Your Reservations Department Can Help Your Sales Department Succeed
Hotel sales leads arrive from different channels, unexpectedly and often unintentionally disguised. A call to your reservations department that might sound like a simple request for information about one of your rooms may have dozens of room nights lurking beneath the surface.
A reservationist might hear this question during a call: “tell me about your rooms – do many of them have two queen beds”? This may be simple question from someone intending to share a room, or it might be a family reservation, but at this point the agent should be thinking, “is this a group lead?”
And if the next question is anything similar to “how many double queen rooms do you have?” or “could I get a special rate if I booked several of them?” the agent should immediately ensure that he or she has the person’s contact information before proceeding through the sales process. The call may turn out to be a simple reservation, or it may be a bona fide group lead, but importantly the agent will have captured contact information that might be worth tens of thousands of dollars for the sales department. This person may be calling several hotels, and the first real sales person to make contact with this caller will likely get the business.
If your reservations department is stretched too thin, answering call after call under pressure and with insufficient time to really listen and ask the right questions, critical sales lead information may be lost. Agents should have the time to listen for clues how certain calls might lead to group or meeting business. To alleviate the pressure that may compromise your team’s ability to listen carefully, overflow calls should be handled by a hospitality-oriented, commissioned hotel call center.
In this way, every reservations agent becomes an extension of the sales department – and you might consider offering a commission if such referrals lead to group revenue.