The travel industry is moving towards an increasingly connected future in which platforms, personalisation and integrated technology play a central role. Palladium Hotel Group is, like other companies in this sector, facing the challenges of increasingly digital customers who research & buy for holidays and hotels primarily online. Digital technology is evolving with consumer adoption at an increasingly rapid pace. To understand where customers are heading brands need to pay attention to the early adopters.
Research by Google shows that an increasing amount of time is spent researching trips on mobile phones, with 40% of US travel site visits coming from mobile. Visit session times are shrinking and yet conversion rates have grown by nearly 10% on mobile travel sites. Customers are using their phones to search for specific pieces of information and these figures suggest that if they don’t find it they will quickly go elsewhere.
Palladium Hotel Group saw the opportunity to offer personalised service to their customers online and thus improve their online conversion rate. The main challenge in doing so was how to best optimize their limited call center resources in Mexico and Spain and ensure their agents attend highly-qualified sales leads first.
The hotel chain implemented Whisbi’s Conversational Sales Assistant solution, which allows them to connect their web visitors to their contact center agents in real-time. Palladium Hotel Group now uses conversations to classify & qualify web visitors before connecting them to their sales experts.
With the Hybrid model (bot + human) Whisbi helped Palladium Hotel Group transform their existing sales workflow into a conversation that classifies and converts web visitors into customers. The bot takes care of the simple routine classifying questions and allows the agents to only use their time with sales conversations, to create solutions for customers.
Whisbi’s Customer Success team worked with Palladium Hotel Group Call Center Director and his team even before the launch of the project to define the objectives and KPIs that will determine the success of this project.
Palladium Hotel Group was able to achieve these results, by taking some important steps recommended by the Whisbi team:
• Activation of the Whisbi AI voicemail detection → an easily configurable call center feature that positively impacts conversion performance. It uses automatic message detection (AMD) to skip voicemail calls before they reach an agent, increasing agent productivity by allowing them to concentrate on converting calls with real customers.
• Adjusting Whisbi’s own analytics platform, to create two separate call center environments (Mexico and Spain), which improved the accuracy of the reports for conversion rate and number of sales. We can also see the conversion rates for each of the agents, which is important to help them improve individually.
• Using sales calls recordings to analyze agent performance, find areas of improvement and apply it to continuous agent training sessions.
• Applying CTI integration in their call centers, which allowed Palladium Hotel Group to connect Whisbi leads to their own PBX to automate agent operations and increase productivity.
• One of the most important steps was to implement the powerful assistant chatbot to segment the traffic. Activating the Conversational Sales Convertor in order to segment online customers before connecting them to sales agents. What is more, the data captured by the Convertor is sent to the agent once a session starts, which creates a frictionless customer experience and saves agent’s time. The conversational segmentation of leads also helped the company to differentiate customer care calls and prioritize sales calls, while still providing the online customer with the support number in a separate conversational flow. The convertor also enabled Palladium Hotel Group to segment different leads (B2B, B2C) and even based on their selected destinations or hotels, and send them to the best sales agent for their choice.
“Whisbi supports our contact centers in creating a new way of converting web visitors into happy customers that book their holidays with us. At the same time Whisbi helped us qualify online leads and provide the best service for each user, based on their needs, all in real time.“
Implementing the Convertor helped the hotel group to:
• Decrease the number of support customers directed to the sales team by 10%
• Increase the number of potential buyers by 20%
All of the above played a vital role in ensuring Palladium Hotel Group achieved incredible success with Whisbi’s Conversational Sales solution:
• 8% increase in sales closed from contact centers globally for the hotel chain
• 25% increase in session requests through Conversational Sales Assistant
• 30% increase in conversion rate
Disruption is already evident in the travel and hospitality sector. Competition is high, forcing brands to reconsider their positioning. The power of online travel agents (OTA) has grown rapidly. As the sector matures Booking.com, Expedia and Trivago have emerged as the three major players, outstripping the performance of hotel brands’ websites. Even Google has entered the market with instant booking for hotels and OTAs look set to continue to eat into hotel revenues. 47% of OTA users surveyed said ‘ease of use’ was their reason for doing so. This indicates that online customer experience and how quickly brands can adapt to the changing customer needs will either make or break hospitality brands in the years to come.