Our Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Krishnan R V Iyer, was prompted by the data that shows a huge increase in the number of potential enquiries coming in at The Spring Hotel, Chennai. The Spring Hotel Chennai is well known for its informal and world-class ambience among its customers. To hear about the success story right out of the horse’s mouth Mr. Iyer decided to have a telephonic interview with Mr. Lyndon D’Silva, General Manager, to evaluate the performance of BounzD, a click to call cloud telephony solution, placed on their website.
According to Mr. D’Silva, The Spring Hotel has received about 250 calls through BounzD since November 2011. Apart from calls from domestic customers The Spring Hotel also got calls from people across the globe through BounzD for room bookings, which according to Mr. D’Silva is a positive sign. The GM also adds that the process of room bookings has become simplified for both the customers as well as the hotel staff due to direct interaction. BounzD also provides the hotel staff with a good opportunity to get connected with their prospective and old customers easily and get their issues or enquiries resolved in quick time. He also adds that the customer conversion rate has gone up considerably with the help of BounzD. With a 20% increase in visibility within such a short span Mr. D’Silva thinks that BounzD is going to be a necessity for everyone who do online business in the near future.
Here are some of the interesting excerpts of the telephonic conversation that happened between Mr. Iyer and Mr. D’Silva:
1. According to you what is the major problem solved by BounzD?
BounzD helped us increase visibility, credibility and reach by 15-20%.
2. What is the biggest challenge in online marketing?
The biggest challenge would be to increase visibility.
3. How has BounzD added value to your website visitor?
Typical Customer Satisfaction – BounzD solves the visitor’s pain in understanding services and facilities mentioned as information in website. By enabling a live communication, the visitor can to a talk and understand the facilities much better level by talking to a human representative. This increases credibility as well.
4. How do you manage complaints arising from your customers?
This is not a challenge. It happens in all industry segments. When it comes to hospitality, you should be able to manage complaints, as you cannot satisfy all your customers even if you follow the best practices. It’s a part of the game.
5. How did FB marketing help you?
Helps to engage customer’s online and helps spread out news about new facility/services.
6. What is your target market? Who are your customers?
Main targets are Domestic customers – But 15-20% of out total customers are businesses & foreigners.
7. What are your main modes of marketing?
Press Ads, as the hotel is a budget hotel.
8. What is your viewpoint on BounzD as a new generation customer acquisition tool?
BounzD helps spring hotel to acquire customers as well. BounzD can be effectively considered as a new generation customer acquisition tool with minimum customer acquisition costs.
9. Out of the calls you received through BounzD, what % of calls are new enquiries?
Almost, all calls we receive through BounzD are new potential enquiries.
10. What % of calls are anonymous?
The number of anonymous calls is very rare. Since the implementation of BounzD is very clear and the purpose of BounzD usage is defined as “For Room Bookings”, chances are really less to receive anonymous calls.
The tourism industry in India is on a rise like never seen before. There has been a noticeable increase in the number of foreigners coming to India this season. There are many places that have unique importance across the country. There are some places which are famous for religious reasons and there are some which are famous due to its past. And then there are places, which are famous for its natural scenario’s. What ever be the reason the number of foreigners coming over has gradually increased. Most of the foreign tourists usually plan their tour well in advance. That is the reason why they like to book their rooms and guides before they actually begin their travel. Mostly foreigners like to book their rooms online. They simply search for resorts in the places that they are planning to visit and try to get contact numbers of trustworthy resorts. But most of them fail to do so and hence have to opt for costly agents who will help them plan their travel and stay for a huge commission. This is the old traditional way of booking rooms and is a very costly affair for both the individual as well as the hotel as both have to pay a commission to the concerned agent.
Uday Samudra Leisure Beach Hotel situated in Kovalam has started a new trend of sort. They have got BounzD installed in their website to make it easier for their customers to book rooms. The process of booking a room is simple with BounzD as you just have to click on the widget and you will get instantly connected to the front desk of the hotel and you can get your room booked. All this for free. Yes, the customer does not have to pay even a single penny irrespective of the place he/she is calling from. This may be the main reason why there has been a sudden increase in the incoming online enquiries. The first twenty days saw more than 60 incoming calls and the number has grown ever since. The Hotel authorities have said that the number of enquiries have increased hugely after the installation of BounzD. The authorities also add that the per customer acquisition cost has also come down considerably with BounzD.
Great India Tour Company (GITC) a tour operating company has also used BounzD on their website to improve on their online sales. According to the company officials BounzD has provided them with a chance to interact with their prospective customers and help them choose the right packages quickly. This, they say, is the main reason for the sudden increase in the number of online enquiries coming their way. Customers find it easier to talk to a customer service team member and get a package rather than surfing through different pages. And all this for free means people do not even have to think twice before clicking. The company officials add that the number of customers have gone up by more than 50% since the introduction of BounzD.
Peter Andersson from Sweden who used BounzD to book a room at Uday Samudra Hotel had to say the following regarding BounzD: “The procedure to book the room was very simple with BounzD. The result was also instant. It saved me a lot of time and effort and I guess BounzD is going to be a necessity for all hotels in the near future.”
This is what Akhlish Labroo, a Kashmiri citizen who used BounzD to book a tour of Southern India with GITC, had to say about BounzD: “When I decided to go on a South India tour with my family I was clueless about where to start looking. But then a friend told me about GITC and BounzD. I instantly logged on their site and spoke to the person in charge using BounzD and before I knew it I was in South India. It was a very pleasant experience with the process being quite fast and simple.”
Artech Realtors is one of the leading players in the real estate field in and around Trivandrum with a huge number of projects (completed and upcoming) under their belt. They happen to be an esteemed customer of our cloud telephony service BounzD. Our COO had met with the GM of Artech Realtors to get a feedback of how Artech Realtors used BounzD as a lead generation tool to improve their business. He had a lot of good things to say about BounzD and how BounzD has helped his company to crush the competition in our short span of association.
According to him, the real estate scenario in Kerala is at an all time high. So is the competition. With the rise in competition, it has become very difficult to stay ahead of the competition according to him. He also adds that within a limited period BounzD has helped Artech Realtors become one of the leading players in the real estate industry in the city. He also says that BounzD has helped his company win over the confidence of the customer easily as he can get in touch with the customer care at any required time and get his/her problem solved instantly.
Artech Realtors mostly use the print media like newspapers and magazines for advertisement and promotion of their company. Before getting associated with BounzD telephonic enquiries formed the major part of the enquiries. According to him the number of enquiries coming through the website have increased by leaps and bounds after the lead generation tool, BounzD, was placed on their website.
He says with BounzD the sales process has become quite simpler. He says it has become quite possible to close out a sale in a single call with the help of the cloud telephony service BounzD. Even the number of enquiries coming in from NRI customers is also on a rise after the installation of BounzD. More than 30% of the enquiries coming in through BounzD is said to be from NRI customers according to the GM of Artech Realtors.
Artech builders, according to the GM, mainly use BounzD as a lead generating tool on their website. It also is useful to answer the customer enquiries and issues. Also at Artech Realtors BounzD is used as a tool for communication between the various offices situated in different parts of the world. He also adds that since installing BounzD, the ROI has been accurately calculated to be about a staggering 304%. As a signing note he adds that BounzD is the most inexpensive customer service tool that he has ever come across and has helped Artech Realtors to be among the leading players in the real estate field in and around Trivandrum.
Today people depend on Internet for everything they do. People do not have the time to meet up with their friends and relatives. Hence they use e-mails and networking sites to be in touch with them. They also use Google to search for things that they do not know. Since Internet has become popular people have become over dependent on the same. That brings us to the topic of discussion. Seeing the large opportunity that Internet provides, many companies have come up with e-commerce sites to sell their products online to the customers.
This is advantageous to both the customer as well as the company. The customer does not have to travel to the showroom, which may be quite far to get the product. He/she can simply get the same by sitting at home with a help of a couple of clicks. For the company this means increased revenue and also they do not have to hire any sales person to sell their product. With the increase in the popularity of Internet there have been a sudden increase in the number of e-commerce sites.
Since the stage is very vast, more and more companies are entering the field increasing the level of competition. Apart from the e-commerce sites there are many companies that have started to sell products from their official websites. The companies have understood the huge market available online. They know they can improve their sales by a huge margin by selling online.
Now if you are a seller, selling online is the best way to improve the sales and earn a healthy profit in 2012. This way you will be able to market and sell your product beyond boundaries, which means a huge increase the number of targeted customers. There are various things one can do to make sure that you stay far ahead of your customers. If you are not very familiar with Internet and things related to Internet, then it would be better to hire someone who can help in that area. 2012 provide a huge opportunity for people to reach out to far more people through online selling. Hence it would be better to get started before your competitors do to get a better hold.
It has become a trend of sorts to use the Internet for everything that one does these days. The social networking sites such as Facebook and twitter have made it easier for people to keep in touch with their near and dear ones without having to meet them in person. Same way the e-commerce sites such as amazon and eBay have changed the way people shop. Though the e-commerce industry has undergone a lot of changes since it started in 1994 the basic principle has remained the same. There has been a sudden increase in the demand for e-commerce sites since the Internet became a rage across the world.
Like in other businesses when the e-commerce industry started booming, many new players entered the field tightening the competition. With the competition getting tighter some e-commerce websites started offering various discounts and offers to stay above the others. Though most of them were genuine there were some who tried to fool the customers by charging very high shipping charges to balance the discounts offered. Most of the times such sites would not have the customers coming back which in turn means after a specific period such sites would simply run out of customers. This shows that one cannot opt for such tricks to reach the top.
To reach the top position one will have to put in a lot of hard work. The first thing that one needs to pay attention to is that one must have a very user friendly website. There are a lot of things that an e-commerce website must have to make it a very user friendly website. Some of them are listed below:
1) It must have a proper grouping of products so that a customer can compare two products before deciding on which one to buy.
2) The site must have a simple and elegant look. Customers wont like to surf through a very complicated site.
3) There must be a search engine in the website so that the customer can find the product that they are looking for without any time delay.
4) Also there must be a ready to help customer service team available 24 x 7 to help the customer resolve their issues.
5) Also try to make the registration process as short and simple as possible. This will make the customer come back to shop again and again.
6) A proper customer feedback page must be maintained. A new customer would always look for the feedback page before he/she starts with the shopping process.
7) Also if your site is offering some special deals or discounts try to highlight it so that the customers would get instantly attracted to it.
Here are some of the latest trends to help an e-commerce site to stay above the other competitors:
1) A simple inbound business calling solution, like BounzD, can help your customers interact with your customer service team at that instant itself and get the problem resolved. This can help reduce the cart abandonment rates as well as increase the revenue by increasing the total sales.
2) Another latest addition to the list is the Live Link Video. It is an interactive video from which your customers can directly make purchase by clicking on the item that they require from the video. This would make the shopping far more simpler and less time consuming.
3) If you are able to feature your site and product rates on product comparison sites such as pronto, it can help in increasing the visibility of your site. Competitive pricing would mean an increase in sales by a huge margin.
4) If you are able to provide a feeling of security for the customers that would help in reducing the cart abandonment rate by a huge amount. A VeriSign logo on your website would make the customers feel more at home and also they would even refer your site to their friends and family.
5) A proper helpdesk will help you and customer have a healthy relationship during the process of shopping. Zendesk can help you get your helpdesk in order and move you above your competitors.
6) Most of the times the main reason for people leaving a shopping process incomplete are the lack of proper guidance. That is where you can be different from the other e-commerce sites by having a live chat widget like zopim installed on your site.
7) Another simple and attractive way to attract new customers to your e-commerce site is to upload videos of products on your site. You can create videos with the help of screenr and can upload them on your site.
These are some of the latest trends being followed by the e-commerce websites these days to help stay at the top of the competition.
A considerable percentage of potential customers who want to contact the business through the website is not motivated enough to take the phone and dial a number, much less take the e-mail route.
APRIL 14, 2011:
A freshly-incubated company based in Technopark here has come up with a product for online sales that offers to link up the web with the world in real-time.
The product is intended to motivate surfers on the Net to ‘own up and be counted’ and be available for transacting business. (more…)