Why is your hotel website not enough for your clients?
You dedicate time writing information you think are relevant on your hotel website. You invest in design to make it easier for your clients to find the answers they are looking for. However, you feel like it is a waste of time; that no one reads your website and your attendants are still overwhelmed with guests’ queries. Why?
When you don’t have an online support, your website acts more like a display than a communication channel. That means that you might be missing business opportunities and not helping your staff’s workflow as much as you could. Have you thought about that?
I’ve listed here the two main reasons why people still contact your hotel staff with simple questions, even though you have a great website.
Reason 1: people don’t read online; they skim
Your hotel has many business opportunities being online, no doubt. But our attention is very fragile and there are plenty of other pages your potential clients could be reading. If you give them an excuse, they will abandon you in a heartbeat.
Therefore, the challenge is how to retain users on your hotel website and make them read the important information, instead of contacting your customer service. That people don’t read anymore is not a surprise. But what it may surprise you is how reading online is done.
Let’s get to the facts about online reading:
- 55% of all pages get less than 15 seconds of attention;
- Visitors will only read about 20% of the text on average page;
- It takes 20-30% longer to read online than on paper.
- On average we spend 6 hours and 42 minutes online.
As you can see, people don’t read online the same way as they read a book. When people browse the web, they are looking for quick answers. That is why many prefer to direct their questions to a FAQ or a chatbot. People like shortcuts.
Besides, you have very little time to capture user’s attention. You need to keep it simple and interesting for users so they won’t leave your page. Thus, a good option to keep users’ interest is to make it visual: add images and videos where it fits.
As people say:
“ A picture’s worth a thousand words”
Reason 2: your hotel website don’t show what you don’t have
Doubts when booking a hotel room are common. Questions about discount, breakfast menu and check in time are some of the examples of clients’ queries before they seal the deal with a hotel. Answers for those questions may be found on your website.
But there are some questions that your website can’t answer. I’m talking about facilities or services your hotel doesn’t have but your clients might be interested in. Obviously you won’t highlight what you DON’T have!
When a client can’t find a specific information, he/she doesn’t know if it is because the hotel doesn’t have that thing or if it only forgot to put on the website. So to be sure, the client call or text message the hotel (in worse cases, client just give up and go to the next hotel).
That means that a lot that of questions your hotel attendants get are about things that your hotel don’t have. To say “no” to a client is always a sensitive matter. You need to say it in a smart way.
To have an online support enable your hotel to “grab” that potencial guest who is not sure yet about booking with you. And since we are a fast paced society, if it takes more than 1 minute to find something, the odds are that users just leave the page and go to the next one.
In the other hand, if the users see an online support, chatbot or human, they will try to interact with it to find what they are looking for. That is your chance to close the deal. To talk to your potential guest where they are in the perfect moment.
Website + Online Chat = the perfect combination
So it is not enough to reshape your website and think that every question will be answered there. After all, clients don’t want to waste time looking for information in every tab and the most important: they want answers fast and easy.
The fact is that we have much less patience to read online and it is very easy to get distracted. Plus, usually we read books for distraction, while online we read to find an information or to get something done. We only read what is necessary to make a decision.
That is why it said that we don’t read online; we skim. That is connected to the “decision fatigue” people talk about. As modern life becomes ever more connected, consumers are bombarded with an exhausting array of choices and offers which continues to grow.
Being online is not enough. It’s the basic. It doesn’t give you any competitive advantages. But to have an online chat will.
Chats, human or bot, gives the user the experience they expect, providing interaction with them. They help users to find what they are looking for, increasing the chances of booking and of returning.
The truth is that nowadays we type more than we talk. The interaction between companies and consumers are more and more through written messages. Messaging apps also created an expectation of fast responses, which made it even harder for hotels.
Either because your clients wants to know what you don’t say or because they can’t find what they are looking for, your hotel website maybe is not enough to convert visitors into clients.
Grab these business opportunities by providing online service to take away any doubts clients might have.