It’s Really Not Acceptable to Miss a Single Reservations Call
For hotels to be successful in keeping OTA bookings to a reasonable level, they have to start with a few simple goals. Among these goals would be this basic concept: it’s really not acceptable to miss a single reservations call. We all know it’s not possible to answer every single reservations call, but your hotel can come close to this lofty goal with a little planning.
Reservations calls don’t arrive at the hotel at a steady, predictable pace – they come in waves and overwhelm even the best reservations teams. During these busy call times, calls may be put on hold, and when calls are answered, sales technique often suffers.
So, is it OK to miss a few calls during these busy times? Absolutely not – a call during a peak time is worth just as much as a call at any other time. The goal must be to answer as many incoming reservations calls as possible, and to answer them correctly.
“But it costs too much to do that!” cry the General Managers, who are responsible for the hotel’s overall financial performance. But it costs too much to miss reservations calls. The lower ADR when callers seek alternate, more expensive ways to book results in reduced net operating income.
The way to answer calls correctly and keep expenses in line is to answer most calls with the fixed expense associated with full time reservationists, and to align the spikes in call volume with the variable expense of a professional back up call center. In this way call volume mirrors the expense associated with answering them. If no overflow calls arrive, there is no added expense.
When as many calls are correctly answered as possible, the revenue increases two-fold, because more rooms will be booked at a higher rate by the reservations team rather than booked through an OTA.
Remember to start with this simple premise: it’s just not acceptable to miss any reservations calls. It will work wonders for your hotel’s revenues and net operating income.