24 May 2018
Why Chat for Website is Ideal for the Travel Industry
In this digital age, travel companies can struggle to compete in the online marketplace. More choice has become available to consumers such as comparison sites and large chains dominating the industry, meaning travellers are not restricted to using only local services.
With many high street agencies closed down, independent companies such as hotels and excursion organisations receive less exposure online. These businesses need to ensure they maintain a high standard of customer service including the personal factor that can become lost amongst larger organisations to gain a competitive edge.
Live chat provides an instant communication channel that enables travel companies to personalise their online service. Website visitors are able to start a chat session at any point during their browsing journey, which connects them directly to a representative via text-based messaging. Conversing via chat in real-time is the closest to having a conversation without actually speaking, therefore helps to personalise websites and provide access to the experts behind them.
Live Chat Functionality Improves Productivity
The travel industry is known for having high abandonment rates. Consumers conducting research, pricing, and waiting for their group to make a decision are just some of the reasons travellers do not commit to purchasing. Using a Proactive Chat Experience can encourage individuals to engage with your representatives and reassure any apprehensions.
Chats can be directed to certain departments or individuals, based on job role or skill sets. For example, an airline may have agents that advise specifically by location (Europe, Asia, The Americas etc.) or by department (Customer Service, Sales, Complaints etc.) The group of operators can be allocated to the chat button, which automatically routes the visitor to the relevant team. Alternatively, the choices can be displayed on the pre-chat form, allowing the enquirer to select the department they wish to speak with.
Representatives can handle multiple chats simultaneously, allowing them to answer a visitor’s enquiry, whilst another visitor is responding. This reduces the amount of time your advisors are spending on just one potential customer, therefore helping to increase your bookings and sales. Once fully trained, an agent can handle three chats at the same time on average, however, factors such as the complexity of the enquiry and the speed the visitor typing will also have an effect.
Many hotels and other travel companies will have created brochures to showcase their services. Some will have these digitally available to provide to website visitors. Live chat for website streamlines the process involved in actioning the request for information, as documentation such as brochures can be sent directly to the consumer during chat via the File Transfer feature. This reduces the amount of emails representatives have to send and the time it takes.
Answers to consumers’ questions may already be available on the website. Whilst in chat, the agent can use the Auto Navigate functionality to automatically redirect the visitor’s browser to the relevant page. This ensures the enquirer is viewing the correct information and encourages them to self-help, saving representatives’ time not repeating the information.
When something occurs within the travel industry such as a natural disaster or an airline cancels flights on a huge scale, (for example, Ryanair last year), travel companies can experience a large volume of enquiries in a very short amount of time. This places pressure on the organisation’s representatives to meet the demand of the workload. Queuing can be enabled allowing the business to sustain a level of control over the flow of incoming enquiries and reduce the pressure.
How Chat Works on a Travel Site
Chat is very easy to implement on any website, a piece of HTML script will be provided when you sign up for the trial, this simply needs to be copied and pasted into your website. When your agents log in and make themselves available the chat button will become online, when all operators are logged off or unavailable the chat button will be offline, in which you can choose to display a call back form, an offline message with your operational hours or hide the button altogether etc.
Choices Regarding Your Implementation
There are several visitor facing aspects to consider when adding live chat to your travel site.
Will you use:
- A template or upload your own design for buttons and windows
- Different designs for desktop and mobile devices
- Sticky or embedded buttons*
- Embedded or pop-up windows*
- A pre-chat form, if so what information gathering fields does your organisation require
- Operator photos or marketing material on your dialogue window
- Post-chat surveys, if so what questions will you ask
- An offline button, if so will you present a call back form or an offline message
*Documentation on types of buttons and windows can be found on our resource page
If you have the answers to these before you implement this will ensure you maximise your time on trial and can concentrate on other areas such as agent training and analysing the results.
Click4Assistance has been successfully providing live chat for website to the travel industry for over 10 years. For more information about how your organisation can benefit from implementing the communication channel, contact our team on 01268 524628 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.