How to Outsource Your Reservation Department without
Sacrificing the Personal Touch Your Guests Know and Love
As a hotelier and a business owner, it can be hard to let go of certain aspects of your business. After all, it’s hard enough to find hardworking employees who care about your business like it’s their own, let alone outsourced workers.
Outsourcing typically has a negative connotation surrounding it. When people think of outsourcing, they think of cookie-cutter call scripts, aloof call center agents, and long hold times accompanied by nauseating elevator music. As it turns out, there are ways to outsource your reservation department that free up your current employees to focus on guests and boost your sales as well.
After years of being on the fence and downright skeptical about the effectiveness of outsourcing a hotel’s reservation department, I’ve witnessed more and more hoteliers transition to a fully outsourced call center as their primary or overflow reservation department. Since then, I have discovered a plethora of benefits which I have detailed below in Selecting the Right Call Center:
How to Outsource Your Reservation Department without Sacrificing the Personal Touch Your Guests Know and Love.
Only trust trained professionals
Not all call centers are created equal. When searching for the right call center for your hotel, look for call centers whose agents are trained by the best in the industry—The Kennedy Training Network (KTN). KTN instills in its agents’ effective sales (and closing) techniques, which they use on every call.
The benefit to hoteliers? A properly trained call center will help improve your property’s sales conversion with a higher daily rate while increasing voice channel revenue and overall guest satisfaction.
Search for Five-Star Standards and Compliance
If you’re looking to outsource your reservation department, you will want to ensure you have more sources of information than the call center itself.
Premium hotel call centers are tested monthly by Forbes and the Kennedy Training Network. Third-party testing ensures every call answered is of the same professional quality.
Find a call center that will increase your occupancy
A properly trained call center will close up to 70% of qualified reservations calls to help keep your hotel full, even out of season. Trained call center agents take the time to get to know the inner workings of your hotel, so they can help sell your property using your best amenities and features.
A properly trained call center will increase your net operating income
A few years ago, it was widely accepted that bookings would continue to transition fully online. Then, something interesting happened, the online booking market became oversaturated. Now there are dozens of channels to book online, and nearly each of them features a different rate.
With third-party vendors often outranking properties on Google and other search engines, it’s difficult for customers to know if the rate their seeing is the best available, so more and more customers are picking up the phone and calling the properties themselves.
When customers call, be sure you have trained and helpful experts on the other end of the line ready to convert calls to revenue.
Find a call center that will add a personal touch to your voice channel, not take away from it.
Adding call center agents who go the extra mile to get to know your business adds a personal touch to your voice channel that will keep guests coming back to your properties.
According to John Smallwood, President of Travel Outlook, “In an increasingly digital world, it pays dividends to add a personal touch to your business. When that personal touch is coupled with the Kennedy Training Network knowledgebase, it turns calls into reservations at a high rate.” Additionally, adding a personal touch with a kind and well-informed voice on the other end of your reservation line will reflect positively on your brand and help mold your brand’s identity. After all, you only get one first impression.
Maintaining a proper voice channel through a trusted and reputable outsourced call center, like Travel Outlook, will help grow your daily rate, increase occupancy, and add to your net operating income. Additionally, properly trained call center agents will add a personal touch to your business when it matters most and build your brand around a reputation of professionalism and service.
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John Smallwood, President
About John Smallwood, President of Travel Outlook
A veteran in the hospitality industry, John has owned, developed, and managed hotels for many years. After earning a BBA from New Mexico State University, he started his career with AT&T, gaining invaluable insight and experience in the early years of the data revolution. His experience in technology and hospitality merged in his development of Travel Outlook, the world-class hospitality contact center. More recently, he has branched out with the creation of ExpressRez, the premier contact center for the Bed and Breakfast industry, and with the creation of Annette, the first AI-powered voice bot for the hotel industry.
Given its progressive approach to the voice channel – in terms of performance, training, transparency, testing and the tools used to measure performance – Travel Outlook Premium Hotel Call Center has become the premier voice reservations team in hospitality. Travel Outlook’s valued client list includes Viceroy Hotel Group, Outrigger, KSL Resorts, Proper Hospitality Group, Pacific Hospitality Group, Highgate Hotels, The Irvine Company, Catalina Island and many others. Travel Outlook’s team and approach increases sales conversion and helps to create more effective voice communication between hotels and their guests, resulting in improved social scores in addition to increased voice channel revenue. For more information, visit www.traveloutlook.com.
Annette is an AI powered virtual call center agent that represents the next generation of voice bots designed specifically for the Hospitality industry. Annette has been programmed using a breakthrough approach to voice bots, a system built from human conversations. Using social media, chat forums, and movie dialogue, Annette learns from billions of casual human conversations to understand human inflections and multi-turn queries. This revolutionary approach means Annette understands callers no matter what they say, when they say it, or how they speak. Annette can answer FAQs specific to your property, understand multiple languages, route calls, send follow up texts, and more.