If you have 60 seconds, I have about 300 words that might help at the NOI line.
If your hotel uses a remote Central Reservations Office (CRO) to answer reservations calls, it's critical to ensure that there is a system in place for the CRO to convey guest requests and sales leads to the right person at your property, in real time.
A CRO doesn't just receive reservations calls, it receives the same calls that are handled by the reservations team in-house. This means that a CRO agent may receive a call from an in-house guest with an operations-related request, or a possible solid sales lead for the sales department. It's vital that these be sent to the right department immediately.
If a system is not in place to do this, such requests may languish as a "to-do" list sent to the hotel at the end of a shift or at irregular times, possibly resulting in lost business or the perception of a lack of service for in-house guests. Obviously, these are not acceptable outcomes.
Losing a sales lead to a competing hotel because of the delay in receiving a lead from the CRO is disappointing, but negative social media comments from a perceived lack of attention to guests is demoralizing. Recently, Skift's Dennis Schaal wrote, "TripAdvisor's metamorphosis is category-changing, heralding the advent of the pseudo online travel agency/booking site. Hotels that choose to be the powers behind Book on TripAdvisor are creating an alternative to the currently more expensive online travel agencies but they are making the already powerful TripAdvisor even more of a force."
A simple missing or delayed guest request from the CRO can live forever on TripAdvisor for all potential guests to see, and as TripAdvisor grows in influence and in booking ability, such comments will disproportionately hurt ongoing revenues.
Take the time to analyze how your CRO is communicating with your operations team, and take steps to ensure that it's being done instantaneously and accurately.
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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