The customer service and booking department of a hotel is one of the most important facets of the organisation. If your customer service team isn’t up to scratch in dealing with potential customers in booking in future reservations and answering any questions that a guest may have about their upcoming stay, it could lose your hotel vital profits. Training your hotel reservation team in customer service standards can go a long way to increasing efficiencies, improving client retention and making your brand a welcoming one.
There are a few techniques that your customer service staff can work on to improve the reservation process.
Understand the Customers Search
In the modern age we are all bombarded with price comparison sites and many different ways in which to find the best deal for a hotel booking. Have your staff take a look at what it is like to book a hotel in your area. Just a short search will display many different searches. It is important that your staff understand they are helping a caller decide now is the time to book and that yours is the best hotel to book.
Understand the Specifics of Your Hotel and Area
A caller might not just want to know the best price and availability. More likely, your staff will be fielding questions about the minutiae of the hotel, as well as the surrounding area, attractions and amenities.
Be Open to Asking More Questions
Just as the modern day caller will have plenty of questions to ask, your callers should be willing to dig deeper to find out more about the caller. By asking whether they have any questions about the hotel, location or whether there is a type of room they prefer, you are building a relationship.
Learn to Reasonably Explain Price Objections
You’ll always find that people will object to prices, or query why a price is higher than his or her previous visit. In these instances your staff should be able to offer a full explanation, in a non-defensive way, and not just state that the period is a busy one and that’s why prices are high.
Provide a Solution via Responsibility
If a caller says they can find a better deal through a rival provider, don’t let that time go to waste through the necessity of your staff having to ask the manager for confirmation. Provide your staff with the responsibility to make decisions and match rival rates there and then to confirm the caller’s booking.
Although all hotel reservation teams should be paid what they are due to perform the role at hand, providing them with extra incentives, whether in the form of financial bonuses, gifts or commission, will help to boost sales. It is only natural that a person will offer that little bit more if you show them the carrot rather than the stick (or offer nothing at all).
By thinking about the customer in a slightly different way, and offering real solutions and incentives to sales staff will help to increase the effectiveness of a hotel reservations customer service team.
Content written by Enid Harris