Keynote speakers wowed a record-sized audience at the NAVIS Leaders Conference in Orlando last month. Parra Vaughan, VP Marketing, Sea Island, made brand management sizzle as a strategic business tool. Tom Johnston, VP Marketing, Vacation Myrtle Beach, showed how to turn reservation agents into rock stars,
complete with gold records for exceeding goals!
The buzz at our annual leadership conference was all about data, and data is king. When it comes to data’s roll in reservation call conversions, the formula is simple–
What gets measured gets done!
But first things first. To get crunch-worthy numbers, begin with people. In the case of call conversion, the reservation agents make or break the booking. They are the meeters and greeters of your potential guests. Boosting reservation productivity begins with this question:
What three actions make the biggest difference in driving leisure revenue? At NAVIS, we call them…
THE BIG THREE
1. Interactive dialog
The way you make the sale is to earn the right to ask for it. Earning that right means you’ve built a mini-relationship with the caller. If you think that a few quick questions (travel dates? number of adults and kids?) and a price quote will capture the booking, think again. You’ll get a “no” most of the time.
2. Product before price
Price is an influencer, of course, but it’s likely not what sells your property. Use the information from interactive dialogs with potential guests to tailor an offer based on their needs. Is the caller traveling with a baby? The agent might suggest that spacious, comfortable first-floor condo within short walking distance of parking and the pool. Suddenly, the caller places herself on vacation at your property. That puts your agent in perfect position to…
3. Ask for the sale
It seems that agents skip this step two thirds of the time! Our upbringing teaches us that it’s not polite to talk about money. Your reps need training with the right tools and performance measurements to encourage closing the sale.
Did you know that lack of proper training is the biggest reason reservation agents don’t practice THE BIG THREE?
We help you master the secrets to success with NAVIS Narrowcast–the hospitality industry’s only complete solution to reservations productivity, backed by our technology, data and Client Advocate Consulting Team. Forget complex logic trees and lengthy, hard-to-remember checklists. We help you build a strong reservations team with proven techniques that capture bookings (see the February 2014 blog for The 7 Non-Negotiables) that will drive your leisure revenue.
That brings me back full circle to King Data. Coaching alone cannot ensure sustainability; you need to have the data to track what’s changing over time. The NAVIS Way delivers this, and also includes:
✓ A baseline conversion analysis for your property.
✓ Measurement tools based on real-time data to determine staff performance.
✓ Scoring and coaching templates that capture training notes and monitor individual agent scores.
You can target each reservation agent’s training based on what is or isn’t working for that person.
What results can you expect?
Right now, you probably need 10 inbound calls to book 3 reservations. What if you needed only 5 or 6 calls to book 3 reservations? Imagine what that could do for your bottom line.
Apply effective training and let your reservation agents soar to rock star status. Tune in next month, when I’ll discuss scoring, coaching, training, and setting goals to inspire your staff.
Meanwhile, here’s to data…long live the king!
Michelle Marquis, NAVIS VP Marketing and Strategic Initiatives
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