THE RULE OF THREE
Give Your Hotel an Edge Over an OTA
Sometimes it’s the little things that can secure a booking from a traveler. Read on to find out the simple “Rule of Three” that can help your hotel earn a booking from an OTA, your top competitor.
The relationship between hotels and OTAs has been frayed since the introduction of agencies like Expedia and Booking.com into the travel market. Although acting in a similar way to traditional agencies, OTAs looked to surpass hotels in their share of online bookings and have done so effectively over the last decade.
While many characterize the relationship between hotels and OTAs as “foes”, a recent Hospitality Net article, OTA’s vs Hotels, shares two critical insights; namely that half of all OTA users will visit the hotel’s official website before booking and, secondly, 85% of travelers say price is the most important factor in deciding where to book. As guests are still visiting your hotel’s site, the challenge is how best to secure a booking that might be lost to an OTA.
The solution? Make it easier for travelers to book direct. Hotels can still give themselves the edge over OTAs by employing this simple technique.
A clear and easy way of doing this is by placing the following words prominently on your website:
“Best Rate Guaranteed – Book Direct – Call Now”
Inserting these words provide a compelling reason to book directly with you. Moreover, it’s immediate and gives guests a specific reason to call you as you’re offering an enticing proposition. This “Rule of Three” promises customers the possibility of a better rate and also gives you an opportunity to develop a relationship with the traveler to create a more personalized booking experience.
Using this simple method to convert OTA bookings to direct bookings, makes the guest yours instead of belonging to an OTA. And overstepping the OTA commission fee isn’t all that bad either.
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John Smallwood, President
|About John Smallwood, President of Travel Outlook
A veteran in the hospitality industry, John has owned, developed, and managed hotels for many years. After earning a BBA from New Mexico State University, he started his career with AT&T, gaining invaluable insight and experience in the early years of the data revolution. His experience in technology and hospitality merged in his development of Travel Outlook, the world-class hospitality contact center. More recently, he has branched out with the creation of ExpressRez, the premier contact center for the Bed and Breakfast industry, and with the creation of Annette, the first AI-powered voice bot for the hotel industry.
||About Travel Outlook
Given its progressive approach to the voice channel – in terms of performance, training, transparency, testing and the tools used to measure performance – Travel Outlook Premium Hotel Call Center has become the premier voice reservations team in hospitality. Travel Outlook’s valued client list includes Viceroy Hotel Group, Outrigger, KSL Resorts, Proper Hospitality Group, Pacific Hospitality Group, Highgate Hotels, The Irvine Company, Catalina Island and many others. Travel Outlook’s team and approach increases sales conversion and helps to create more effective voice communication between hotels and their guests, resulting in improved social scores in addition to increased voice channel revenue. For more information, visit www.traveloutlook.com.
|About Annette™, The Virtual Hotel Agent™:
Annette is an AI powered virtual call center agent that represents the next generation of voice bots designed specifically for the Hospitality industry. Annette has been programmed using a breakthrough approach to voice bots, a system built from human conversations. Using social media, chat forums, and movie dialogue, Annette learns from billions of casual human conversations to understand human inflections and multi-turn queries. This revolutionary approach means Annette understands callers no matter what they say, when they say it, or how they speak. Annette can answer FAQs specific to your property, understand multiple languages, route calls, send follow up texts, and more.
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