2020 has shaken up the hospitality industry, forcing many in the travel industry to cut costs where they can or risk temporary or even permanent closure. Despite everything that has changed in the hospitality industry over the past year, one thing remains constant, and that is the need to create unique, customer-focused travel experiences, the kind of experiences that inspire customers to return to their favorite boutique hotels.
Less than three months into 2021, the light at the end of the tunnel is visible. Today, many hospitality players are eagerly awaiting and discovering new ways to better serve their customers.
While boutique hotels may not have the same resources as larger chains, they are often preferred over their domestic and international counterparts due to their focus on guest experience.
Today, many players in the hospitality industry find themselves short-staffed and scrambling, often letting the pursuit of future guests get in the way of their current guest experience. Outsourcing your call center will give your staff the freedom to create unique customer experiences that will drive customer retention and brand loyalty.
While the industry has entered recovery mode since the end of the year, hotels are still operating at normal capacity. When your hotel has fewer guests than usual, it’s more important than ever to ensure they have unique travel experiences, the kind of experiences that can only come from dedicated staff who focus on the needs of the customers during the duration of their stay. .
Our New Normal Presents Unique Challenges That Will Engage Your Staff
This past year has been far from normal, and while things are looking up, it looks like some aspects of the “new normal” are here to stay. Social distancing and advanced sanitation procedures will likely be part of the future of the hospitality industry, at least to some extent.
The hospitality industry is experience-driven and requires hands-on staff for guest interactions. Now, these experiments will take more time and planning. Outsourcing your voice channels allows your staff to focus on retaining your customers, rather than finding future bookings.
Working from home is not possible in the hospitality industry
Like social distancing, working from home or additional flexible hours can be a permanent feature for many industries. While many professionals have been able to transition smoothly to working from home, the hospitality industry is an industry based on experiences and face-to-face interactions. Working from home may not be possible for your staff.
Additionally, hotel staff working from home will not have access to the necessary reservation technology and training. Rather than risk an uncertain outcome by letting your reservations staff continue to work from home, entrust your reservations service to a team of trained professionals.
Let trained professionals operate your voice channels
Outsourcing your voice channels doesn’t just mean relieving your employees of booking responsibilities. Rather, it ensures that the person answering the reservation line is a trained professional, one who knows your property intimately, and an expert in converting leads into hard sells.
A recent survey of hotel reservations staff found that only 7% of hotel call attendants mentioned that their
the hotel offered free breakfast or had a convenient location, which could easily convince a guest to book at your property rather than a competitor. Doug Kennedy, president of Kennedy Training Network, says “Asking discovery questions is extremely important because they help an agent learn more about the caller, make personalized recommendations, and ultimately drive the booking.”
If you’re like most hoteliers, 2021 will be the year you aim to make sweeping, yet strategic changes in your approach to revenue generation. “A recent study predicted that ‘the boutique hospitality industry is expected to experience revenue growth over the next five years.’
An outsourced reservation service will allow you to scale in the future by making a responsible business decision now. As mentioned earlier, many boutique hotels find that outsourcing their reservations department is cheaper than setting up an in-house reservations department.
The benefits of outsourcing your reservations department are many, from allowing your staff to focus on curating unique travel experiences to positioning your hotel for future growth.
John Smallwood is CEO of Travel Outlook Premium Reservations Call Center. In addition to the unique use of world-class call center technology, Travel Outlook is the only call center certified by Kennedy Training Network, the hospitality industry’s best source for sales training and excellence in customer service. Its luxury call team is tested by Forbes and Kennedy every month. Travel Outlook customers include many of the finest hotels and resorts in the world.
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