Once upon a time, Black Friday was one of the heaviest volume and reservation revenue days in our RezForce call centers. But the times are most definitely changing. The highest revenue day of the year for our call centers has officially shifted from Black Friday to Cyber Monday.
A record-breaking $1M+ in client revenue came through NAVIS RezForce on Cyber Monday 2016. (For many NAVIS clients, RezForce serves as overflow coverage so the results in our call center represented a flood of calls greater than what could be handled for most properties on-site.) RezForce fielded 42% more calls on Cyber Monday 2016 than on Cyber Monday 2015 and 58% more calls than on Black Friday 2016.
The point is that the phones were ringing all day, further evidence of shifting booking trends. Among them:
1. Traveler reliance on mobile devices is driving a higher volume of phone calls. Of online shoppers, 43% used mobile phones on Cyber Monday. While these mobile shoppers made purchases via a browser or an app, what isn’t being reported, yet, is the number who called from their phones to book. We know that for NAVIS clients who have added unique phone numbers to their mobile websites, call volume increases have led to revenue gains of as much as 147%.
2. NAVIS hotels and vacation rentals know that phone calls typically drive more revenue than digital bookings. On average, for every $1 earned on digital channels, $3 is generated on the voice channel. As a result, properties created online Cyber Monday promotions that would intentionally drive the inbound phone channel. It worked!
Approximately one-quarter of all calls on Cyber Monday resulted in a booking. A further benefit of the call volume increase is that the other three-quarters became hot leads that feed our clients’ outbound calling programs. These not booked leads are exceptionally profitable with proper follow-up.
While the Cyber Monday volume and revenue results are profound, there’s an even more significant takeaway: Failing to support the voice channel has revenue consequences that the digital avenue simply can’t make up for. Successful properties know they must take advantage of all available opportunities—on the big days and all those in between.