While commitment to excellent service has long been a marketing claim of the hotel industry, many brands still rely on unsophisticated forms of online customer service. Usually, nothing more than a simple “Contact Us” page with phone numbers and addresses or an email form is provided for the user to initiate a connection.

Implementation of anything more advanced remains low. Only a quarter of brands in L2’s Digital IQ: US Luxury Hotels¬†allow users to request a call from a customer service agent, and just one in five brands offers an anchored live chat window. Of the brands that offer live chat, Banyan Tree is one of two that triggers live chat while a user has been inactive on the website.

Additionally, the international hotel brand tethers its live chat feature to the booking box, making customer service ever-present throughout each step of the booking process. On the other side of the booking box, the brand opens up the customer service conversation further by latching a customer feedback tool that asks customers to tag their response as “praise”, “dislike”, or “suggestion”.

Although live chat is an excellent way to minimize booking frustrations, Banyan Tree and other international brands should be mindful of their global audiences and ensure that agents are available at all hours. More often than not, the first step to a smooth booking experience begins and ends with customer service. Banyan Tree is one of the few brands putting customer service first to make its guests feel valued not only in their hotels, but on their websites.

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