do you think adjoining rooms would allow you to have a more enjoyable stay?,” like an agent can. This type of recommendation increases revenue and improves the overall guest experience as well.
- Higher Average Daily Rates & Total Booking Value
Booking Engines and OTA sites are managed by price. Your voice agents ask the right questions to understand the guest and their requirements. Agents can reveal incentives/offers to optimize the stay resulting in additional room nights or amenities that increase room rate and on-property revenue while delivering the best stay experience.
- Building Customer Frequency and Higher Brand Loyalty
The personal connection established between the caller and an agent trained as a brand advocate builds loyalty with your hotel brand. That human touch establishes trust and creates an experience that people feel good about when spending money on a hotel stay, especially for an important, more complex trip.
Owning the Guest Relationship
Looking at Voice as a direct booking channel allows hotel brands the capacity needed to handle more bookings and gives them ownership over the customer. When using a travel agent or third-party vendor, that customer relationship belongs to that third party. Hotels not only lose access to essential customer data but also lose the ability to develop a long-term relationship with the guest. A hotel should aspire to own the direct guest relationship in order to optimize the lifetime value of the consumer.
AI-based Technology Goes Beyond the Booking
Deploying Artificial Intelligence and/or Interactive Voice Response solutions integrated with CRM, CRS and PMS platforms provides your Reservations team the ability to tailor conversational sales strategies, providing offerings specific to the guest need. Using call intelligence helps to better understand your customers and opens the door for a better guest experience. The data gained in voice channels can be even more useful that digital surveys, reviews, and feedback forms because it is entirely free speech that the customer is offering. Agents hear customer’s concerns, questions, and their voice and articulation when discussing problems or issues. This way, hotels can quickly get a clear picture regarding their guest experience.
With hotels looking to gain more ownership of the guest relationship and grow direct revenue, the 24/7 CRO or voice channel provides a high-value direct booking option. The bottom line, smart hoteliers use Voice to optimize revenue, grow margin, and build long-lasting consumer connections.
Cloud5 Communications recruits, trains and retains hotel brand advocates to drive revenue specifically for our Hospitality Clients. By managing the guest experience, Cloud5’s high quality and high touch call centers serve as an extension of your brand, delivering improved guest satisfaction ratings, increased conversion and higher ADRs than direct booking channels. Our team is focused on capturing every booking opportunity and delivering actionable insight based on listening to your guest to help fine-tune your brand messaging.