Hotel Web Site Forms That Work
By Tema Frank CEO, Frank Reactions | January 27, 2012
How much does it cost you to take a reservation by phone? How does that compare to the costs if your guest does the booking entirely online? If you consider the staff time involved in the first case, I'll bet that you save a lot of money by having your guests book themselves completely online. So it is in your interest to make that process as easy as possible.
Next question: How many people visit your site, explore it a bit, but don't end up booking a stay with you? Any idea why they don't? Obviously some of them will conclude that your hotel isn't right for them. But there's a good chance that a significant number of them are giving up because they found the process of booking online frustrating.
Often those frustrations don't hit until they are in the middle of filling out the needed forms to book their stay. What sorts of things upset them, and how can you prevent those irritants?
1. Let them know the total costs
The biggest complaint we hear about hotel bookings online is not being told total costs before entering credit card information. In a 2003 study of hotel websites, we found that only 57% of hotel bookers were confident that they knew what the total costs would be before starting to make their booking. They had to make a reservation as part of the website testing environment. In a non-test environment, most of the remaining 43% would be unwilling to continue and make the reservation. Think about it: How willing are you to buy something without knowing what it will cost you?
2. Make form fields flexible