Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What training does the Travel Outlook Premium Hotel Call Center team receive to learn about our hotel?

A. One of the unique qualities of the Travel Outlook hotel call center solution is that many of our reservation agents are located near our major hotel clients.  These local agents can visit your hotel while they complete full training on your property.

Travel Outlook engages the Kennedy Training Network (KTN) to create customized training workshops for our agents.  KTN training is customized for each of our clients based on market segment, property type, revenue strategies, company philosophies, and any unique operational needs.  KTN also monitors the results of our training with its innovative “mystery shop” calls.

KTN’s training for our team is highly interactive.  Our agents regularly engage in training games, team activities, role playing, and group exercises, and this provides our agents the training needed to succeed in today’s world of over-informed, multi-tasking callers with too many online booking choices.  Training themes are based on the premise that today’s callers have visited TripAdvisor or perhaps even read a social media posting on a friend’s Facebook wall, and before dialing they have also researched rates via Online Travel Agency (such as Expedia) sites. This training helps our agents to use a more conversational and less transactional sales style to engage the caller and to find the “story” behind the call.  Armed with this information, they can go beyond the “website search support” approach that too many of today’s hotel reservations agents take and instead, our agents learn to use descriptions that “allure and entice” instead of merely notifying and informing your clients of rates and availability.

Q. What security provisions have been taken to ensure that the Travel Outlook Premium Hotel Call Center connection to our PMS meets PCI compliance and maintains integrity for our guest information?

A. All connections from the Travel Outlook agents to your PMS (property management system) are made through a state-of-the-art proprietary 128-bit encrypted Cisco VPN (virtual private network), and each user and each remote connection is independently controlled by the Travel Outlook Systems Administrator.  Additionally, all logins and logouts are recorded and available on a per server level, and additional logging is also available through the built-in event log on the server.  Both the hardware and software has been certified by an accredited PCI-compliance Qualified Security Advisor (QSA).

Q. What steps are involved in a typical remote access installation?

A. Travel Outlook provides the encrypted VPN connection for our agents to a dedicated server, and this server will connect into a remote workstation, or bridge computer, at your hotel’s location.  Typically, the installation cost would be covered by Travel Outlook’s installation reimbursement guarantee.  Although the final design may vary for each hotel, the usual installation for remote access would include the following steps:

  • The purchase or re-tasking of a Windows laptop or desktop computer as a dedicated bridge computer for access to the hotel’s property management system network.
  • Assignment of a single public static IP address that is forwarded to the private IP address for the bridge computer.
  • Installation of terminal services emulation software (such as Elusiva Terminal Service Pro) to provide multiple concurrent seats on the bridge computer.

Q. What additional Best Practices are in place to ensure the safety and security of our guest information?

A. All Travel Outlook agents undergo a rigorous screening process prior to joining the Travel Outlook team of reservation specialists. This screening includes both criminal and financial background checks, and all our staff members sign a 51- point security policy agreement that spells out in detail the company’s as well as their individual responsibilities regarding your client information.

Q. How do I know that my internal marketing information and performance data is private and secure from my competitors?

A.  Travel Outlook will provide a unilateral Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) which protects all sensitive information regarding your hotel.  The NDA guarantees that any information Travel Outlook learns (either through its property management system connection or through verbal or written communication with your staff) will be held in confidence.   Travel Outlook has a long, successful history of working with multiple properties that operate in the same marketplace, and as an integral part of your business we take this responsibility seriously.

Q. Is the Travel Outlook Premium Hotel Call Center solution 100% private label for our guests?

A.  Absolutely.  We will create a custom commercial-on-hold and voicemail greeting for your hotel, and our agents will use your approved, branded greeting when answering your calls.  The call transfer process is direct into our management system with no tell-tale beeps or transfer noises.  If you have your own ACD (automated call distribution system), you can often direct your callers directly to Travel Outlook staff with the same number of phone keystrokes as you would to transfer the call to your own internal staff.

Q. As a client of Travel Outlook Premium Hotel Call Center, how do I know that my calls are being answered efficiently without long delays?

A. Each month, Travel Outlook  will deliver a call efficiency report which provides a day-by-day breakdown of how incoming calls were handled, detailing how many calls were sent to us, how long each call was in the queue before it was answered, and how long the client was on the phone with our agent.  Our wait and hold times rank among the lowest in the industry, with an average hold time of less than 30 seconds per call.  On average, 80% of calls are answered with no hold time at all.

Q. How does Travel Outlook stay updated with your hotel’s rates, availability, and policies?

A. Because of Travel Outlook’s direct connection into your property management system or online booking engine, our team always has real-time information about your hotel’s rates and availability, so as soon as new rates are loaded in your own PMS, the Travel Outlook team will have access to those rates.  There is no other system that you need to manage.  In addition, Travel Outlook creates a virtual dashboard for it agents for your hotel that contains your hotel’s most current information regarding policies and procedures, incoming group information, VIP lists, and other critical information.

Q. How does Travel Outlook manage our repeat guests and VIP clientele?

A. Real-time access to information is the key to our success here.  Since Travel Outlook Premium Hotel Call Center has seamless access to your rates and inventory, we are able to completely customize our services and take care of your repeat guests and VIPs in exactly the same way you would at the hotel.

Q. What if we have an issue or concern that we need addressed immediately?

A. Travel Outlook is a 24/7/365 reservation service. We have a Manager on Duty available at all times to assist with your concerns. Your team will also have the mobile numbers and email addresses for our regional and corporate management staff.