The process of choosing the tourist destinations on the Internet, with the assistance of the interactive maps, photos and videos, is much easier and effective than leafing through the brochures.
However, one thing is missing: personal interaction of a potential tourist with travel agent who can answer all the additional questions, clear doubts and help in making a decision.
Tourists are using tour operators websites more and more nowadays so as to inform themselves about the journeys that are offered, and in this way, they save their time and go to the agency only when the decision has been made or the choice is narrowed to 2 or 3 destinations.
It is commonly emphasized that nothing can replace the communication of the tourist agent with the potential tourist when the sale should be finalized and a tourist should be convinced to buy a particular arrangement.
There are more and more online bookings, but many tourists still want to get some advice from the travel agent or from a hotel employee, so they often postpone their decision about the purchase of the travel package until the visit to the agency. Soon, this will change. In fact, the change is already happening.
The Internet is a very powerful source in the process of the destination promotion, accommodation and all the activities; however, the personal interaction with the travel agent or the hotel’s receptionists is missing.
Exactly these personal pieces of advice have the greatest role in the process of the tourists’ decision making and can create a significant difference between the interested, potential tourist, and the tourist who purchased the package.
There is a common situation when travelers get the information about a particular new destination and the accommodation units in it on the website of a particular tourist agency, and after that, they physically go to some other agency which is closer and more available to them (or where they got used to go) to get the information from the tourist agent and to book a destination, even though they found the information about it on the website of another tourist agency. How to prevent this? How to enable the website visitors to directly interact with the sales agents?
The Answer: Chat Application on the Website!
It is possible to implement this extension on almost every website!
If your website is on WordPress platform, you have various plug-ins which enable you this upgrade. This means that you will be able to chat with each visitor of your website, if he/she wants to!
Can you imagine that possibility!
It is practically similar to the visit of a potential tourist to your agency in a real world, maybe even better. Tourists get the possibility to ask you anything you want.
Instead of filling in the boring contact form, they can write to you on chat in a completely relaxed way, for instance: ‘Which place is, according to you, best for summer stay in Corfu, Greece?‘
The conversation starts in a natural and relaxed manner, and it seems as if that person is really in front of you in your tourist agency. If you don’t see a real opportunity here, and you didn’t say, ‘Aha, I have to try this!’ then you are probably not such a good vendor.
The option that chat on the website provides is an exquisite possibility which will provide you an opportunity to get much more bookings and sold journeys, and gain a significant advantage over your rivals.
Problems in Implementation and Additional Advice
Certainly, you have to set the working hours of this service and publish that information so as to be known.
If you own a hotel in which the reception works 24/7, you have to entrust this task to the receptionists.
The flow of the conversation on the chat of the hotel’s website is the same as the flow of the conversation with the potential guest who entered the hotel or called on the phone.
The best place for the chat is on the right bottom part of the display. The chat window has to be minimized so as not to bother the visitors, but also visible enough as an option. You can set the automatic opening of the chat window with your welcome note, such as:
‘Hello! Have you chosen your favorite destination yet? Can we help you?‘
With such message, you are informing the visitor that you have the chat option and signalize that he/she can ask you anything he/she wants. However, don’t show this message immediately, but set it to be shown after 30, or 45 or 60 seconds. In this way, you will inform only those who have shown a particular level of interest and haven’t ‘run away’ from the website.
This possibility is amazing, but it carries a great responsibility. If you can’t answer to the messages regularly, if a tourist on the other side of the chat waits more than 2 minutes for your reply, it is better not to introduce this extension, since you will do yourself more harm than good.
- the possibility of direct contact with the potential tourists
- providing the additional information and advice to the visitors of the website
- decreasing of telephone costs
- longer periods of time that a visitor spends on the website
- increasing in sales for at least 15% (bottom average limit in the present usage)
- collecting of the email addresses of the interested tourists ( you can ask them for it so as to start a chat)
Will The Users Know How to Use This Extension?
Chatting is already natural and habitual everyday activity for most of the people, even for the seniors.
This option is much simpler to everyone and more direct than the procedure of filling in the contact form and sending of the formal messages.
Of course, the visitors will use this option; however, ask yourself whether you can provide this service and make sure it is of great quality? Of course, you may use another chat possibilities: Viber and WhatsUp and regularly answer to the messages on your Facebook page.