By Oyin Bamgbose, Vice President at Infinity (www.infinity.co/uk/)
With the festive period fast approaching, customers are researching the best spots for the family holiday, work socials and Christmas dinners. For those in the hospitality sector, the final quarter of the year is a time when there is so much more opportunity to deliver the best customer service, connecting and engaging with existing and new customers.
Therefore, excellent customer service lies at the heart of hospitality during the colder winter months. It’s what keeps customers coming back, encouraging them to recommend their favourite bar or restaurant to their friends. 88% of consumers in the UK celebrate Christmas meaning that an unpleasant experience over the season can cause damage to a venue’s reputation and loss of business.
In addition, more than a quarter (27%) of hospitality businesses are seeing bookings surge for Christmas already, higher than in previous years. Call intelligence tools can ease the stress of these mass bookings, as well as optimise advertising and streamline staff training – as bars, restaurants, and hotels will have access to the relevant data to positively affect the customer experience. Such tools integrate into booking systems, supplying businesses with a deeper insight into the nature of each call.
Boost the customer experience
A recent report found that one in five hospitality businesses are already seeing a surge in bookings for the Football World Cup. Also, three in ten are hiring more people to ensure they can cope with the uptake of customers. With so many new team members, it’s difficult to ensure all staff address customers in the same style and gather the right information over the phone.
Conversation Analytics can identify which destinations, rooms, menus, and promotions get discussed at scale. It also highlights how well staff are handling calls, helping to identify common friction points, such as taking pre-orders for large parties. Managerial teams can then come together to create a solution, guiding both new and old staff on how they can address such issues in the future.
Once installed, these analytics are also a great retrospective tool for the following year. Businesses can predetermine obstacles and iron out any problems before they surface. This means that customer service strategies can be revised and enhanced, helping businesses to gain a competitive advantage throughout the year.
Creating compelling Christmas advertisements
In today’s digital world, everything starts with a Google search. Potential customers will scour the internet for their dream winter holiday or the best spot for a Christmas dinner – but so much more can be gained and understood from a conversation with a call agent. The intelligence gained from these calls can reveal the reason a guest picked up the phone, even tracking the keywords Googled that led them to your website.
With the ongoing cost of living crisis, winter may present challenges for many in the hospitality industry. However, Christmas is a major season for both retail and hospitality. In 2021, PwC expected a total spend of £21 billion on presents and celebrations over the season. Competition is high, and every organisation wants to be the one that makes an individual’s festivities special. Innovative strategies to market Christmas menus and winter stays are key to capturing the customers’ attention.
Call intelligence can help with this by assigning call outcomes and revenues to marketing activity. Organisations are able to identify which campaigns, channels and keywords are pulling their weight and which aren’t. in addition, businesses can understand the thoughts and feelings of their callers. Teams then have the information needed to create incredible campaigns and optimise costs. The nature of call intelligence allows businesses to determine the true value of the campaign responsible for mass bookings.
Address customer queries quickly
More than half of Brits say being on hold is the biggest time waster. Customers become frustrated, sometimes causing them to call back later or look to book elsewhere. However, during such busy periods, it’s not easy to always have somebody on hand to answer the phone. Staff are often caught up welcoming guests – missed call reports are beneficial in situations like these.
By monitoring calls, organisations have access to the caller’s telephone number, time of the call and the pages on the company’s website they visited the missed call. Businesses then have the opportunity to ring the caller back whilst their interest is still hot.
Moreover, this is a great tool to help create rotas and manage staffing levels. Hospitality businesses have intel into which times of the time, month or year require more staff availability to answer the phone. This ensures that employees can provide the upmost customer service with ease.
Recognise your guests’ key values
Overall, call intelligence is key to truly understanding your customer base and providing them with a fantastic Christmas experience. Businesses can analyse phone calls to generate revenue and ensure sleek customer service. The hospitality industry can align its Christmas marketing tactics with customer values, making campaigns more compelling. Calls can then be met with helpful service, which heightens the customer experience.