As OTAs Lose Market Share, Use 6 Simple, Essential Steps to Maximize Voice Revenue.
At the 2015 Boutique and Lifestyle Hotel Summit, panelists agreed that the OTAs shaped hotel profit-and-loss for the past few years, but that won’t necessarily be the case in the near future. Excellent opportunities will exist to connect directly with guests. If a hotel clearly understands who their ideal customer is and how to uniquely position itself in the local market, signs indicate that OTAs should play a diminished role going forward.
Add to this that last year an estimated 2.5 million hotel reservations were made nationwide through deceptive online booking websites, and you will see more and more clients booking directly with your property.
So, take advantage of this trend! Here are six essential steps to capture and maximize revenue when the phone rings.
1. Answer all calls within twenty seconds, and never let a call go to voice mail or languish on hold. Use a commissioned call center to back up your team, or consider letting a premium hotel call center answer all reservations calls.
2. Answer all calls with a consistent sales system such as those provided by the Kennedy Training Network or Aspire, and record calls to see how each agent follows the process.
3. Hire a firm to make test calls of your agents, and tie part of the agent compensation to these results.
4. Cultivate simple reports to analyze data week over week, month over month, and year over year – and meet regularly to review the data.
5. Implement a system for sending guest service requests directly to the right hotel department while the agent is on the phone.
6. Consider a call tracking system such as Track Pulse to allow a second chance to sell a room to those who said “no” on the first call.
Expense associated with these ideas will be more than offset by new top line revenue, and most importantly, the guest will now be your customer instead of belonging to an OTA.