6 Reopening Strategies for your Reservations Team

1. Take the time to train your agents.

Your time is valuable but if you want to maximize your revenue potential you must take the time to rebuild agent confidence. Utilize NAVIS U courses to refresh your team as they return from absence.  Listen to calls together, prepare them to answer tough questions, and share feedback. Add a stand-up meeting during shifts to communicate property changes and build agent knowledge.

Listen to calls! When a guest asks if you are open, agents are answering “yes, but…” followed by a lengthy list of what guests cannot do. Agents still need to focus on open-ended questions and sell the experience the guest is interested in.

2. Inbound Call Conversion will drop. Outbound strategies will result in more conversions.

Watch call results for accuracy. People with a desire to stay are a lead call. While first call resolution is more challenging, people are interested in your property and we need to collect leads for follow up opportunities. Following up with all lead, call, chat, or voice mail inquiries quickly through outbound calling strategies will result in a better guest experience and increased bookings.

3. Review Phone Recordings and Routing

Test all phone messaging and routing to make sure they are current. When a caller hears “we are currently closed” they hang-up. Make sure you are routing calls to operational numbers that you will answer or monitor. If not, reroute those calls. Consider adding hold messaging to tell guests you are experiencing high call volume.  

4. Be Prepared for Phone and Chat Volume to Rebound Overnight

Most regions have experienced high call and chat volumes when their municipality opens.  Many have experienced longer talk times due to an increase in caller questions.  Chat volume has increased with guests looking for quick answers. Review your hours of operation, your staffing, and prepare chat templates to answer questions related COVID-19.

5. All Abandoned Calls Count

Existing bookings are important too. If these calls are not answered, they become a potential cancellation and loss of revenue. Not handling existing reservations often inflates your new reservation calls as an unanswered booked guest will call back and select a new reservation. Address voice mails as quickly as possible. Prospective guests may call 3-4 times until they reach an agent, but their confidence is decreasing with each call.

Optimize phone routing to minimize your abandon rate.  You can carry out through skills and prioritization in the NAVIS system.  Review your team daily and adjust call routing to maximize team performance.

6. Data is more important than ever.

Email capture is essential for the opportunity to have an ongoing conversation with guests. If you do not collect the email on a lead form, you cannot email them.  Potential guests with interest may not convert on the first call, but nurturing the lead with direct agent emails, LifeCycle messaging, and follow up phone calls will build guest confidence and increase bookings. 

Keep LifeCycle messages relevant and correct. Use LifeCycle messaging to continue to build confidence. Consider adding a link to your website where guests can follow the most up to date COVID-19 messaging for your property. This allows you to update one central location as opposed to multiple templates.