Making Your Website Drive Traffic That Converts Into Bookings

By Pedro Colaco President & CEO, GuestCentric Systems | January 27, 2012

Website sales focus: the conduit to success

In the last article of this series we discussed tips for having success in online visibility and driving traffic to your site. The second indicator to ensure e-commerce success is making your website sales-oriented i.e. ensuring your website engages users and drives willingness to book. A sales-oriented website incents "good" visitors to book and filters out "bad" visitors.
The questions to ask about your website are:

  • Is the website design representative of your property and the experience you sell?
  • Is the website navigation easy and what the visitor expects in a hotel website? Do you keep visitors on your website or are you incenting them to navigate away from your property?
  • Is the website a "brochure" or is there an actionable sales/book/contact message?
  • Do you provide trust mechanisms to the visitor, e.g. do you embrace your TripAdvisor reviews?
  • How many visitors are looking for rates and availability?
  • Can you launch special offers without a 3rd party intervention? How can you react to demand changes?

Match site design to property experience

One of the most visible characteristics of your website is the design. This will be one of the more debated elements, and although an important one, it is not the decisive factor in a sales-oriented website. Hence, choose colors you like/dislike and a simple web design that matches the experience you convey at your property: charm, boutique, corporate designs are examples of styles you should choose from. Then, leave it up to the web designers; they are the professionals.

Website navigation and usability

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Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.