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Research: Website Chat Increases Direct Bookings for Hotels

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We have been emphasizing how important it is to always be ready for hotel guests and to react immediately upon their inquiries. However, how do you do this?

Recently, academic researchers have proved that two-way communication and the use of website chat has significant positive effects on consumer behavior [1][2][3].


Translating to hotels: Website Chatincreases guest satisfaction and direct bookings.

1. Website Chat Increases Guest Satisfaction & WOM

Guest satisfaction has never been valued enough by hotels. But what is the most effective way to increase satisfaction? A research in Finland [1] reveals that: consumers are positively influenced if the e-retailer communicates interactively with them on the website. In particular, interactive Website Chat can help consumers build trust and satisfaction of the seller. If sellers interact more with consumers and provide more information to them through Website Chat, consumers will be more satisfied [2].

Satisfied guests are highly valuable. They can generate more and better online reviews and potentially lead to further sales. But WOM (word-of-mouth) is even more important. It was found that Website Chat has the greatest effect on urging consumers to share positive WOM, which is considered the ultimate marketing objective [1].

A success case of Bookboost has reconfirmed that Website Chat leads to satisfied guests and positive WOMs. By installing Bookboost’s Website Chat and using Proactive Direct Messaging to send messages to guests, Jorplace Beach Hostel successfully enhanced guest satisfaction and increased average review score by over 11% in just two months.

2. Website Chat Has the Magic to Drive Hotel Direct Bookings

For hotels, chatting on the website helps to gain more direct bookings. Another study shows that consumers who chat with sellers are more likely to make a purchase, and if sellers reply fast and frequently while providing the much-needed information on live chat, it can greatly increase consumer’s purchase and repurchase intention  [1][3].

We can confirm that guests love Website Chat. Our data shows that 52% of all Website Chat conversations are booking-related. More surprisingly, 97.5% of book-related conversations lead to successful direct bookings! This high-success-rate obviously proves that Website Chat has the magic to generate direct bookings.

Both scientific research and real cases tell us, Website Chat increases guest satisfaction and direct bookings. In the new era of hospitality, it’s never a question to take the technology or not, it’s only the question to take it fast or not.

Seize the opportunity, book a time with the Bookboost expert!

 

References

[1] Mero (Järvinen), J. (2018). The effects of two-way communication & chat service usage on consumer attitudes in the e-commerce retailing sector. Electron Markets. Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 205–217.

[2] Ballantine, P. W. (2005). Effects of interactivity and product information on consumer satisfaction in an online retail setting. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management. Vol. 33, No. 6, pp. 461–471.

[3] Lv, Z., Jin, Y. & Huang, J. (2018). How do sellers use live chat to influence consumer purchase decision in China? Electronic Commerce Research and Applications. Vol. 28, pp. 102-113.

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