Who are Exceptional Villas? 🏡
Exceptional Villas are a luxury travel company, renting more than 3000 high-end villas for short stays all over the world.
As their name suggests, their USP centres on creating one-of-a-kind holiday experiences for clients. Yet that starts well before the holiday, with a bespoke and personalised sales process. Something they are increasingly building into their website experience with Leadoo.
We sat down with General Manager at Exceptional Villas, Linda Browne, and her Conversion Experts at Leadoo, Ryan Havis and Sofia Dedyukhina, to examine how that shift is improving UX and site performance, and delivering notable ROI within the first year of being implemented.
The need for conversational tech 💬
Exceptional Villas sell knowledge and quality when planning high-end holidays. When you book a villa through them, you deal with a sales consultant who specialises in your chosen destination for example.
So for Linda, echoing that expertise and bespokeness onsite was a must. Conversational experiences are an effective way of doing this, but the tech needs to be right. As Linda recalls:
“I was approached by many conversational marketing companies and we never really found a suitable fit. A lot of them were just livechat options. But because our focus is on high-end luxury travel, I always knew our clients expect us to have really in-depth knowledge of our destinations, and create personalised experiences for them.”
“So we needed to partner with a company who could offer us that really customised solution. And give our onsite users the kind of personalised experience that our sales team do – even if they are just browsing.”
Exceptional Villas have been able to customise Leadoo’s conversational tech to create bots that let users do everything from working out their perfect destination, to checking availability of certain villas, to submitting enquiries on holidays they’ve already booked.”
Personalisation boosting the sales process 🌴
Linda and the team found that extending these personalised experiences onsite is not only improves UX and conversion rates, but also Exceptional Villas’ entire sales process:
“What we love about Leadoo is that it makes it easier for people to engage with us while they’re on the site. Previously we only had a contact us button which went to a static form to enquire about a villa. There was never an option to just ask a quick question while researching.”
“Also, when someone makes an enquiry through the Leadoo bots now, the backend logic directs them to the most relevant salesperson. So they know who they’ll be speaking to while still on the site. That salesperson is then with them for the rest of their journey with us.”
“So when our team reach out, they now know crucial things like the number of guests travelling, destination preferences and even ideal activities. All things that help them create better packages more quickly. And all things we just would not get via the old contact form.”
Delivering exceptional ROI 🤑
The results of making website browsing and enquiries more interactive have been profound. In the first 7 months of having Leadoo’s conversational bots onsite, they have been directly responsible for €209,000 in revenue from holiday bookings.
We know that because Conversion Journey insights maps lifetime journeys of individual site users. Which is important for Exceptional Villas because as Linda explains:
“As a luxury travel brand, the journey our customers go through is not just – ‘I’m going to come on the website and book that luxury property today.’ It’s quite a long and research-intense buying journey. On average it is about 2-3 weeks even if they have destinations in mind.”
Even with these intensive sales cycles, the €209,000 in directly attributable Leadoo bot bookings represents a 24x return on the investment into Leadoo over the first 7 months of being live. Even when factoring the marketing cost of Leadoo for an entire year, it represents a 15x return already.
For Onboarding Manager Ryan at Leadoo, the revenue payoff has been especially rewarding given the efforts that have gone into performance tracking:
“During onboarding with Linda and the team, we worked hard to make sure we could track not just leads, but actual revenue, from our bots. Exceptional Villas definitely wanted the conversational tech to bring in more leads, but with such high average order values, we had to ensure these leads were being tracked to their completion. And attributed with their real value and revenue.”
Leadoo syncing up with Salesforce 🔄
ROI can be tracked instantly because of Leadoo’s two-way integration with Salesforce – the CRM that Exceptional Villas use. As Linda explains:
“Every lead that Leadoo generates goes straight into Salesforce and is assigned to the most relevant or knowledgeable person about that specific destination or villa. So our integration via Leadoo has been extremely helpful from a business perspective.”
“Leadoo is also giving our sales team insights into the pages users are browsing – which is invaluable.
We have over 3000 villas available. So the choice is almost endless for people. But being able to see exactly which villas people have looked at before we have that initial consultation with our sales team allows us to deliver the bespoke holiday experiences our customers rightly expect.”
What’s next on the conversion front? 📊
Exceptional Villas are looking to arm their sales team with even more insights by trialling sales alerts. Which will alert salespeople when prospects that they own in the CRM system return to or visit certain pages on the website.
They are also looking to simply utilise more Leadoo bots. Below you can see a video of a relatively new visual bot in action. Being used right at the top of the marketing funnel – on a high traffic but relatively low intent blog.
As Linda explains, “the New York to the Caribbean blog has always gotten loads of traffic because it ranks so well in Google. But before Leadoo, we never once had a direct enquiry from it. On Sofia’s recommendation we added the visual bot to it, and in the short time since then, we’ve already generated 4 sales enquiries from it – which is potentially worth tens of thousands in new revenue for us.”
Introducing more bots like this that open conversion pathways early in the user’s research journey will be important to continuing to activate passive website traffic, increase conversion rates, and therefore, increase revenue for Exceptional Villas. Sofia, their Account Manager, looks forward by saying:
“Finding immediate ways to increase conversions and conversion rates – like moving away from the old contact form – is always priority #1 for us. But activating passive site traffic is also key in continuing to scale longer term conversion opportunities. So seeing early results from Visual bots on pages like on the Caribbean blog gives us ideas for new types of very interactive bots that can be used on a variety of high traffic pages.”
“What’s great about working with Linda and her team is that they are so open to these suggestions. They trust us as conversion experts and are happy to try new ideas to see how conversion rate and user experience can be continually optimised. We’re excited to see how we can keep making it easier for people to book these one-of-a-kind holidays!”