Industry statistics mentioned in the media indicate that online credit card use in New Zealand as a percentage is said to be a little more half that of Australia.
Whether that is accurate or not is another cause for debate, however the fact is New Zealanders do use credit cards far less than our Australian counterparts. The question is what can be done to put consumers minds at ease and be more comfortable with using the internet?
Here are some thoughts and recommendations for promoting online booking.
- Online booking is not a new concept and is popular with the initiated due to instant confirmations, live updates on availability such as on last minute accommodation websites.
- When consumers provide credit card details online, they need to be as vigilant as if they were handing some cash on the street, thus make sure that the payment pages are secured with HTTPS, as opposed to the regular HTTP address.
- Customers should make sure the website has acceptable terms and conditions ( refund policies etc..), you don’t want to be left empty handed because of the small print.
- Make sure the website offering the discount is providing confirmation of your payment and reservation. Some services offer to “register your interest” and only when you have paid, will they check availability with the hotel or Motel.
- A good idea would to remind customers to take receipt of your online booking for check-in.
- If a third party website was used customers may want to call prior to confirm your booking and maybe also advise of check-in times, special needs or requests etc.
- Rates displayed on websites are generally for 2 people and further investigation may be needed to ascertain if additional people can be accommodated and if so what the charge will be, check for any inclusions or extras on offer too.
- Inclusions can prove to be of excellent value and include such offerings as free breakfast, a bottle of champagne or drink voucher or perhaps a free shuttle service – all these should be included on the booking confirmation.