We need to be concentrated on the quality that the guests experience when they come to our hotel. The experience needs to be good enough so that guests will speak well about the hotel to their friends and family; in the best scenario, hotels must be able to provide a perfect service so that in case guests repeat destination, they will choose the same hotel.
I am among the people for who customer service is a priority that can always be better. But in order to provide the service, first of all we need to develop an essential commercial service: selling rooms.
If we do not sell our rooms, any service may be provided.
There are three different channels throw which we may sell our rooms:
- At the front desk
- By telephone
- By internet
Every channel is different and request a specific infrastructure.
AT THE FRONT DESK
At the front desk of a hotel we may put Price lists at disposal, with descriptions and photographies of the different room categories; this information will be useful in order to helping the receptionists and the concierges to finish their sales.
Telephones make the hotel contactable 24/24. If the hotel does not have employees 24/24, we may install a recorder center so that messages will be registered in order to keeping contacts about new possible reservations.
Then we may speak about selling rooms by internet. Internet offers many options that can be simplified as per follow:
- Selling rooms through hotel’s web site
- Promoting rooms through different web sites
Selling rooms online presents the same advantage that selling rooms by telephone: it makes possible a 24/24 contact. But there is a nuance: selling rooms online removes some of the barriers that are found when we analyze room sales by telephone:
- While telephone requests our employees to be formed in different languages if we want to reach different target markets, selling rooms online ease the creation of a web site in different languages.
- Selling rooms by telephone has the limitation of how many lines are available and how many lines remain available when the guests call. Selling rooms online remove these two barrier.
Selling rooms online (directly without any intermediaries) has many advantages but it does not mean that every strategy will be successful.
What does a successful selling room online’ strategy depend on?
The answer is repeated on every web site about selling strategies or about key factors of hotel marketing.
- Design of our web site
- Web positioning
- Place efficient advertising on target web sites
However, there is much more than that. When talking about increasing sales, there is a common point for all different channels: price strategy.
Our employees may be perfectly formed, our web site may be at the search engine’s top 1; if we have these but our prices are not “well done”, we may not sell anything.
In conclusion, it means that coordination is needed between the different selling channels (knowing which one reports more clients), and overall, it is necessary to communicate between reservations, marketing and revenue management department to develop a good selling rooms online’ strategy.
Javier Guijarro Segado
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