Hotel sales people know the importance of answering the telephone

Hotel sales people answer the phone after 2 rings

Hotel sales managers realize that answering the telephone at the right time can positively impact sales.

In my hotel sales training company we spend a lot of time studying the phone ringing in your hotel sales office. We don’t specifically answer your telephone, of course, but we make about 55 to 60 test calls every month to different hotel sales departments around the country. This includes great big giant hotels, small little hotels, hotels with a lot of meeting space, hotels with zero meeting space, rooms only events… We spent a lot of time with AT&T working on this; they’re the premiere analysts of telephone behavior and performance.

So let’s start at the very beginning. The phone rings at your hotel sales office and it’s an inquiry call from a real bona fide customer. How many rings should you allow before you answer that phone? Take a second and think about that — what do you think?

As it turns out, two and a half is exactly right. If you can answer your hotel sales phone within the second and third ring, it demonstrates professionalism. It also makes establishes your credibility just by answering the phone within the second and third ring—you’re projecting an image of an administrative skill set that says: I can answer the phone in a timely and efficient manner, and so you should be comfortable trusting your event, your business your group, or your travelers with me. It’s a great way to impress the caller right from the start. All you have to do to distinguish yourself from your hotel sales competition is answer the phone in a timely manner.

The second best answer is between the first and the second ring, but evidence shows that callers are actually rushed a little bit, they’re still coughing, chewing smoking, drinking their coffee or tea or whatever it is, you’re actually a little too soon.

By the way, just for fun, what do we call it when you answer your hotel sales office phone between the zero and the first ring? Desperate? Yeah…Not very busy? Yeah. There’s another word for it; it hasn’t even rung and you answer it. We call it clairvoyant. I knew you were going to be calling!

But seriously, what happens if your hotel sales phone isn’t answered until the sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, fifteenth ring? It’s so bad; it’s about the worst image you can project. It says that I can’t even answer the phone in a timely and efficient manner, how could you possibly trust your business, group, event traveler to me?

You should have the ability to make sure there is always someone there to answer the hotel sales phone. This is sometimes more difficult in the smaller hotels. If you’re out on outside hotel sales calls (which we heartily agree that you should be), then who should be answering the phone when it rings in your office when you’re off property? Well, if you’re lucky enough to have a catering manager, use him or her as a backstop. Even the general manager of a small hotel can take on that duty.  In very small hotels, the G.M. is probably used to backing up everyone on the property.

You should try to communicate to whoever will be fielding your hotel sales calls, “I’m going to be on outside calls all day (or all afternoon, etc.), so somebody better answer the phones. Please don’t let it go to voice mail.” We don’t really want it going into voice mail. Evidence suggest that if the customer knows you already, they may well want your voice mail to leave you a message, an inquiry, feedback, etc. But we have to give them that choice…

Here’s some other tips on HOW to answer the phone in the hotel sales office.

Posted 5/29/12

 

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