There was a time when the reservation sales agents would be busy attending calls and catering to each and every query of the persons on the other side of the phone. But now this activity has almost become redundant since the inception of OTAs and Direct Bookings. With the rapid digitization of the hospitality industry, people are pre-informed about everything which is happening in the industry. These make them more efficient in handling their queries by just clicking information provided on the websites.
Then, what is the role of the reservation sales agents in this age?
Well, that is a million-dollar which is to be asked in this age of self-enlightenment and self-awareness with the help of internet which has an answer to each and every question of theirs.
But to speak about the real picture there are still some people who call up the hotel in case they have to do some booking with them.
Who are these people? Don’t they use THE internet? Don’t they know about online direct bookings?
These are not backward people or belong to any undeveloped race. They are people who have doubts even after checking out facts on the internet. They are people who just want to confirm the things they saw on the hotel’s website. They are people who want to know something extra about the hotel and in the process know about some discount offers thinking that they might get lucky.
These are also lazy people who check out details on the internet but just don’t want to book on it. Reason being doubting the online process or just don’t want to book online.
And lastly, they might be people who really don’t use the internet and rely on the phone calls to make a booking.
The most important thing that it boils down to is how does the reservation sales agent deal with these kind of customers. The first and foremost thing the sales staff should understand that this call is not meant for sales pitch because the customer already knows about what you have on offer but rather this call is for listening to their queries and solving them. Today’s age of already enlightened customers doesn’t need somebody to explain things to them because the powerhouse they have in their hands. So, telling them about your products is a waste of time. Instead, focus on them and answer their queries.
We should strive to understand our customers and not only listen to them. We should understand what they want and the best way to do it is stepping into their shoes and try to face the problem and only then will you succeed in this.
The people handling the reservation sales system should be acquainted with an alternative sales pitch which should be different than the normal one and should be precise and adjusted according to the situation. Hoteliers market their hotels using the hotels only but what about the surroundings. This should be the voice of your alternative sales pitch. If the customer has any doubt about the hotel, then start talking to them about the surroundings and the locales that are on offer to them. This will definitely work wonders. Use the surroundings as your voice and people will be lured into booking it.
Try to be as specific as possible and try to know your customer well to provide them with the specific information and not beat about the bush because the customers have options but you have none. Don’t be shy from asking questions to your customers as this will make the task easier for you. Don’t be limited to information so that you can only provide them with the “price” but instead tell them about the “room type” they should choose. Remember, the path to familiarize with your customer leads from that phone call.
Reservation sales team should also be patient with the customers. There might be some errant customers but if you lose your cool then you also lose a customer. So, deal with a cool mind and try to compromise because it will help in the long run.
Lastly, the reservation sales team should be well-trained so as to lure customers. If your team can compel to book with them through the sales desk in this age of Direct Bookings then your reservation sales team is a great team.