As hoteliers increase staffing and gear up for higher occupancy, many simply assume that they are going to be earning peak revenue.
For seasonal properties, maximizing revenue per booking during the high season, in which most of the year’s revenue is generated, is a must.
But many hotels aren’t actually maximizing their high season revenue. Jekyll Island Club Resort saw this when they implemented NAVIS before their peak season. A combination of technologies (including rate optimization technology), reservations sales training, and best practices in capturing leads transformed their high season in the very first year. The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs implemented in May, just prior to peak season, and saw substantial peak season increases that rolled into their shoulder and offseason.
Jekyll Island Club Resort, A Seasonal Property Optimizes Rates
Jekyll Island Club Resort brings in 70% of its revenue during just a five to six month period each year. This means optimizing rates is essential. However, according to the hotel’s General Manager Kevin Runner, the property wasn’t aggressive enough with its rates prior to partnering with NAVIS. He notes, “With an anticipated upturn in the economy we wanted to benefit from the increase in occupancy as well as make sure our rates were competitive. By empowering our reservation team to become more sales driven as opposed to order takers, we were able to see significant gains month over month in Leisure ADR. NAVIS provided us with the technology and the expertise to do this. Each month we see improved year-over-year results, and our agents achieve personal improvement and gratification.” After 14 months, Jekyll Island was able to justify adding an additional full-time agent.
In addition to tapping into NAVIS’s reservation training to boost seasonal rates, the property used NAVIS to determine rate increases. According to Runner, “We used the data collected in the Narrowcast system (Reservation Sales Suite) to make streamlined, specific rate decisions. Before NAVIS, we did not have the data or confidence to justify a rate increase. The results were nothing short of amazing. We have been achieving year-over-year revenue goals for 20 straight months.”
“The greatest thing about the NAVIS system is that we have only begun to tap the remarketing potential that it offers by managing the data to drive business to the times we really need it. We do this by collecting non-booked data and creating strategies to convert it to booked business. Monthly goals and incentives have been critical for everyone buying into the system. When we partnered with NAVIS, we quickly saw that conversion was a way to increase revenue in shoulder periods quickly, but as we approached summer, we wanted to change our strategies,” Runner notes.
“We could not have seen these rate increases without NAVIS’s data and coaching on how to make changes in our reservation department.”Kevin Runner, Jekyll Island Club Resort General Manager
The Broadmoor Story
The Broadmoor deployed NAVIS Reservation Sales Suite’s sales performance technology in May, just prior to their peak season. Along with the technology, their reservation team trained in NAVIS best practices for reservation sales and lead capture.
Peak season considerations include higher call volume and longer calls with high-consideration vacation planning ramping up just before high season. With best practices in sales strategies as well as call monitoring, these call handle times become more efficient so that a higher call volume can be handled. Additionally, with more downtime available, agents are available to make outbound calls. Outbound sales programs can increase booking windows, which creates opportunities to increase rates and manage booking pattern gaps. Growing the booking window also offers more opportunities for upselling and personalized marketing leading up to the stay.
With the outbound program in place, The Broadmoor has been able to see their increases stretch into their shoulder and off
The NAVIS Peak Season solutions included:
Reservation Sales Suite
- Rate optimization technology
- Call recording technology to monitor agents for suggestive selling, handling rate resistance, and ability to use discounts
- Guest recognition technology along with past history
- Custom reporting technology to analyze booking windows, turn-downs and regrets, and discounted rates by an individual sales agent
- Enhanced incentive programs and incorporated ancillary sales
- Implemented new call scoring criteria for both sales and Forbes 5-Star standards
- Conducted weekly agent coaching sessions and team coaching session
Marketing & Outbound Sales
- Established an outbound sales strategy, targeting the most profitable prospective guests
- Employed NAVIS marketing optimization and tracking technology with Property Management System/NAVIS interface
- Monitored all marketing campaigns on a real-time basis for immediate ROI calculation on each campaign
Jekyll Island Club Resort
Jekyll Island Club Resort’s focus on optimizing reservation sales and rates during the high season has resulted in a marked contribution to the top line. Comparing the 2013 and 2014 peak seasons, revenue per booking increased 18%, while conversion rates rose to a phenomenal 65%. With the addition of an outbound sales program, Jekyll Island brought in $254,000+ in outbound booked revenue, which contributed 12% of total booked revenue for the 2013/2014 season.
The Broadmoor saw immediate results. In the first year, conversions increased +7 percentage points to an outstanding 52% and revenue increased $1.6 million. Year-over-year revenue gains during the first two years were 27%.
During the first year, over 3,000 outbound sales attempts were made, resulting in $770,000. During the second year, outbound revenue nearly doubled to $1.2 million.