Hospitality Is Changing – Booking Trends You Need To Know About

Welcome to Boostly Podcast Episode 509. In this podcast episode I will be explaining how hospitality is changing it's booking trends and what you need to know about it

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Timestamps (audio)

00:00 Intro
00:56 Instant booking is now the norm
02:28 A new trend is emerging
04:24 You've got the advantage
06:31 Just make sure your phone number and landline is visible
08:17 Make sure you act now
08:55 Outro

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Transcript from the Episode

[00:00:00] Mark: Welcome back to the Boostly Podcast, the podcast that gives you the host, the tools, the tactics, the training, but most importantly, the confidence to increase your direct bookings and cut down on that over alliance on the OTA's. And I wanted to record this special little episode today because there is a, an emerging trend that is coming back in the guest booking process.

[00:00:20] And if you don't know what the guest booking process. Is, please do go check out the Boostly back catalog. Just type in Boostly guess booking process. I've laid out all of the steps from one to five from where they're just trying to discover where they want to go on their stay to buyer's remorse after they've actually made the booking with you.

[00:00:40] There's something that is definitely happening, and this has been reported by a lot of people in the Boostly community. It's something that we are noticing more and more on our Boostly websites, and I wanted to let you know so you can get prepared and you can put this into action now. If anybody has heard my videos or watched my videos about the guest [00:01:00] booking process, and if anybody has paid any attention to what Airbnb booking.com and Expedia have done to the hospitality and short term rentals industry over the last 20 years is that instant book has now become the norm.

[00:01:14] If you're in the industry 10 years ago, 15 years ago, 20 years ago, you'll know that it was different. Um, there was a point in time where if you were listed online on a listing site, et cetera, the only way that the guest could make a book in is if they filled in an inquiry form. and what the OTAs have done, booking.com and Airbnb and the Expedia group is that they have sped up instant book.

[00:01:38] So as the old saying goes, money loves speed and it hates friction. And all booking.com did all Expedia did. All the Airbnb did is they took the Amazon model. One click make a payment, and then you're gonna get your parcel in the post. What instant book means is that you can A, start a [00:02:00] search, B, find a property, C, make a booking, things are done, taken care of, and then you can go on your staycation workcation, whatever occasion it is going to be.

[00:02:09] And this has been where everybody has been moving towards. In fact, now if you go to many of the listing sites that aren't the top OTAs, they've now brought in instant book in some way, shape, or form, which is another thing that we've been working towards with Boostly websites over the course of the last, say, three to four years, However, There looks like there is a, a new trend emerging, and anybody right now who's watching this, who is a host or is part of a management company, you'll start to resonate more with us, is coming out the last for a couple of years.

[00:02:39] The guest now, and this is not a hundred percent of the time, but it's definitely becoming a thing. The guest wants to ask questions. They want to ask questions, and I'm really looking forward to seeing the next skiff survey or the big trouble survey that that comes out is that they want to ask the questions before they're clicking the book.

[00:02:57] Now Boosty websites where, you know, the technology we've [00:03:00] created, we've been able to create a system that they can start on the website and they can finish making a payment on the website. All great. But what we're noticing, even when somebody is getting to the booking page, where they're about to type in their credit card details, they still have got a question to ask whether they are cherishing the money to make sure it's gonna be spent in the right place.

[00:03:21] Or whether they just want to simply ask a couple of questions. There was a survey a couple of years ago, some along the lines of 65 or 66% of people of booking a stay said that during the booking process, if they had a question to ask, they would like a phone number or a live chat box to be able to do so.

[00:03:39] And I, you know, I've, I've got a very strong feeling that that number may be increased by now because it's happening more and more. When it comes to bookings, when it comes to your website, what advantage can you hold over Airbnb and booking.com? Because if it gets to the booking section, say somebody is on your Airbnb listing right now [00:04:00] and somebody has found your property, they, they've come to your area, they've found your property, they like the list look of your property, whether it's an apartment or a house or whatever it may be, and they're going down to filling in the date.

[00:04:12] Say they've got a question, there's no live chat, They can't speak to Airbnb customer support. There's no way for them to, to ask you without filling in that, uh, inquiry message box. So you've actually got an advantage if you make that adjustment to your booking process now, and the simplest, most easiest way to do so, lemme just share my screen, is one of these little things, which is a live chat box.

[00:04:36] So if I just move my face out the way, So this is one that we've just recently done. Again, all Boostly websites. Now, whether you go for a, a DIY option or if you have a one of our done for you API options are, they're all gonna come now with live chat capability. Now, the, the problem with live chat and the mindset that people go into is that they need to, [00:05:00] um, think that.

[00:05:01] They're going to have to have to bring in and introduce all of these new features into their, into their cell. Well, that's not the case. This is a real, uh, easy plugin that once activated will send people through to your WhatsApp number, your WhatsApp device that you're already using. And this is just one of the many options.

[00:05:22] I mean, if you go to something a little bit more fancy, So this is Luke Stays, this is another, uh, Boosty website. They, they are using. Zendesk. So this is a fancy tool. So those of you that using Zendesk, you know that it's got a lot more automated features in X, Y, Z. For those of you that don't want to have a very complicated option, this just sends somebody straight in to a WhatsApp chat where you can communicate or you can change a number.

[00:05:47] So where it's a member of your team. Again, if I show another, um, Boosty client, uh, Rafa at Night and Rain, as you can see here. As we, as we scroll down, there's gonna be a [00:06:00] WhatsApp logo pop up here, and of course it doesn't pop up now, but , it will pop up here and basically you'll be able to start a WhatsApp chat from there.

[00:06:08] But that goes through to a member of his team that doesn't go straight to, to his mobile number. So whether you want it to be yourself or a member of your team, then you can do my one piece of advice. If you go with the, the Fancy Zen Desk or the Torque, which is T W A Q, um, then you can do that. If you want a simplistic version, how somebody just come through to your WhatsApp so they can send a message.

[00:06:30] Worst comes to worst. Just make sure that your phone number, landline whatever is visible on the site so they know that they can book you if they have a question. When it comes to the actual section, it's, it's like, now, and this is crazy, I was thinking about this the other day, how, how to best explain this on, on the podcast.

[00:06:46] It's like we're, we're back to having to become like personalized travel agents. People are wanting to ask questions as in, you know, not only the standard questions. You know, what else can we do when we come? What else can we do? Can you arrange transport X, [00:07:00] Y, or Z? So it's like you're becoming your, your personalized travel agent and building out a customized guest itinerary for your guests.

[00:07:07] And obviously there's, there's loads of ways and route that we can go down, but the most important thing is just make sure that it is so clear at how somebody can contact you and ask a quick question. Doesn't matter what part of the booking process that they're at, whether it's a phone number, link through to live chat.

[00:07:22] There's loads of different ways that we, we can do this, but this is the most important thing, is to make sure that it is visible and clear how somebody can contact you if they want to make a booking with you, and the most important spot and place to have that is on your website. And if your website doesn't give you the ability to do so, you need to make a change as soon as possible.

[00:07:42] If you wanna have a chat with us about this, then head to Boostly.co.uk/website. Fill in the form, we'll be in touch. We'll set up a. If your website has that power, but you don't know how to do it, then I encourage you to get in contact with your website designer, uh, as soon as possible, or if you're doing it all yourself [00:08:00] again, if you, you need help and advice, jump into the Boostly community and we'll be able to show you how.

[00:08:04] Okay. This is really important, um, whether, whether you're watching this now in 2022 or you're watching this in 2023, this is something that is not going away. This is definitely something that is going to be, uh, a, a, a big demand moving forward. So make sure you act now. Those of you that act sooner rather than later.

[00:08:21] Fantastic. You know, June, 2022, if you are listening to this and you've done this already, brilliant, well done. You're ahead of the trend. For those who haven't yet done it, make sure you do whatever you do. Whatever advice is, don't sleep on this. Don't wait, take action now. Put it into your practice. Because at the end of the day, money, love speed.

[00:08:39] It hates friction. And if as a guest who is on your booking page, who is ready to hand over the credit card deals, but has got a question to ask, but we don't know where to. They're gonna leave your website and as soon as they bounce and leave your website, they never come back. So always bear that in mind.

[00:08:55] As always, my name is Mark Simpson, the founder of Boostly, the author of the book Direct [00:09:00] Playbook. It is over here. If you haven't yet picked up a copy, please do go so and do so. Boostly.co.uk/book. Thank you so much for tuning in. Thank you so much for part of being as a community. All I ask is a massive favor for all this content as we're coming up to 500 free episodes is if you could share this video, share it in a Facebook group that's a with a host community around.

[00:09:20] Give this video a thumbs up. If you're watching on YouTube video, leave a comment below with what tools you are using and let's share the advice. Let's spread it around the community. And at the end of the day, all that I want to do is I wanna make sure that hosts can cut down on our over overlap on the OTAs can increase their direct bookings and that way.

[00:09:39] We can reeducate not only of a host, but we can help reeducate the guests. This is all part of it. Thank you so much for being part of the process and I'll be back very soon with another Boostly podcast episode. Thank you. Having a blast. Gonna get it on the Bruce Lee podcast. Bruce Lee led Bruce Lee cuz it's so hard on the tees loose leaf, making up those rhymes.

[00:09:59] Don't write [00:10:00] it, just do it loosely.

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