It is no secret that our attention span has been drastically decreasing in the last 15 years, dropping from 12 seconds in 2000 to around 8 seconds today. You might have experienced yourself difficulties in focusing for a long time on one single task. In fact, serious scientific research indicates that we are now more easily distracted than goldfishes, which is somewhat worrisome, to say the least.
A huge chunk of the blame can be put on the digital revolution which introduced to the world an unhealthy number of distractions. Between social media, YouTube videos, online articles, and more, the average internet user is flooded with content and drawn to scrolling on websites over and over. This thirst for information and instant gratification took a serious toll on our ability to focus, and most businesses were quick to capitalize on the trend. In fact, you may have noticed that, in recent years, the internet turned into a battleground for brands to win your attention.
Pop-ups, clickbait, and shocking headlines are all tools which emerged from this new found attention economy. They are supposed to help catch your eye while you are lazily scrolling down your feed on social media or checking out a website. For example, if I really wanted you to read this article, I should probably have named it something along the lines of:
“Get 1000% + revenue FAST and FOR FREE with this one SIMPLE trick!”
Jokes aside, you get the point. Everyone is looking to convince you that their content is worthy of your time. Your attention is the ultimate prize for companies online and, as a result, it is constantly being drawn left and right.
But how can you take advantage of this change in customer behavior as a hotelier?
Win your guests’ attention
With the advent of the internet, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) took over the travel market. Before hotels could adapt to the digital transformation, Booking.com and Expedia, among others, were able to capitalize on their head start and reach a dominant position. As such, they are the ones currently leading the industry and getting the most attention from users (thanks in no small part to online advertising). Even though it is almost impossible to compete with OTAs on marketing, there is still a window for hoteliers to capture guests’ attention before they finalize the booking process.
During their decision-making process, more than half of guests will visit the website of hotels they are interested in, usually just to get a closer look and more information. This is the perfect time to use one of the tools we discussed earlier to grab your potential guest’s attention. Dynamic objects are particularly useful here; videos, pop-ups and/or moving widgets are more easily noticed. Once you engage the user, you can start to take them on a different path, your own customer journey.
Offer a quick and responsive customer journey
A major side effect of the loss in attention span is that people are less and less patient. For example, on the average web page, users will read at most 28% of the words written and leave, most of the time, in less than a minute. The customer journey on your website needs to be straight to the point and without any hassle or long waiting time. You need to take your guest by the hand and show him step by step where he is and where he is going.
One of the best things you can do to make sure you don’t lose your customer along the way is to interact with him. A combination of responsive tools, like inactivity pop up, chat box and/or satisfaction survey, can help maximize the chance you keep your guests involved in the booking process.
Give your guests what they want
Most importantly, you must give your customers a reason to go through with the booking. With customer loyalty plummeting almost as fast as our attention span, people are more and more likely to just go with the cheapest option available online. This is why, in order to stand out from travel intermediaries, your best bet is to give your customers a good enough price incentive. However, most OTAs enforce a legal clause, known rate parity, which states that hotels cannot display a better rate on its website than on an OTA. To bypass this contract, you either need to stop working with intermediaries, which is akin to signing your own death warrant, or propose a different booking process on your website.
A product of its time
When developing PrivateDeal, we had in mind this change in customer behavior induced by the digital revolution. As a reminder, PrivateDeal is a smart negotiation solution which appears as a widget on your hotel website and let guests submit their own price for a room. Upon receiving the offer, the system will, if necessary, automatically and instantly negotiates with the guest the best price for both parties.
PrivateDeal ticks all the boxes we discussed earlier. Thanks to its sliding, customizable pop-up, you capture your guest’ attention as soon as they arrive on the website. Use it with a good, eye-catching line like “BEST PRICE HERE” for maximum effectiveness!
From there on, the customer journey is a breeze. Your guests just select their date of stay and room before negotiating with the system. Along the way, they have access to a chat box to ask any question regarding the stay. The constant interaction with the customer ensures you keep him/her committed during the booking process.
Finally, PrivateDeal allows you to bypass the rate parity clause OTAs enforce. Because each sale you make through the system is private, the contract does not apply, which give you the freedom to offer your guests a better price in direct.
Interested in trying PrivateDeal today? You can get a one-month free trial using the promo code BLOG on https://www.privatedeal.com/#demo