Market Overview

Marchex Institute Study Finds Hotel and Cruise Industries Lose Significant Volume of Customers Due to Poor Call Handling

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Marchex (NASDAQ: MCHX),
a leading provider of call analytics that drive, measure, and convert
callers into customers, today released a series of reports that measure
the call-handling performance of hotel
and cruise
brands
. By analyzing 5.8 million calls to 13 hotel brands and 84,000
calls to four cruise lines, the Marchex Institute identified key call
handling challenges the industries are facing, resulting in lost sales
opportunities and negative customer experiences.

A set of key performance indicators were evaluated for each brand,
including unanswered calls, calls abandoned by customers due to
interactive voice response (IVR) or reaching a voicemail, calls
abandoned due to being put on hold, and calls abandoned when being
transferred to an agent. Key findings include:

  • Cruise lines experience a higher rate of failed calls with 24
    percent of inbound calls going unanswered or abandoned by customers.
    Hotel brands had a 14 percent failed call rate.
  • Both hotel and cruise brands lose the most callers when a human
    touchpoint isn't involved.
    More than 19 percent of failed calls to
    cruise lines and 5 percent of failed calls to hotels resulted from
    customers being trapped in an automated IVR menu loop or reaching the
    brand's voicemail.
  • A significant percent of failed calls simply go unanswered. Hotels
    left an average of 5 percent of calls unanswered compared to 2 percent
    of calls to cruise lines going unanswered.

"By 2020, it's projected that 169
billion
calls will be made to businesses from mobile devices. For
industries, such as travel, that rely heavily on inbound phone calls to
generate bookings – this is a critical channel to invest in," said Brian
Craig, VP of analytics marketing and product management at Marchex. "By
using call analytics to measure the quality of these calls and pin point
why calls fail, businesses can take the necessary steps to improve call
management, which ultimately leads to increased sales and customer
satisfaction."

Marchex also has recommendations to improve call handling in the travel
industry based on these findings:

  • Streamline the call routing process and eliminate unnecessary
    or duplicative steps. Small improvements like shortening voicemail
    greetings can also help encourage callers to leave a message instead
    of hanging up.
  • Reduce unanswered calls by staffing up during peak hours of
    operation and when your business receives the highest volume of calls.
  • Avoid placing callers on hold, or if necessary, keep hold times
    to a minimum, aiming for less
    than 90 seconds
    .

The Marchex Institute leveraged its proprietary Call DNA® technology to
analyze millions of anonymized calls that were placed to hotel and
cruise brands in the U.S. throughout 2017. Visit the Marchex
blog
to view the complete call-handling benchmark reports and
discover additional call intelligence insights.

About Marchex

Marchex understands that the best customers are those who call your
company - they convert faster, buy more, and churn less. Marchex
provides solutions that help companies drive more calls, understand what
happens on those calls, and convert more of those callers into
customers. Our actionable intelligence strengthens the connection
between companies and their customers, bridging the physical and digital
world, to help brands maximize their marketing investments and operating
efficiencies to acquire the best customers.

Please visit the Marchex blog or
@marchex on Twitter (Twitter.com/Marchex)) to learn more.

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