On a first date, it doesn’t take long for someone to decide if they want a second date. And these crucial introductory moments don’t just happen with dating. First impressions matter.
For hotels, that impression often starts with your hotel call center.
Nearly 9 out of 10 people prefer speaking to a live customer service agent over navigating a phone menu. So, if you hope to get that second and third date, you need to ensure a guest’s first contact with an agent is a winning experience — particularly when you consider that our research shows your voice channel drives up to 80% of your property’s revenue.
Here, we explore the top challenges and solutions for running a successful hotel call center.
What you will see here
Top challenges for a hotel call center
Rising attrition rates
While contact centers have historically had 30% to 45% agent attrition rates, the post-pandemic “Great Resignation” trend has skyrocketed that rate to nearly 80%.
One of the reasons hoteliers are seeing this issue is the challenge of shifting to more hybrid and remote work situations for agents. Even more impactful; however, is the issue of burnout. Recent research from Call Centre Helper shows 72% of agents feel burnt out.
Lack of engagement among staff
It’s common for hotel call center agents to feel disconnected from the brand they work for, viewing themselves as mere order takers. With no real concept of how their work impacts the business or other hotel teams, it’s difficult for them to be engaged.
In addition, management often lacks the ability to adequately to coach or score calls for each agent, further exacerbating the problem.
Why is agent engagement important? According to Gallup research, engaged employees translate to a 10% increase in customer engagement and loyalty, plus a 23% increase in profitability.
No personalization — a common hotel call center issue
Oftentimes, hotel call center platforms don’t support seamless, personalized interactions. CCW Digital research shows only 6% of companies believe their contact center experience is fully personalized — and an overwhelming 86% recognize the need to improve.
But the biggest issue revolves around lack of data. The same CCW report indicates that two-thirds of companies acknowledge their agents can’t personalize conversations with customers because they don’t have access to all the information they need.
Out-of-date tech negatively affects performance
When you use patched-up legacy systems instead of modern solutions, it negatively impacts agent performance and puts your business at a disadvantage.
CCW’s research shows that nearly 7 out of 10 agents feel that insufficient automation forces them to spend too much time on manual, low-value work. The same percentage of agents are frustrated with the need to move among multiple screens and systems to do their jobs. And many have difficulty accessing tools from remote locations using their own devices.
Luckily, there are solutions.
5 tips for managing a successful hotel call center
1. Implement call scoring in your hotel call center
Call scoring is a way to measure agent performance by evaluating how they interact with callers. With call scoring, you can create a set of non-negotiable KPIs to ensure agents maintain the highest call quality every time.
For example, you’ll want to ensure agents use the guest’s name, employ active listening techniques, adhere to your brand voice, ask open-ended questions, and hit the 5 “P’s”: polite, positive, professional, patient, and personalized.
With a voice channel solution that includes call-monitoring and recording technology, as well as analytics and reporting solutions, you can quickly address any weaknesses and track agent progress.
2. Develop a sales mindset among agents
To increase bookings and revenue, you need agents to not only convert inbound calls, but also outbound calls. Developing a sales mindset among your agents by including proactive sales calls as part of their regular job duties can help.
If you’re leveraging advanced hotel call center technology, you can also track agent progress each day. Call conversion reports let agents see their call volume and how much revenue they’ve booked. This gives agents a sense of ownership. They see the fruits of their labor and understand how they personally contribute to company goals.
Need proof? Through the improved coaching and call scoring capabilities enabled by Revinate’s Reservation Sales solution, The Broadmoor reservation team increased outbound revenue by 98%.
3. Standardize note taking
Our research shows that 64% percent of guests don’t book on the first call with an agent. That means there could be a second, third, or fourth call.
On follow-ups, you can increase personalized interactions (which guests love) — and eliminate callers repeating themselves (which guests hate) — with a solution that standardizes the way agents take notes during calls. You can ensure crucial contact info, timelines, and reason for the visit get recorded on that first call. You can also ensure agents record details that come up in conversation. This helps the next agent give tailored recommendations and further establish rapport during any follow-ups.
For instance, agents can ask how little Fluffy is doing, or they can check on a guest’s progress after a recent foot surgery.
4. Adopt the right tech
When hotels use modern, cloud-based reservation technology, such as Revinate’s Reservation Sales, agents benefit from automation and streamlined operations. You can automate aspects of coaching and scoring, helping to improve agent performance and lowering call handle time. This reduces stress and makes them more effective.
And using a solution that integrates with your PMS and/or CRM puts rich guest data at agents’ fingertips. This means they can comfortably welcome a returning guest and easily see what their preferences are. With the right technology, your agents will be happier, your customers will be happier, and you’ll successfully drive more bookings — boosting your bottom line.
5. Coach your hotel call center agents
With the right platform, you can even more effectively coach agents. This eliminates a number of challenges for your hotel call center. You can easily track, tag, and locate recorded calls that provide ideal teachable moments.
You’ll also have instant access to a knowledge base that empowers agents to answer complex queries on the spot. And customized, real-time coaching allows new agents to achieve early wins, starting them on the path to success. Bottom line: Regular coaching increases agent engagement and productivity, reduces attrition, and improves the customer experience.
Drive bookings with a well-managed hotel call center
A good first impression can be a catalyst for a lifetime relationship with a guest. With the right technology and systems supporting your voice channel, you can drive inbound and outbound conversions, build guest loyalty, and optimize your workforce.
Ready to start making the most out of your voice channel? Learn more about our solution to see how it can help you boost bookings and revenue.