How To Use Live Chat To Get More Bookings On Your Travel Website

January 28, 2020
Lucas Ennis (he/him)
4 min read

Your travel website is instrumental in selling your tours. You put a lot of effort into creating a great online experience for visitors, not to mention the time that goes into designing an eye-catching booking page. Everything is designed to drive sales conversions.

Even with a highly optimized site, not every person who lands on it will buy. There will be times when they want to ask something directly or need some sort of assistance before going ahead with a booking. In this case, live chat on websites can turn out to be your secret weapon that pushes through the sale.

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Stats On The Matter

When used correctly, live chat can win over new clients. Gone are the days when they had to wait for someone to answer an email or call. As is the time when customer service agents had calls backing up, with people on hold to speak to them.

You see, technology has upped our need for immediacy. 79% of people support live chat on websites for this reason; because they get answers quickly. And getting answers quickly means that they don’t have to go elsewhere to find what they are looking for – i.e to your competition.

Travel Booking Journey

There is a study showing that 63% of people who had chatted on a website were more likely to return to it. 38% in the same study said the chat session itself was the reason they went ahead with making a purchase. And according to this report, 44% of people indicated that a live person giving them answers while they make an online purchase is one of the key features a website can offer.

When it comes to support, Zendesk research suggests that with an 87% customer satisfaction rate,  it is a winner against other channels.

Zendesk also shows that the travel industry has a significantly higher workload of chat conversations per month. At a median of 92 chats compared to the global benchmark of 62 in a month, travel advisors are getting their money’s worth from the service.

There aren't any signs of the popularity of this slowing down either. LiveChat reports that year on year since 2016, its customers have been dealing with an increased number of chats, indicating that it is becoming a more popular communication channel.

Benefits Of Live Chat On Websites

Live Chat Conversation

Statistics are well and good, but what do they actually mean for your travel website?

Firstly, availability equals trust. Because chat is an instant channel, people know that they can expect a quicker response to their inquiries. As long as your travel advisor is online, it is hugely beneficial when it comes to edging a potential client towards a sale.

For example, they may want to know if your tour accommodation providers offer vegan meals. By responding quickly, you may have better momentum to move them towards making a booking decision.

The live chat feature also enables you to respond to several inquiries at once. Chat is typically short and quick to the point, so you can provide clients with concise answers to their questions, allowing you to deal with more than one at a time.

Reducing the amount of time you spend on converting a client also means you increase your business’s operational efficiency and margins in general.

Lastly, live chat on websites provides potential clients with a certain degree of anonymity in the stages before they are ready to hand over their contact details to you. Chat allows them to get answers to questions without having to divulge their personal information to get them.

How To Use Live Chat To Get More Travel Bookings

Build Customer Satisfaction With Live Chat

Provide Personalized Travel Suggestions

In the discovery phase, travelers may be open to hearing suggestions for their trip. With a strategically placed chatbox, you can set an automated suggestion to pop up on the page they are browsing. If they choose to engage in chat, you can personally talk them through the options in real-time.

Engage With Travelers At The Right Time

If you are monitoring your website analytics, you might have an idea as to where you are losing people along their journey to making a purchase. With this information, you can set a chat pop up at the point so that they know you are available to answer questions if necessary.

Guide Travelers Through The Booking Process

Build trust with your potential clients by guiding them through the selection and online booking process on your website. You can provide navigational information or prompts, offer additional information, and be available to answer questions.

Walking them through the process means they will have a seamless booking experience, adding to their overall satisfaction with your travel company.

Provide Navigational Instructions

Use It As A Learning Curve

There are always going to be ways to improve your travel offering or client experience. You may find after analyzing the chat conversations you have with visitors to your website that something is missing you hadn't noticed.

For example, if you keep getting asked a specific question about your tour, you know to write it into your tour description or FAQs. These sorts of insights can help you to improve the quality of your website.

Live Chat Best Practices

  • Ensure the travel advisor managing your live chat is a great typist, knows how to spell, and can communicate with clients in a friendly and efficient manner.
  • Set an automatic pop up to initiate the conversation – the person will be able to pick it up from there if they decide to.
  • When chatting, keep messages concise and to the point – the idea is to simplify the communication process.
  • If it is after hours and you are offline, leave a message to say when you will be back. This helps to manage expectations and prevent customers from getting irate at the lack of immediate response.

Live Chat Best Practices

Final Thoughts

As you can see, live chat can boost your ability to get more travel bookings. By being available to your clients in the moments they need advice or information, you can move them further along the path to making a purchase.

Should they go ahead and convert, you can pat yourself on the back for starting your relationship on a good note before they set foot on the trip they have booked.