The best thing you can do with the new season is to update the questions you ask your guests when communicating by phone calls. Although it seems that the phone has died, it has been forgotten – it is not.
Guest calling already know the prices, already know everything you offer, they have already reviewed everything online.
Instead of ”Have you stayed with us before?”, ask ”Have you stayed with us or did anything online catch your eye?”
This question will help you find out two important pieces of information.
If the guest has already visited, you will probably find it in the guest overview and will most likely want the same or similar accommodation.
If the guest has not stayed with you before, they may need help choosing. In addition, asking if they saw something on the Internet that intrigued them will give you a more accurate insight into the decision-making process. Maybe they saw something, but they have a question or need some security. Perhaps the option they want is sold out, and they need alternatives. Or they may simply be overwhelmed with choices.
Instead “What brings you here?”, ask, “Is there anything special I can do to help you plan your visit?”
The first question is a traditional way of finding out about the trip’s purpose, which is essential for hotels that host groups or special events. Upgrading that question will make determining what you need to focus on when selling easier. Positioning yourself as a ready and helpful travel planner who can do more than an OTA channel or a call center agent who reads a pre-prepared script, you will become an indispensable factor in the eyes of your potential guest. In addition, if the guest needs help planning something special, it can benefit your income – especially if you offer additional services.
Just ask, “May I ask which website you are on?”
You will use this for only some conversations when you find out if the guest has already booked online or if different prices on another portal are mentioned.
If the guest inquires about your prices, the simplest solution is to complete the reservation immediately, directly in the reservation system you use with a recording of all requests. Also, this is an excellent opportunity to highlight the benefits of direct booking over a third party. Benefits may include less restrictive deposit terms and a cancellation policy.
Ask, “While checking prices, what questions can I answer about location or our services?”
There are several advantages to this question.
You determine the conversational tone of communication, as opposed to the diametrically opposite – transactional.
You position yourself as someone familiar with your offer, content, opportunities, and the local area.
Finally, you move the conversation away from prices and establish a relationship, even before you have seen each other and without reservation confirmation.
Instead of “Do you want to book?”, ask, “Let me book this for you immediately while it is still available …”
Expressing yourself this way, the burden of action is on you instead of the guest, thus removing the dilemma of the final decision. The phrase “While still available” will help create a sense of urgency to book accommodation as soon as possible, before the offer sells out or the price changes.
Phone Calls Forever
It is realistic to assume that everyone who contacts the hotel in which they intend to stay by the phone is not so reliant on the information they can get from the other side. However, predictions of the disappearance of telephone contact are still present, and this type of communication has not disappeared.
Moreover, specific sources are recording increasing trends due to the amount of information on the Internet – and pandemics. In doing so, asking the right questions allows for conversations that create a unique relationship with your guests, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of that.