Your Path To a Profitable Reopening with a High-Performance Reservations Sales Team
Making staffing and operational decisions during a crisis is risky and uncomfortable. But, as travel bans thaw and demand reappears, hotels and resorts must grapple with how to restart.
The facts are clear: bottom lines are under pressure, leisure travel will rebound first, and reservation sales agent re-hiring must be phased. Every booking matters, so it’s crucial to capture any demand while maintaining a strong brand and guest experiences. Waiting until the market “stabilizes” before bringing back staff is too late. But without historical data to forecast demand and occupancy levels, planning is impossible.
Build – Operate – Transfer is a direct booking and reopening solution for hotel and resort leaders asking these questions:
1. How do I capitalize on demand with an adjusted staffing model and no or few reservation agents?
2. How can I see signs of changing demand early enough and use data to act quickly and profitably?
3. What role should flexible staffing and a virtual workforce play in my business going forward?
Manage Unknowns–and Never Miss a Lead–with a Structured Approach to Reservation Sales Staffing.
Leaders need an agile and flexible staffing option. Ideally, one with variable cost that aligns with bookings. Configuring this, however, has eluded hoteliers for decades. This must change. Properties need a runway to bring back headcount intelligently.
RezForce: Build – Operate – Transfer (BOT) Model
BOT is a three-step phased plan for a hotel or resort reopening that ensures any direct demand is captured and converted with dedicated reservation sales professionals and website & email marketing solutions.
During the first six to nine months of a BOT deployment, NAVIS and hotel leadership build flexible staffing, and operate a lean, conversion-centered reservations sales organization that moves from totally outsourced to a hybrid model. Hotels will apply marketing automation and enhanced lead management, and compete with a leaner, flexible staffing model.
As call volumes stabilize and key staff are in place, NAVIS will transfer practices back to the hotel; ensuring optimized reservation sales, revenue management and marketing processes continue, and staff are effectively trained.
Signs You Should Turn On BOT
BOT helps hotel and resort leaders navigate key reopening concerns: labor and direct demand conversion. The old planning models, while familiar and convenient, are unreliable today. If hotel leadership struggles with any of the below, BOT may be the best path forward to reopening during COVID-19 and the remainder of 2020.
• Staffing challenges due to unpredictable call volume
• Uncertainty on consumer confidence and when, or how, traveler demand will return
• Concern with front-desk agents selling and handling reservations
• Determining the right leisure sales leadership structure in the short and long term (less doing more)
• Competition for workforce (including impact of favorable unemployment insurance)
• Tight budgets due to closures, low demand, and re-forecasting for FY 2020
Phase 1: BUILD (Months 1 to 3)
In evaluating their own staffing plans, hoteliers and vacation rental managers find it helpful to boost call capacity with NAVIS’ RezForce, a proven, virtual, inbound call center solution.
Deploying highly-trained virtual agents eliminates the risk of untimely FTE hires or unprepared front desk staff handling reservations. It ensures that new, bookable calls are converted. As demand data are gathered, hotel leadership–along with NAVIS’ Client Success team–will build an intelligent, re-staffing model.
Summary: This phase is about capturing returning demand with an agile, cost-effective staffing model and gathering data to re-staff intelligently.
Phase 2: Operate (Months 4 to 5)
As call volumes stabilize, properties begin hiring staff and re-building their teams. NAVIS’ RezForce agents transition calls on property in a hybrid call sharing model. Marketing and conversion best practices are trained and transferred.
This is a critical time to compete and sell. NAVIS will apply marketing automation using LifeCycle emails, website lead capture, and tools like Push-to-Call, Push-to-Chat, and Shopping Cart Abandonment. Other proven lead management and outbound strategies will be introduced and trained.
Summary: This phase is about establishing go-forward staffing and marketing plans to engage prospects and guests profitably, personally and affordably.
Phase 3: Transfer (Month 6+)
Properties are likely moving into a new budget year or reforecast period. They’ll enter ready to build a right-sized team with the latest demand data. In many cases, an agile staffing model – with virtual, offsite agents handling overflow and after-hours – may support an onsite, reservation sales agent team. Teams are equipped with a set of tools and strategies to capture demand, improve conversions, and capitalize on profitable voice channels.
Data-driven learnings around staffing, marketing, lead management, and conversions are applied in 2021 and beyond.
Summary: This phase is about building deeper sales and marketing competencies, and implementing staffing and systems best-practices (in a cost-controlled way) to operate at scale the new budget year.
Your Rebuild Journey, with NAVIS.
The past few months make staffing, marketing, and re-building a challenge. But they don’t define the future. Demand is creeping back, virtual work is proving effective, and tools to influence and connect with guests and prospects are available.
The season of COVID-19, for all its challenges, has offered a restart. Start planning your response journey and reevaluate your reservation sales and direct channel strategies, today, with NAVIS.
Learn how NAVIS’ suite of marketing and call center solutions, expertise, and services can help you get back to work quickly, affordably, and more effectively than ever.