A recent Phocuswright report titled, “On Again, Off Again: Why Online Travelers Book Offline” shows that the biggest reason that consumer book offline is due to wanting personal service:

Phocuswright - Reasons Why Consumers Book Lesure Travel Offline

Certainly the growing popularity of using social media in the sphere of customer service should help drop this number, but does this not also show the potential for putting live chat prominently on booking sites to try to keep clients from leaving the web and transferring their shopping to a more labor intensive call center? I would argue that the next two reasons would be smoothed via online chat as well in that a company could assure their shoppers that there aren’t better deals available by calling and that customer service is just as good online as it is offline. Certainly this all assumes that a companies customer service is at an even level across all channels. Having dealt with a variety of travel companies I know that this is definitely not the case. Perhaps the solution is to simply concentrate on and ensure the same quality of customer service no matter how a consumer reaches the company, thoughts?