As attractions and tour operators expand their digital footprint, one sales channel that still retains its relevance and impact is phone bookings.
While it might account for a smaller portion of total sales, this channel is crucial for many operators, particularly in serving customers who prefer personalized service or require complex bookings.
Today, we’ll navigate the world of phone bookings, examining its benefits, challenges, and how best to optimize this important channel.
Understanding Phone Bookings
Bookings over the phone involve customers making reservations or purchasing tickets over the phone. This channel often appeals to customers seeking immediate answers to queries, complex bookings that need assistance, or those who simply prefer the human touch over a digital transaction.
Pros and Cons of Phone Bookings
1. Personalized Service: Phone bookings offer a high level of personal interaction, which can help build strong customer relationships.
2. Complex Bookings: Phone bookings are ideal for handling more complex or customized bookings that online systems may not accommodate easily.
3. Trust Building: Some customers may feel more comfortable making bookings over the phone, especially if they’re apprehensive about online transactions.
1. Limited Availability: Unlike online channels, phone services may not be available 24/7.
2. Requires Manpower: Requires a well-trained staff, which can add to operational costs.
3. Slower Process: Booking over the phone takes longer to process compared to instant online transactions.
Why Use Phone Bookings?
Phone bookings serve a segment of customers who value personal interaction, need extra assistance, or prefer not to transact online. Catering to these customers can help enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.
How to Optimize Phone Bookings?
1. Staff Training: Ensure your team is equipped with excellent customer service skills and deep knowledge of your offerings.
2. Efficient Systems: Use CRM systems to manage bookings efficiently and keep track of customer preferences.
3. Clear Communication Channels: Make it easy for customers to find your contact information on your website, brochures, and other marketing materials.
Pro Tips and Action Items
1. Leverage Personal Interaction: Use the opportunity to upsell or cross-sell other offerings during the call.
2. Call Recordings: Consider recording calls for quality assurance and training purposes.
3. Offer Callback Service: If 24/7 phone service isn’t viable, offer a callback service where customers can leave a message, and you return their call.
Phone bookings offer a level of personal service that other channels may not. They represent a unique opportunity to connect with customers on a personal level, build trust, and potentially increase sales.
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