Are You Using Your Guest Service Agents To Their Full Potential?
Most hotels are not utlilizing their front desk agents to their full potential when it comes to increasing their occupancy and ADR. This is due to lack of training, and thinking outside of the box. I have used my front desk agents as sales tools many times over in various hotels. Your guest service agents are on the front line and can be used to increase your hotel occupany and ADR more then you know. There are many ways that you can tap into this revenue generating source if you implement the following plan and make sure that you keep up with it. Over a period of a few months after training you will start seeing a difference.
Reservation Training- Are your front desk agents trained in asking for the sale? Do they know the area that surrounds your hotel? Do they know the hotel as far as the services and amenities that you offer? Placing time and money into training your front line staff is crucial to any hotels success. When taking reservations they guest service agent needs to know how to qualify the guest, know whats going on in the area during the time that the guest is making the reservation, and needs to let the guest know the amenities and services that come with their hotel room, before giving out the rate. I cant tell you how many times reservations are not made because the guest service agent does not know that much about the hotel, or the area, and simply just gives the guest a rate when they answer the phone. If you would like a step by step reservation technique simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send what I use at the hotels I manage.
Marketing Mailings- Another great thing i have our front desk do at our midscale hotel properties is send out a thank you letter to the guests with in a day after they check out. Simply thanking them for their stay and offering them a 10% discount on their next visit into their area. You can also start a maling campaign to area businesses by letting them know about any promotions your doing, or any new renovations that are taking place or have been completed at the hotel. Create the letter and let the front desk do the heading and addressing them to local businesses.
Grabbing Leads From Current Guests- Your Front Desk if your first line of defense once that guest comes into your hotel. Train your front desk agents to ask what brings the person to the area, and when they say business, make sure they are noting the business in the company profile of your PMS. This way you or the Director of Sales can follow up with the company to see if they have more people coming to your area.
Newspapers- Your area newspaper is a great resource of information on whats going on in your area. Have your night auditor read the daily paper and highlight things that are happening that could generate room nights for you. Then you and your sales manager can follow up by contacting them and asking them for the business. Large companies that are hiring, special local events, engagement announcements are all great things to generate a few extra room nights for your hotel.
If you start to implement just these few items, you will start seeing an increase in occupancy at your hotel. Also if your Front Desk Agents are well aware of the services and ammenities at your property, and they qualify the guest they have the opportunity to up sell them to higher priced rooms based on their guests needs and will close more reservations sales then having them hang up and call your competition.