Running an Efficient Res Department
During Staffing Shortages
Many businesses are facing staffing shortages like never seen before; this is especially affecting the hospitality industry. How can you run a reservation department short-staffed and still be able to offer elevated guest service and increased revenues? The answer is Lead Form Capturing Technology interfaced with your phone system and PMS to automate the process. Let’s take a look at a few call scenarios.
THE SHOPPING SCENARIO
Ray calls into reservations to gather information for an upcoming trip he’s planning with his wife. The agent writes Ray’s information on a sticky note and places it on her monitor for when Ray calls back “later today” – today becomes tomorrow and tomorrow becomes next Tuesday. Meanwhile, the sticky note ends up being thrown away. When Ray calls back on Tuesday, the process starts all over again – doubling everyone’s efforts.
Ray calls into reservations to gather information for an upcoming trip and the agent collects his information digitally on a lead form. When Ray calls back, the lead form automatically opens, presenting the agent with the information from the previous call. This not only helps her better serve the guest, but equally important – reduces the call time from an average 6.5-minute call to just 4, a 38.5% increase in efficiency. The agent completes the reservation in PMS by copy-pasting from the lead form into PMS – making this step much faster and more accurate.
THE RESERVATION CHANGE SCENARIO
A week later, Ray calls back to make a change to his reservation. On this call the booked-interfaced lead form opens for the agent. This presents the agent all if the reservation information and any notes in the file. The agent doesn’t have to ask for any additional information to make the changes, HUGE for customer service and a big time saver. Since PMS is not connected to your phones, it can’t automatically open a stay or guest tile. When a change is made in PMS, the booked lead form is automatically updated with new dates, rates, etc. …updating your agent and marketing reporting in near real time. We’ve estimated this to be a 16% increase in efficiency, reducing a 6.5-minute call to 5.46-minutes.
THE BOOKING SCENARIO
Sam (Ray’s brother) has decided to join the trip. Sam calls into the reservation department and starts booking his stay. This time the agent works only in PMS, completing the reservation and then keying the res number into the lead form via copy-paste, selects a reason for stay and then saves and closes the lead form. The lead form is synched with PMS and records all the offline marketing tracking and agent revenue performance.
Automating data capture and retention increases reservation agent efficiency by 16 to 38.5%, but more importantly it avoids a potentially huge loss. Think of it this way; if your call center handles 50k calls per year, average call time is 6.5 minutes; this equates to 5,417 hours of labor a year. At an average of $20 an hour this totals out to $108,340 in labor cost! By reducing this by 38.5% there is a cost savings of $41,710.
Automating will also increase actual performance – an increase in conversion, the opportunity for outbound sales and a second chance booking with auto retargeting…. plus happier guests and reservation agents.