When you get couples to your venue for a show round, on your terms, you know you have a good chance of generating a wedding booking. You back yourself and your team’s ability to inject the ‘wow’ factor, showcasing the amazing facilities at the couple’s disposal.
You relish the opportunity to show your human side and all the exuberance and creativity in the discussions that follow about the ‘little touches’ that will come to personify their special day. Nothing is too much trouble and, because you’re professional, it’s all wrapped up in great customer service. All of which will come shining through at the all important show round.
But this show round’s never going to happen. Why?
Because the couple viewing your website right now aren’t finding what they need, they’re not getting the answers they want fast enough and, damn it, the contact form is hard to fill out on a smartphone, it takes ages, asks questions they don’t have the answers to, and goes into too much detail and anyway, what’s the point? It’s 7.55pm in the evening and all they really wanted was an easy personalised experience where they could check out date availability and numbers, what’s on offer and gauge your trustworthiness before East Enders started.
So, how can you improve this situation and what can you do differently?
You need to stand out against the competition and your website just blew it for you before you really got going. Here are some things to think about…
Start the conversation and engage with them online, or it’ll be a tick in the ‘no’ column on the spreadsheet.
Why? Because that’s where people find you. *88% of planning is done online, with nearly 50% carried out on a mobile. Sure, couples will get recommendations from friends and family, but if your website doesn’t cut the mustard, that could consign you to the ‘no’ column on their spreadsheet, before you even get close to the show round stage.
First impressions are everything. Couples booking a wedding venue are sensitive to how people respond to their initial enquiry. They want to see demonstrable professionalism, friendliness and efficiency when they’re researching venues. If you and your team can follow this offline, you’ll be in a strong position. But if couples don’t like your website, or find it hard work, or can’t get at the information they need, they’re not going to get past that initial hurdle. Worse still, if they phone you directly and someone is having a bad day, or they can’t get through, or they’re misdirected, or they’re cut off, then they’re going to be left underwhelmed. They’ll probably be researching out of hours too, in the evening or on weekends where they can cover more ground together.
All wedding venue websites pretty much look the same, so what can you do differently?
As hard as you’ve worked on your site to make it beautiful, the way you present your facilities and the happy looking couples are going to look similar to other sites, especially in a smartphone browser. What differentiates you? Answer: Your willingness to engage. What better way to show this than by offering a unique, pro-active and customised experience? EnquiryBot performs brilliantly on wedding sites, engaging with 1 in 3 people, increasing enquiries by at least 240% and capturing between 6-11% of visitor data, no matter what the quality of the website. It’s also customisable and looks great, offering superb online customer experiences.
Think about what’s changed. People have changed the way they communicate and websites haven’t kept up, they feel ploddingly slow in comparison.
WhatsApp, Messenger and Snapchat deliver the ability to communicate quickly and succinctly. They’ve trained people into engaging and interacting with ‘things’ that talk to them online. At the same time, video, images, gifs and emojis have taken over as familiar media, just look at the rise and rise of Instagram. People don’t have the time or inclination to read through ‘stuff’ to get at the information they need to make decisions. Chances are they’ll be browsing on their mobile, so spending time navigating to contact pages to fill in webforms in order to tell businesses what they want. So, given online customers want fast fixes. Why have websites been so slow to catch up and offer similarly fast-paced experiences? With EnquiryBot, people ‘tap’ at their options, they don’t have to fill anything out in long form or even ‘make’ an enquiry by committing to typing out a question. Even capturing details like email address, first name and mobile number is normally a ‘click’ given browsers store most of this information. They can be ‘through’ the process in 90 seconds, giving you all the information you need to follow up.
Handling multiple enquiries at once – why live chat just doesn’t cut it.
As one of our customers puts it ‘If a prospective enquirer goes onto live chat and we can’t answer their questions, it’s seen as bad because if that person is part of the our business, they should have the answers. If a visitor is using EnquiryBot, they understand the constraints but they’re compliant, meaning we get more of the information we need to follow up with them effectively.’ The other difference between automating chats and live chat, or even having to deal with people phoning the venue, is that multiple enquiries can be taken at once. The information and insight collected in this controlled way is fed to customer service or sales teams and helps them forge positive conversations with couples who are then more likely to book show arounds. It helps sales teams focus on high value enquiries that are pre-qualified. Conversion to first appointment is as high as 80%.
More chances to shine – Continuing the conversation, measuring and improving performance
Using EnquiryBot’s management and reporting system, you’ll be able to track every single enquiry and see where it’s at. Your team will have access to all the insight we collect with each enquiry, meaning when it comes to follow up, they’ll be very well prepared to address customer need directly. Over time, you’ll build a rich picture of customer journeys across your business. This can be used to improve your customer-centric decision making.
*Gowedding.com newlywed report 2020