Booking.com User Communications
Booking.com's post-booking communications provides information about check-in times, property directions, and other pertinent information, for the guests stay, as well as responses to customer questions and requests. Customers are also given access to a special QR code that grants access to special events, deals, and discounts. Their on-trip communications focus on property concerns or requests from guests to delivery of local information such as venues and restaurants. These communications can be delivered through external partners, individual providers, and through apps and tools provided by booking.com such as chat bots. Their post-booking and in-trip communications are summarized below.
Pre-Trip and Post Booking
- Unlike most digital companies, booking.com uses a mix of multi-channel marketing to keep key destinations in the minds of those booking in six months in advance, and social media platforms such as Facebook remain a great opportunity for targeted ads.
- Chat bots are used as booking agents and make the journey online and on-trip. In some instances, people wait until the last minute and depend upon recommendations of sites like booking.com to make some decisions such as their destinations.
- Booking.com is constantly measuring data and looking at what customers want from their site and their online behaviors to improve the customer experience by delivering personalized messaging, even after accommodations are booked.
- The business platform is designed specifically for travel organizers and individual travelers, and allows for quick access to accommodations that meet specific requirements, such as WiFi, and others that are important for business travelers.
- Once travelers have booked a stay, they receive an invitation email that grants them access to participating venues and attractions via their own unique QR code, which is automatically linked to their credit card. Booking Experiences is available in 43 languages and is live in over 60 international destinations across the world.
- Forty-seven percent of travelers enjoy new innovations such as keyless entry to booked accommodations. The BookingSuite App helps providers to deliver "seamless, technology-enabled travel experiences" from the property level after booking. The BookingSuite App offers services to manage booking to on-trip to post-trip interactions including property websites, price optimizations, guest reviews, online check-in, upsells and promotions, and in-stay services. This year the app will launch in other markets in Europe, Asia, Oceania and the Americas and is currently available for accommodation partners in Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK.
- BookingSuite also creates personalized websites for providers and handles communications after booking such as confirmation emails, however providers also use partner websites to handle bookings and communications.
- Booking.com provides tips for providers regarding pre-stay communications post-booking to include setting up automatic welcome messages on the extranet that share check-in times, property directions, and parking; reply to guest requests promptly; and create automatic replies for common questions and requests.
- The company uses a strategy to measure and test responses to determine the appropriate level of customer interaction and push notifications to maintain a balance of being helpful yet not annoying.
- Customers can interact with the site while on their way to their accommodations and while out and about looking at tourist attractions or landmarks, and they can order room service, make reservations, and concierge services to create more personalized experiences.
- Modern customers, but more specifically Millennials, use mobile technology at the moment and are more likely to travel without a plan, depending on their smartphones to deliver services in real time. Booking.com aims to engage with them in the moments they need them most, as 47% of global travelers desire technology to improve their travel experiences.
- Booking.com launched a Booking Experiences tool for customers to discover the best their booked destination has to offer by using AI technology to predict the intentions of individual travelers and create personalized experiences on demand. By entering a QR code on the app, they can gain instant access to participating venues and attractions. The Booking Experiences tool was launched in the U.S. in 2018, in collaboration with DJ Khaled to help users find the best experiences while enjoying hassle-free payment, priority queing at attractions, and exclusive deal and discounts all via cellphones.
Common Customer Questions
- The Booking Assistant and chat bot are built completely in-house to complement their already robust customer service support and gives the customer first-line support for questions about their upcoming bookings and common stay-related questions. These tools are used to answer frequently asked questions regarding payment, transportation and parking information, arrival and departure times, date changes, cancellation requests, extra bed requests, pet policies, WiFi and internet availability.
- The chat bot can respond to frequently asked questions automatically in less than five minutes, and the Booking Assistant app is available on the mobile app, the website, and through Facebook Messenger.
- Common questions for customer service include cancellations, payments, booking details, communications, room types, pricing, credit cards, property policies, extra facilities, and referral rewards. Some of these requests are better addressed by contacting the property provider directly.