This past June, HomeAway announced upcoming changes to their listing inquiries experience, which affect HomeAway’s listing inquiries when a guest has a question regarding a property they are interested in. With the release of Narrowcast Cloud, NAVIS is providing a solution that will enable property managers to nurture reservation demand through the HomeAway Listing platform.
And the value of the cloud-based solution expands beyond that as well—providing more control to back to the property manager.
Jeff Robertson, vice president of marketing with NAVIS, explains the significance of this release with Arrival.
Arrival: Please describe the significance of this release as it relates to improving the overall customer experience.
Robertson: NAVIS is well-known for serving clients with a variety of white-glove services because we understand serving guests is a 24/7 business. We invest heavily in supporting our innovative technology with comprehensive implementation services, knowledgeable on-going client advocacy, and live, 24/7, in-house, US-based technical support.
The launch of Narrowcast Cloud delivers several meaningful improvements to our clients’ overall experience. This significant update to our flagship reservation sales software cuts the number of technical installation steps by a third, streamlines reservation agent phone and email inquiry lead handling workflows, and modernizes the user interface.
The main beneficiaries of these changes are reservation agents and managers, and IT teams responsible for setting up and managing users. Improved reservation lead handling translates into higher performance for agent teams – both in terms of efficiency and revenue-production gains. IT departments will love the security enhancements, centralized user configuration changes, and remote-team enablement improvements.
Lastly, Narrowcast Cloud helps us create and release new features and functionality faster. We’ve completely re-engineered Narrowcast on a more modern technology platform to stay in front of the ever-increasing needs in our rapidly changing vacation rental industry.
Arrival: In the release, it cites that this product will help to “deliver an intuitive, client-configurable, single source of guest truth”—can you provide an example?
Robertson: For years, we’ve helped our clients match and unify multiple reservation inquiries from the same potential guest across contact methods, regardless of how many different properties, different listing channels, and/or # of times they reach out. We know this single source of guest truth helps agents respond more quickly, more knowledgeably, and more efficiently.
Narrowcast Cloud expands this functionality we call “One Lead” in two important ways. First, knowing most PMS systems create a new guest record with each booking, we’ve added logic to consolidate stays into a more accurate guest history that Narrowcast automatically compiles and presents to agents for each reservation inquiry they work.
Second, and perhaps more importantly given all the recent HomeAway listing changes, Narrowcast Cloud features matching logic that enables agent teams to better respond to and nurture listing site leads. This new matching logic empowers agents despite the lack of personal email addresses and phone numbers for future guests who inquire through a HomeAway listing site.
Narrowcast Cloud also enables advanced call handling that clients now configure through the product interface. These new tools help our clients respond more quickly to marketplace realities, seasonality fluctuations, and staffing levels and skillsets. Through the years, we’ve learned that property managers who optimize the path future guests experience during the vacation research and booking journey has a direct impact on the reservation team’s overall revenue production. Getting each reservation inquiry to the right agent at the right time pays off!
Arrival: In what ways will cloud-based technology continue to help vacation rental managers streamline their business?
Robertson: We keep a tight pulse on what is going on in the marketplace and think cloud-based technologies will facilitate greater expansion by property managers – both in-market and into new markets. We also think cloud technologies will accelerate consolidation.
Many of our clients are moving away from traditional call centers close to their accommodations and transitioning to a remote-agent workforce. This strategy allows them to recruit more qualified reservation sales professionals, and to retain high-performing agents who need to work from home or relocate.
While we’ve always been able to deploy Narrowcast for remote agents, Narrowcast Cloud makes it incredibly simple for IT teams to provision, manage, and configure remote agents. This improved flexibility is the direct result of technology based in the cloud.