View Effectively Promote Web Reservations
Effectively Promote Web Reservations
Now that you have the ability with Hudson’s HWEB Web Reservation system to book reservations more accurately and efficiently on the web, you now need to consider the different ways that you can promote your new reservation option. Remember that many of your customers are already appreciating the online booking ability that they been using when they book their air travel. These people are ready to book transportation with your company right now. They just need you to tell them that you now offer online reservations.
Adopt a Successful Web Promotion Philosophy
You can spend time coming up with your own unique marketing plan and tag line that you will use throughout the different elements of your web reservation promotional program, but consider adopting the simple method which is used with great success by most of the major airlines: "Our best fares are available online".
This simple, but extremely effective message can be used when you offer a greater discount to those booking online as well as in situations where, perhaps due to regulatory issues, you are not allowed to discount at all. You are simply assuring people, who are inclined to want to book online, that they would not get a better price if they had phoned your call center.
Of course, a promotion where you can actually offer a discount to those that book on the web, resulting in a lower fare than if they had phoned your call center, will result in more customers moving to the web faster. Your promotion of your new web reservation system has two major components: Off-line web promotion and Online web promotion.
Off-line Web Reservation Promotion
By off-line promotion we are talking about the different ways that you can promote your web reservation ability other than on the Internet. Now that you have the ability to effectively and efficiently take reservations on the web it makes economic sense to be promoting the the reservation method which is least costly to your company. This in addition to the fact that your customers already appreciate the convenience factors of booking their airline tickets online and will appreciate the ability to book your services online as well. Off-line promotion includes:
Most companies employ an automatic call director which answers all phone calls and directs them to the correct department. Your call director should be re-scripted so that it now includes information about your web reservation system, including the web address where your site is located. Here are a couple sample scripts:
Sample Script A
“Thank you for calling (your company name). We now offer online reservations for those who prefer the convenience of the booking on the web. You can now get a fare quote or make an online reservation simply by going to www dot your company’s url dot com. And remember that (your company name)‘s best fares are always available online. To speak to a reservation agent…”
Sample Script B
“Thank you for calling (your company name). We are pleased to announce the introduction of our new web reservation system. You can now book your (your company name) ride with the same convenience and security as you book your airline ticket online. Visit our web site at www dot your company url dot com and see how easy it is to get a fare quote and make a reservation. (Your company’s name)‘s best discounts are now available online at www dot your company url dot com. To speak to a reservation agent…”
Many companies, who have not felt the need to have an automatic call director in the past, have found that installing even a basic unit that promotes web reservations "up front" has contributed greatly to the migration of customers from the call center to the web.
A "hidden" benefit of placing a web reservation message at the front of the script on your call director is appreciated during those times when a wave of callers hits your call center creating longer waits for service. Currently your "abandons" are likely to go straight to a competitor, or make arrangements for other transportation options if their call is not taken in a timely manner. You now have the opportunity to turn your calls into web reservations.
Music On Hold
Include your web reservation promotion on your hold message for all of the same reasons that you place it on your call director.
On Your Vehicles
Your fleet is one of your greatest promotional assets. Include your web address and copy that indicates "Online Reservations" on all of your vehicles. Do not sell yourself short with in this area. A vehicle that promotes the company 800 number in eight-inch lettering will not appreciate a great result by promoting the web address in small two-inch letters. Promote your web reservations to the same degree, or bigger, than your call center phone number.
Don’t assume that because it is called the "phone book" that promotion of your web address and the fact that you have online web reservations is out of place in yellow page and other directory advertising.
Collateral Advertising Materials
Business cards, receipts, flyers & brochures should all feature your web address, a reference to online web reservations and your promotional tag line, "Our best fares are available online".
Online Web Reservation Promotion
Online promotion of your web site is a necessary and effective way to increase the number of web reservations that you book. You have the advantage of promoting your site to people who are using the Internet and are likely to be already familiar with the airlines’ web reservations systems. Online promotion includes:
Links to Your Web Site
Schools, especially universities and colleges that you serve, hotels, radio stations that you advertise on, your convention & visitor’s bureaus, the airports you do business at, your convention center and even your chamber of commerce have web sites where often a link to your site is there for the asking. So ask!
An added benefit of having other sites link to your site is that those links are acknowledged and play a roll in determining where your company will be placed in response to a search for your services. The more links to your site that you have the higher on the search returns you get placed.
Search Engines & Web Directories
Be wary of offers to submit your site "to 10,000 search engines for $29.95", as such offers usually don’t produce traffic. Consider Yahoo and Google advertising. Hudson web personnel can help you with this and/or refer you to a specialist.
Meta Tags, Key Words, and Directory/Search Engine Descriptors
Carefully script these important features in order to maximize search returns that identify your company. Hudson personnel can help you with this and/or refer you to a specialist.