· Misc

Why not?

When you look at your conversion rate, what is it telling you? This rate is largely influenced by the location of your establishment. You will have higher conversion rate if your hotel is downtown and resorts would experience about 35 percent.

What is important to consider is why they are not reserving. Lost guests certainly are a cause for concern...and there are so many ways to lose them! Sometimes we don’t treat them as well as we could; sometimes we’re too busy; sometimes we don’t show them the value we have to offer. But, sometimes we do everything right and they still won’t confirm!

For sure, not everyone confirms when you ask them the first time.  What goes through your mind when a potential guest won’t say yes? My guess is you would like to know why not!

Responding to resistance is not an easy task and I understand that, for the most part, Guest Service Agents are not very comfortable making these attempts and they feel they are “pushing”.  In fact, this is probably the most “sales” step you will take during a reservation’s call. Remember, in sales we don’t take “no” for an answer.

The way to respond to their resistance is to ask them why they are not making the reservation…but there is a way to ask. It can be by asking questions that can be answered with a yes or no - closed-ended questions. You must ask an awful lot of them to get any worthwhile information! However, if you ask open-ended questions, you will get a lot of information back each time they are used.

Tier 1 – Use a Resistance Question that will make them speak a little and that will help you unveil their reason for not reserving.

Asked an open-ended question starting with “what” and include the verbiage “hotel or area.”
    •    What might you be looking for that I haven’t mentioned about the hotel or area?
    •    What questions about the hotel or area may I answer for you?
This way, the guests who see the value in your property might be more incline to tell you why they are not reserving yet.

Tier 2: These enhanced Resistance Questions are a good example of an open-ended question that includes a phrase to indicate a sense of urgency or a time component.
    •    What additional information about the hotel or area may I provide you to assist in getting this reservation approved?
    •    What other questions might you have about the hotel or area I can answer to help you decide?

Tier 3: Is what we call the Legendary Resistance Question.

In addition to the enhanced resistance question, have a transitional statement that ties into the caller’s resistance and reinforces the client-centric dialogue.

    •    Other than rate, what else is keeping you from confirming this reservation at this time?
    •    What other questions might your (spouse/partner/boss) have about the hotel that I can answer today?
The fallback option to use depends on the response to your resistance question. Responding to these reasons will not only show that you are interested in their business but also that you want them to see what your hotel really is about: their best experience possible.

Speak with your reservations’ team and make a list of the different reasons for not reserving they get from the callers. You will probably hear some of the following:
    -    Plans are not all yet confirmed
    -    Need to talk to someone (boss or travelling companion)
    -    Shopping around.
    -    The price is too high.
    -    And many others.

After that, develop possible answers for every reason and your reservations’ team will be more at ease to respond to your guests’ resistance.

Francis Prézeau

Signature Canada is a leader in training employees to deliver legendary customer service while increasing sales. Since 1986, Signature’s unique training methodology has provided a measurable ROI for our customers, compelling them to return year after year. www.signaturecanada.ca