Whether to outsource hotel reservations or not is a dilemma that almost all hotels face at some point in their service lifecycle. Various factors may compel one to contemplate a reservations call center for managing reservations and guest queries. The need may arise from one’s inability to provide round-the-clock or multilingual reservations support which can contribute to diminishing guest satisfaction and loss of business. Hotel businesses may also feel the urge to explore call center solutions when dealing with cost pressures or handling guest complaints resulting from inefficient processes and below-par services.
Is your hotel business also facing similar challenges? Do you think there is a scope for improvement or optimization in the way your front desk team currently manages reservations and customer helpline? Then, outsourcing these labor-intensive activities can prove to be beneficial for you. Apart from helping you curtail overhead expenses, outsourcing can be instrumental in elevating operational efficiency and the level of service rendered by your in-house staff. Here’re a few reasons why investing in hotel reservations outsourcing is worth your time, money, and efforts.
Improved Service Quality
Unlike large hotels, small- and medium-sized hotels do not boast a big budget at their disposal. Thus, more often than not, they lack the necessary technology and infrastructure to provide 24/7/365 reservations support. Often, they are also left wanting in experience which manifests itself as hare-brained plans and poorly thought through decisions. Add to this the expectation that front desk staff will provide exemplary service across the board – whether answering calls, replying to email queries, managing online reservations or attending to guests in person. Sounds like a tall order, doesn’t it? Unless the staff is experienced and skilled enough to multitask competently, missed, delayed and rushed calls or poor services to in-house guests are inevitable.
A reservations call center can be an apt solution to your front desk challenges. And its benefits are not limited to savings alone or the fact that you in better control of your expenses with more direct bookings, pre-negotiated rates, and planned costs. When you outsource hotel reservations to a professional service provider such as LiveSalesman, you get the assurance that incoming calls from prospects will not go unanswered; no matter what time of the day or which day of the week. By freeing yourself from the day-to-day monitoring of your reservations and helpdesk functions, you can focus on innovating products and services that create memorable experiences for your existing guests while, we, at LiveSalesman, work on leaving a positive first impression on your prospective customers by assisting them promptly and courteously.
Besides responding to guest queries, LiveSalesman offers a host of other services, including liaising with your in-house team for the execution of room service and maintenance-related requests. Unlike your front desk staff for whom answering calls is one of their many job responsibilities, the sole aim of our hotel reservations outsourcing team is to drive conversions. Through exceptional service led by a problem-solving approach, we help convert more calls into bookings, simultaneously setting the stage for a superior guest-hotel relationship in the days to come.
Enhanced Customer Experiences
Let’s face it. With all the action happening at the front desk (read ringing phones, urgent requests, demanding customers, guest complaints, email queries and more), it’s hard for your staff to fulfill their other responsibilities of up-selling and cross-selling products and services to guests. Thus, instead of acting proactively and recommending suitable upgrades and alternatives on their own, front desk personnel are often prone to responding to customer needs reactively. Considering how crucial these opportunities can be in providing the best experiences to your guests, missing them means you risk losing your competitive edge.
A veteran hotel reservations outsourcing company understands the impact of such activities on guest satisfaction and your hotel’s top line/bottom line. To ensure the needs of your customers are met with the right product or service, LiveSalesman entails the services of professionals from a hospitality background. Apart from being familiar with industry nuances, these qualified and trained reservation experts are well-versed in the techniques to identify and exploit up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, without coming across as pushy. So, you can rest assured that none of the needs and wants of your prospects, whether explicit or implicit, will go unnoticed or unaddressed. Neither will there be any loss of opportunity to maximize revenue – a definite win-win from whichever angle you look at it.
Multilingual, Multicultural and Multi-channel Support
The fear of service degradation, driven by factors such as cultural differences, language barriers, and strange accents, is one of the primary reasons for hotels hesitating to explore the services of a reservations call center. Not that their fear is totally unfounded. In fact, such challenges are quite common in a multicultural and multilingual environment – typical of an international hotel. Thus, if cultural barriers, unfamiliarity with colloquialism, and absence of native speakers are leading to communication gaps between your team and foreign callers, consider it as a wake-up call for hotel reservations outsourcing.
When evaluating service providers to whom you can outsource hotel reservations, look for one with prior experience in delivering native multilingual support. Armed with over 15 years of experience in inbound call center and BPO services, LiveSalesman can provide multilingual customer support in 15+ European and Asian languages. Its team of native speakers is adept in successfully bridging communication gaps with their natural accents and familiarity with cultural nuances, local languages, and localized colloquial speak. By making it feasible for your international guests to converse in a language they are comfortable with, LiveSalesman helps you take the guest experience up a notch.
Another aspect to consider when looking for an outsourcing firm is whether it can offer a multi-channeled call center for hotels. LiveSalesman provides call center solutions that are integrable with your establishment’s online channels. Thus, not only can its reservation experts assist your guests with phone reservations but they can also modify/cancel existing reservations or process new ones through your hotel’s online booking system.
Offseason or peak season – both imply volume fluctuations for the hospitality industry. As the owner of a small or mid-sized hotel, you may not be equipped with the resources to scale up and down easily. Then there is the risk of disrupting your front desk operations when trying to ramp up or down quickly – something you want to avoid at any cost. Also, think of a situation where you have to deal with acute staff shortage because of sudden illness or attrition. Can you afford to deliver less-than-extraordinary services to your guests? The answer is ‘NO’! In such scenarios, outsourcing can hugely benefit you. Outsourcing offers you flexible and scalable support models which enable swift alignment of resources to your project at short notice. Moreover, it helps you mitigate risk by handling seasonal spikes and other related emergencies in a way that does not impact business continuity or service levels.
Focused Services with You and Your Guests in Mind
If you are serious about positive guest experiences, you will want your guests to be treated with the utmost care and priority. And rightfully so as the kind of service you deliver has a direct bearing on the reputation of your hotel and your brand’s image.
When looking to outsource hotel reservations, it is important not be swayed by the sheer scale of a call center. Typically, a large call center will have multiple clients to serve. Thus, it’s unlikely that you and your guests will be its top priority, meaning less room for personalization of services or accommodation of ad-hoc requests. Hence, despite seeming like a safe and attractive investment, a large reservations call center may not be the best solution for your outsourcing needs. Instead, you may be better off opting for a service provider that prioritizes your hotel business, giving it the necessary attention it deserves. Doing so will offer you peace of mind knowing that the interests of you and your guests are at the heart of everything it does.
Your front desk team acts as the first point of contact for your guests. By relieving your in-house staff from the mundane activities of managing reservations and customer helpline, you can help them direct all their efforts towards their core job of ensuring a pleasant and enjoyable stay for your guests. When deciding to outsource hotel reservations, it is essential that you select a service provider wisely, considering the criticality of the activity and how it impacts guest relations and your hotel’s revenue.
At LiveSalesman, we collaborate with you as a partner, helping you boost your top-line revenue and bottom-line efficiencies through cross-selling, up-selling, direct bookings, performance-based pricing models, optimized processes, and more. While doing all this, we never lose sight of your guests, doing everything we can in our capacity to fulfill their needs, resolve complaints to their satisfaction, and prevent reservation cancellations. To know more about what all LiveSalesman offers as part of its hotel reservations outsourcing package, get in touch with the team now by submitting a request online or via call or email.