“Lift and shift” is a phrase we use to discuss the process of reviewing your marketing and sales channels. When the data points to a channel with untapped potential, you’ve got to lift it up; when that channel drives revenue growth or reduces costs, you shift resources toward it.
Lift is all about digging into channel performance and optimizing those that are underperforming or are too costly. Most hotels and vacation rentals will say right away that OTAs are eating up their profits and distribution has become too expensive, and yet accommodations increasingly allocate inventory to OTAs, who, in turn, gobble up more market share. Without evaluating more profitable channels for unrealized opportunities, the trend will only continue in this unfavorable direction, filling properties with an unsustainable mix of low-value business.
Where to Lift
Strangely enough, as mobile technology has become more widespread and our culture has moved toward text communication, we’ve seen an surge in consumer use of the voice channel. A June 2015 BIA/Kelsey report predicts that calls to businesses from smartphones will reach 162 billion by 2019.  This is more than double the 77 billion calls generated last year.
There are many reasons for the shift toward the voice channel, which we explore at greater length as part of our Lift and Shift white paper. They include: Siri and the emerging adoption of artificial intelligence, the mechanics of handling credit cards on mobile, and the fact that travelers are constantly on the move. Consider, for instance, that Google reports 60% of guests are calling before booking on an OTA, yet properties are failing to capture much of the business during these calls.
The trend toward voice reservations is good news for the hospitality industry—if it’s handled well. Why? Voice bookings bring in higher nightly rates and offer the opportunity for upselling. They can also drive personalized service and be less costly when you have the right technology and strategy in place. Win-win-win!
For NAVIS clients who have incorporated unique phone numbers specific to their mobile websites, call volume increases have led to revenue gains of as much as 147%. The bottom line is that if you don’t make it easy for guests to call you from their mobile phone, you’re missing out on substantial revenue. And if you don’t manage your offline channels in general, you won’t have a clear picture of overall demand and conversion.
Our new white paper explores specific tactics for properties to Lift and to Shift with the understanding that we have a cultural pendulum swinging back toward the voice channel. Discover actionable ideas and strategies for becoming more profitable in 2017 when you download your own free copy of Lift and Shift: How Accommodations Abandoned Voice and How to Get It Back.
 2016 Hotel Data Conference. STR & Hotels News Now. Sept 2016.