14 Jan 2016
The Story of the Lost Lead
Over the last 15 years as an active member of the leisure travel market, we have seen hundreds, even thousands of our customers with a massive opportunity to increase sales. Through our experience working with multiple independent property owners, general managers and experts in sales and marketing, we have developed TRACK Pulse to address the opportunity of increasing sales for the independent lodging industry.
The Story of the Lost Lead demonstrates the path of the typical prospective guest, and how we at TRACK are helping our customers improve marketing efforts, enhance guest experience, convert more leads into bookings, and grow revenue. Before we get to The Story of the Lost Lead, we should cover some numbers to help put things into perspective.
The average leisure travel property has established marketing campaigns, a web presence resulting in a fair amount of traffic, and four to ten agents who take calls over a 15-hour period each day. The average property receives approximately 1,000 inbound reservation calls and emails per month. Further, most properties in the leisure travel market have a conversion rate of 20% on these inbound calls and emails. Not too bad, right? Two-hundred reservations in a month closed.
But wait, out of 1,000 leads, of which 200 closed, that leaves a pretty large gap of open leads. A gap of 800 highly motivated leads! 800 people who took the time to contact a property, just like yours! This is an area where the massive opportunity to increase sales can be addressed. We want to say this one more time, as this is big folks. 1,000 people called or emailed, 200 booked, but 800 people that inquired did not convert. Now we’ll share the story of the typical buyer’s process and where these 800 leads come from.
The Story of the Lost Lead
Jeannine is looking to book a long weekend for her and her husband to get away after a stressful month at work. Jeannine does her research and finds two properties that are perfect for this much deserved getaway. Excited to get the weekend booked, and to share the news with her husband, Jeannine gives each of the properties a call. What Jeannine does not know is that one of the two properties is using only a reservation system and the other is using TRACK Pulse.
Jeannine starts by calling the first property, Willow Lakes (made up name), and here is how the conversations goes:
“Thank you for calling Willow Lakes, this is Dave. How may I help you?” Dave, Willow Lakes’ top agent asks with a smile on his face.
“Hi Dave, I am looking to book 2 nights for the weekend of March 3rd. Do you have any of the Relaxation Packages available for those dates?” Jeannine asks with excitement.
“Excellent choice! Let me take a look.” Dave answers feeling good he is going to book a reservation while he checks the dates. “We do have that weekend available. Would you like to book that weekend?”
Jeannine responds with, “Awesome, I am going to talk this over with my husband first and I will check back.”
Feeling slightly deflated, Dave responds somberly. “Thank you for your interest in Willow Lakes. I hope we are able to earn your business.”
Dave and Jeannine hang up their phones. This is the process those 800 leads go through, a prospect calls or emails say they will call back, then never do (800 leads!).
Dave slumps at his desk, looks at the phone and hopes for another reservation call. Jeannine imagines herself at Willow Lakes sleeping in and getting some quality time with her husband. Before she shares the news with her husband, Jeannine calls Shire Landings (made up name) who happens to be a TRACK Pulse user. Here is how that call goes:
“Hello and thank you for calling Shire Landings, my name is Abby, who do I have the pleasure speaking with?” Abby asks politely.
“This is Jeannine Jones.”
“Hello Ms. Jones. How may I assist you today?” Abby inquires as she types the information into her TRACK Pulse disposition screen.
“Abby, I am looking to book the Getaway Package for March 3rd. Is that package available that weekend?” Jeannine asks.
“It certainly is, Ms. Jones. Would you like me to book this reservation for you?” Abby replies.
“Actually, I want to talk this over with my husband first. I will get back to you.” Jeannine states.
Now, this is where the magic happens and the lead is captured. Before hanging up the phone, Abby states, “I understand Ms. Jones. How about I send you some information on the Getaway Package and a quote for your stay. May I get your email?”
“Sure.” Jeannine replies and then provides Abby her email.
“Excellent, I will get that information for you and follow up in a few days to see if I can answer any questions.” Abby says with a smile.
“Awesome. Thank you for your help, Abby.”
“You’re welcome, Ms. Jones. You have a nice day.”
Three days later, in the midst of her busy week, Jeannine gets a call. It’s Abby following-up and in their conversation, Abby reminds Jeannine of her interest in the Getaway Package, closes the deal and books a reservation for Jeannine. Dave, never hears back from Jeannine.
This is how it goes. A prospective guest calls your reservation agents, receives some information, says they will call back, then they do not call back. This is one of the biggest opportunities for leisure properties to increase direct bookings, revenue, and most importantly the guest experience from their first contact with your property.
Now, there is a lot more to TRACK Pulse than just capturing a lead, but this is the most important starting point. Once the lead is captured, TRACK Pulse optimizes your sales and marketing efforts. Automizing data collection, prioritizing leads, and dramatically improving guest experience. If you want to find out how many leads you’re losing, how much revenue you are leaving on the table, and how TRACK Pulse can help you, contact us today for a demonstration.