If you have 60 seconds, I have 300 words that might help at the NOI line.
We all know that taking care of in-house guests with warmth and genuine hospitality is the most important thing a front desk staff does. This has the single most important impact on guest ratings on sites like TripAdvisor, which are critical to hotel revenues.
But we should also acknowledge that the front desk staff is the only way to sell rooms to walk-ins, and walk-ins are often the only way to achieve a perfect fill for the night. For most hotels, walk-ins are a relatively small part of the revenue budget, but they are significant in a different way and should be considered to be a separate and discrete revenue channel.
Exceptional hotel revenues are achieved when hotel specialists perform as a team and are compensated correctly for excellent performance. At the front desk, this means that the staff should never answer a reservations call, because there are specialists such as the reservations department and overflow call center for that task. This frees the front desk to specialize on guest satisfaction and on booking the person standing right in front of them. No one else in the hotel can close this business, and it is the prime way to rent those final rooms to achieve the perfect fill.
Since walk-ins can be the most profitable business a hotel can have, it makes sense to have your front desk team financially motivated to close every person who approaches the front desk to ask if rooms are available. Create the killer sales instinct by offering a commission on walk-in sales, and by training them in the best way to close the business (Doug Kennedy at KTN offers a course for just this type of sale). And aren’t perfect fills a thing of beauty? Another additional commission for everyone when these happen is also a good idea.
Since there are no other commissions on a walk-in sale, offering one to your front desk won’t hurt much and will do wonders for morale and your top line.
This is one in a series of short essays by John Smallwood, CEO of Travel Outlook Premium Reservations Call Center about voice reservations, the second most profitable revenue channel. Travel Outlook is a hospitality company that takes voice reservations calls for its clients.
About Travel OutlookTM
Travel Outlook takes voice reservations calls for select hotels, improving hotel voice channel revenue and guest satisfaction. The first call center certified by the Kennedy Training Network, Travel Outlook can function as a full reservations department or simply handle overflow calls.
About the Author
John Smallwood, President and Chief Executive Officer: I oversee the day-to-day activities of a growing company dedicated to helping independent hotels and hospitality businesses increase top line revenues and provide better communication with their guests. I created the Travel Outlook concept in 2006, after more than twenty years’ experience in owning hotels and hospitality management. I earned a marketing degree from New Mexico State University, and started my career with AT&T, but soon bought a short term rental/timeshare operation in Santa Fe which gradually expanded into a hotel management business with over 200 employees. I have owned, managed, or developed a dozen hotel properties.
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