When a potential guest phones a hotel, the reservations agent needs a collection of skills to ensure that the booking is confirmed, says Ally Dombey managing director of training provider IFH UK. Don't underestimate this critical role. Ensure that staff are fully trained to make the most of the opportunity.
● Communication You must be secure, confident and able to visually describe a property.
● Persuasiveness Present benefits positively handle customer objections.
● Competency Demonstrate knowledge of the product/market/competition be empowered to make decisions.
● Positive attitude Be friendly, polite and accurate.
A five-minute difference
That's the time it takes to make the average room reservation - and the time it takes to make the difference between your hotel and your competitor.
● Open the sale with a great visual description of the property.
● Gather the relevant information about dates and specific requirements.
● Tailor the hotel's key selling points to the requirements of the caller.
● Encourage the caller to purchase the room.
● Close the sale.
Open questions create the platform for trust, the first step to successfully closing the sale.
Provide alternatives that sell one option over another. Make the decision easier by positioning your premium products first.
Use phrases positively when presenting the hotel, such as:
● "The room you have chosen is extremely spacious."
● "We are the preferred hotel for conference guests."
● "Our restaurant is very popular with residents and locals."
Time the closing carefully, and present the guest options as your sales offer: "Which of these rooms shall I book for you?"
Remember, two extra rooms booked per day could mean an additional £70,000 per year on the bottom line.