YES, phones still matter! If service and sales still matter, then the phones still matter too.
After all, ours is the business of hospitality. And the definition of hospitality is generous and friendly treatment of visitors and guests, and a hospitable welcome… and in my opinion that starts at the first point of contact in the customer’s experience journey with our property, and indeed our brand. That point is likely a click. It may also be a call.
Of course we should have all the answers available on our hotel’s website. Of course we should consider using chatbot tools to reduce phone traffic and increase online conversion.
However, there will always be a significant portion of our customers who want to transact by telephone and by talking with our human hospitality staff.
So it is not a matter of either / or. We should have all of the answers (right price, right content, right experience!) at each point of contact, and in the means by which our customers choose to transact.
The customer is, at times, not always right. However the customer does always get to choose to be our customer and they also get to decide how they want to transact – and if that choice is by phone then we better answer quickly and convert that revenue opportunity!
The trend of increased phone calls directly made to hotels, that commenced in March of 2020 after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, has continued well into 2021. This holds true for hotels that are part of a global or regional brand as well as for independent properties. We know for sure that elements of this tendency result from guests’ pertinent questions about onsite hotel cleaning and safety protocols as well as local area restrictions that may be in place. We also know for sure that now, more than ever, people crave human connection and talking to an actual person! Many operations-related calls are also an up-sell opportunity. This could be in the form of an alternative accommodation category or also pre-booked breakfast, parking, or ancillary services.
Is the phone ringing at your reception desk right now? Is it a potential guest?
Is that call about to be answered by a staff member trained to convert that call into revenue for your property? Do all of your employees who may answer a phone know reservations?
If you answered YES, you now know why phones still matter!
- Phone & voice sales channel remains relevant
- Voice search & book continues to have an important role to play
- 20% increase in revenue per booking when guests talk with your staff on the telephone
- How much of your revenue is booked by phone & email? Let’s find out!
This blog post was brought to you by SKNapp Consulting: a consultancy that helps hoteliers run their business more effectively.
Article written by Shannon Knapp, Director of SKNapp Consulting
One solution to consider is the KNow Reservations™️ method facilitated by SKNapp Consulting, which helps hotel businesses acquire the skills to make reservation and reception calls more:
- Efficient! We don’t want staff to talk longer on the phone, just more efficiently!
- Standardise reservations sales procedures & form new habits
- Identify how to use the process for different types of callers
- Learn to qualify customers and overcome objections
- Increase telephone sales conversion & revenue
- Support your book-direct strategies
At Preno, we provide hoteliers with a suite of smart tools to help you run your business, and easily and efficiently manage all reservations in one simple place.