In today's consumer world, a brand's image carries as much weight as the brand's service. Without branding, there would be no sure-fire way to differentiate yourself from your immediate competition. Imagine shopping for groceries in a store without branding. There would be no way to identify your favorite snacks among dozens of identical items.
A brand's image gives the company personality, relatability, and encourages brand loyalty. For hoteliers, your brand's image can be made or broken by your reservation department or call center, which in many cases is the primary customer touchpoint.
If you want to create and maintain a healthy brand image for your hotel, rely on a highly trained call center to help you do just that. Continue reading below to find out all the reasons why Your Hotel's Call Center is Ground Zero for Your Brand Image.
First Impressions Matter
In the hotel business, like in life, first impressions are everything. A good first impression can be the catalysts to a lifetime relationship with a customer and create brand loyalty that leads to repeat business. Alternatively, a bad first impression can not only deter potential business from one customer, but it can spread like a virus through online reviews, social media, and word of mouth and severely hurt your business.
For hotels, first impressions don't start with a handshake, they start with your reservation department or call center. More specifically, your brand's first impression begins with whoever is answering the phone in your reservation department or call center. If that person is rude, unhelpful, incompetent, and does not exude professionalism, then your hotel's image may be in trouble.
Bad News Travels Quickly
An increasing number of customers in the hospitality industry are experiencing negative call center experiences and are sharing them far and wide across social media. A decade or two ago, news of a bad customer interaction would only reach a handful of people, and the impact on your business would be insignificant.
Today that is far from the case. News of bad customer service representatives, rude employees, or lazy workers spreads like wildfire over social media. Not only will a bad interaction with your call center discourage a customer from booking with your hotel, but it could discourage potential future bookings as well, which will leave a lasting mark on your brand's image. With the broad-reaching consequences of the information age, no hotel can afford the negative repercussions of an underperforming call center.
It Starts with Training
The hospitality industry relies on the trusted teachings of the Kennedy Training Network, whose training concepts help increase sales and revenue across various business models.
Kennedy Training Network Certified call center agents represent the best in the business. Underachieving call centers don't have to be rude or completely inept to misrepresent your brand. They could simply be underperforming by not sharing everything your business has to offer.
A recent test of top hotel brands' call centers found that the majority of call center employees failed to sufficiently convey their hotel's best features.
- Only 14% of tested call centers asked Discovery Questions.
- Merely 7% adequately sold their hotel's benefits.
- Only 25% of call centers described the hotel's rooms.
- Just 25% quoted more than one room category.
In summary, if your hotel's call center isn't doing everything they can to sell rooms and work for you, they're working against you and not fulfilling the potential of your brand's image. A call center does more than fulfill the duties of your reservation department, they represent your brand and in doing so, become synonymous with your brand's image in the eyes of your customers.
Overseas call centers aren't the answer
You've worked tirelessly to craft your brand's identity and separate yourself from your competition, don't let your hotel's call center hold you back. As previously mentioned, your call center represents your business, if you're call center's underperforming your business, and the perception of it, will suffer.
Outsourcing your reservation department to an overseas call center may save you money temporarily, but ultimately it will cost you bookings. While agents may sound polite, they may have a challenge with the American English dialect and the nuance of cultural differences in North America.
While technology advancements have allowed thousands of businesses to outsource work overseas, many businesses who shifted their call centers overseas experienced a significant decrease in the quality of their customer interactions.
Image is everything
In today's digital age, image is everything, and for better or worse, it's permanent. According to John Smallwood, President of Travel Outlook, "When it comes to making great first impressions on behalf of your business, trust trained professionals who can artfully sell your business and who know the ins and outs of what makes your hotel great."
With the right call center on your side, your brand's image could be defined by its powerful first impressions and detail-oriented customer service.
ABOUT TRAVEL OUTLOOK PREMIUM HOTEL CALL CENTER
Given its progressive approach to the voice channel - in terms of performance, training, transparency, testing and the tools used to measure performance - Travel Outlook the Premier Hotel Call Center™ is the leading voice reservations team in hospitality. Travel Outlook's valued client list includes Viceroy Hotel Group, Curator, Outrigger, KSL Resorts, Proper Hospitality Group, Pacific Hospitality Group, Highgate Hotels, Atlantis, The Irvine Company, Catalina Island, and many others. Travel Outlook's team and approach increases sales conversion and helps to create more effective voice communication between hotels and their guests, resulting in improved social scores in addition to increased voice channel revenue. www.traveloutlook.com.