Once upon a time, most hotels had a dedicated reservations team. Now, however, only half report having a team. Forty-two percent (42%) assign incoming reservations calls to staff members who have other responsibilities, while just 16% have one dedicated reservations agent at the property, who can’t be available 24/7. When the agent/team can’t answer calls, those calls typically forward to the front desk.
Not every property can sustain a dedicated reservations team. Many boutique hotels and urban properties don’t have the space for a reservations team nor are they able to take on the risk of a group of agents having down time when their other staff are multi-tasking. Many properties are moving to hybrid models to maximize agent occupancy and profitability.
Rather than having calls roll over to the front desk, hotels can assign those reservation calls to the NAVIS RezForce® call center. Among the benefits, reservations calls are handled by agents who are dedicated and trained to handle reservations sales; they aren’t shuffling responsibilities that require them to sacrifice one guest’s immediate need for a booking. Opportunities to gather information for an outbound call program increase, as RezForce agents capture guest information. Without agent downtime to account for: overhead decreases, abandoned call rates decrease, and revenues increase.
Finally, RezForce is Level 1 PCI Compliant, so you have no worries about front desk agents overlooking PCI security standards among their many duties (e.g., forgetting to pause the call during the transfer of credit card data, writing down credit card numbers, etc.).
Example: Old Edwards Inn & Spa
A study of 300 calls that rolled over to the front desk at Old Edwards Inn & Spa, a Relais & Chateaux property in North Carolina, demonstrates the difference NAVIS RezForce® can make.
Here is what happened with front desk rollovers:
- Out of a sample of 300 calls, 115 calls went unanswered. This means 38% of opportunities were lost.
- 82 calls out of the 185 that were answered were marked as “leads.” (Leads are not booked, booked, or marked as followups for the reservations team.) This gave the front desk a lead rate of 44%.
- The front desk staff took 12 reservations for a conversion rate of 27%. During this same period, the reservations team was converting at 62%.
- Based on the average stay value of this period, the front desk booked approximately $8,700. Had these calls gone to the reservations team, Old Edwards Inn would have made $11,677.
- Further, if the 115 calls that went unanswered had been answered by the reservations team, the property could have generated over $23,000.
There are three big problems with rolling over calls to the front desk that impact revenue.
- Front desk distractions impact their ability to effectively book revenue and taking reservations calls impacts their ability to serve on-property guests. Guest service suffers.
- They are not sales-focused when taking reservations calls. Therefore, they won’t convert the incoming demand like a trained reservation agent would.
- Call abandonment rates go up.
What could have happened had calls been forwarded to a reservations team or a rollover call solution, such as NAVIS RezForce:
- The 115 missed calls would have been answered with a rollover solution in place. Assuming all of the same criteria—a lead rate of 44% and a reservations team conversion of 62% and the same stay value—Old Edwards Inn & Spa would have generated over $23,000.
- Every time the front desk received a call, the property lost $90. Compare that with the actual number of calls that rolled over to the front desk during this period, and the property lost $154,260.
- If you’d like an analysis of your own potential lost revenue due to rollovers, contact us today.