Irish hotels put ‘click to call’ option on websites

4 Apr 2007

Bewleys Hotel Group is the first Irish company to provide a free helpline specifically for their online customers to help with online booking queries or problems.

This service, provided by Rigney Dolphin, is called ButtonTel. When the customer runs into any problems while browsing the site, they can click on icon that enables them to talk to an assistant straight away and free of charge.

Graham Dwan, account manager of Rigney Dolphin, explained that it sits on the site and when it is activated it requests information from the view of the site, your name, telephone number, email address and so on.

Rigney’s server will then contact the business and tell an agent that the button has been activated and ask them to hold. Then the viewer who has activated the button will be contacted and both telephone calls will be patched together.

“This new service combines the power of the web with the persuasion of direct contact. It brings the store experience to the online environment,” he said.

Essentially the system is designed to reduce abandonment rates on sites. It is hoped this will in turn encourage increased sales. The company in question ascertains what pages have the highest abandonment rates and places the buttons on that page.

“Research has found that 66pc of online order forms are abandoned before being submitted. Some 91pc of customers prefer human contact when the price point gets too high or if it is an important decision,” said Celine Fitzgerald, CEO of Rigney Dolphin.

Bewleys is not the only hotel chain that is using this system; Killarney Court Hotel is also live, with many more businesses to follow, according to Dwan.

He said that financial institutes are implementing this ‘click to call’ service too.

“When customers are applying for credit cards online, the online forms are extremely long and the customer can tend towards not finishing them. When they press the direct call button they can talk to someone in the credit card department who can help them finish filling it out.”

Dwan said that one Irish bank will soon be availing of this service.

By Marie Boran