8 ways to increase hotel phone bookings and grow direct revenue — Source: Revinate, Inc.

Even in today’s digital age, the voice channel remains powerful for hotel bookings. Our 2024 Hospitality Benchmark Report found that the voice channel maintains the highest average booking value of any channel, and outbound call campaigns can net properties an additional $1,717 per room each year on average.

In today’s competitive market, your ability to effectively leverage your voice channel can be the key to greater direct revenue streams and guest loyalty. Here we explore effective strategies to help you increase hotel phone bookings and propel your business forward.

1. Put your digits on display

One fundamental tactic to increase hotel phone bookings is to make certain your reservation sales phone number is prominently displayed on your website. This means featuring both your toll-free and local numbers for maximum accessibility. Strategically place them in the header or footer of each website page, as well as in your contact section.

It’s equally important to ensure that your numbers are correct and consistent across search results and business profile pages. Why? Because 70% of customers expect the convenience of a click-to-call button when browsing on their mobile devices. It creates a smooth path to the next step in the booking process.

2. Build a winning team

As the presence of technology continues to grow in the hospitality industry, maintaining the human touch becomes even more invaluable. To maximize your revenue potential, it’s critical to select the right team members for your hotel call center. Remember that these representatives are the voice of your brand, embodying your values with each conversation.

By investing in individuals who have excellent communication skills and understand the nuances of hospitality, you ensure a pleasant and positive booking experience for your guests. Furthermore, well-trained staff can effectively upsell amenities, handle challenging inquiries, and personalize offers in ways that enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

3. Capitalize on outbound opportunities

Revinate research shows that 64% of guests don’t book on the first call with an agent. So, achieving the full potential of hotel phone bookings involves more than just fielding inbound calls. It’s also about proactively reaching out to potential customers through outbound calls.

Creating a shift toward a sales mindset among agents is key. By equipping them with the tools and training to effectively convert outbound calls into bookings, you help inspire a sense of ownership and motivation among your agents because they can clearly see how their efforts directly impact revenue generation.

4. Turn insights into income with a CDP

Essential elements to increase hotel phone bookings and improve your outbound sales efforts include maintaining standardized notetaking practices and leveraging an advanced Customer Data Platform (CDP).

Detailed notes from phone conversations — such as contact information, trip timelines, preferences, and price ranges — can be captured and stored in a centralized CDP. This allows easy transitions between agents for follow-ups, and helps ensure no important information slips through the cracks.

The notes also serve as vital data points for targeted marketing efforts and personalized recommendations. With invaluable insights at your agents’ fingertips, every conversation becomes an opportunity to deepen your connection with customers, ultimately driving higher conversion rates.

For example, let’s say an agent can see that a previous visitor enjoyed a few spa treatments during their last visit. Armed with this information, your agent can delight the guest with the personalized touch of recommending a special spa package for their upcoming stay.

5. Provide 24/7 availability

Securing hotel phone bookings hinges on accessibility, so having a reservation team available 24/7 is crucial. An on-demand contact center such as RezForce can seamlessly fill in any gaps during off-hours, and handle overflow calls when needed.

With highly trained agents functioning as an extension of your reservations team, RezForce can play a key role in helping you capture leads and expanding your property’s marketing database. This dynamic solution helps boost direct revenue by empowering your property to capitalize on every phone call that comes in, regardless of the time of day.

6. Rely on the right technology

According to CCW research, nearly 70% of agents say that insufficient automation causes them frustration, and requires them to spend too much time on manual, low-value tasks.
Advanced hotel call center software can play a significant role in helping to increase hotel phone bookings.

A modern, cloud-based solution like Revinate’s Reservation Sales automates time-consuming processes, and streamlines operations for agents. Integration with your PMS and/or CDP gives agents instant access to rich guest data, facilitating those all-important personalized interactions we discussed above.

Scalability is another important element to consider. You want a call center solution that effortlessly adapts to your business’s changing needs, allowing you to deliver a consistent level of high-quality service and drive more direct bookings to boost your bottom line.

7. Coach your team

Another strategy to help elevate your phone bookings is providing regular coaching and call center training for your reservation agents. The right platform can facilitate coaching by enabling easy tracking, tagging, and locating recorded calls for those teachable moments.

You can also provide instant access to a knowledge base to empower your agents to handle complex queries on the fly. Consistent coaching boosts agent engagement and the overall customer experience. It also leads to greater job satisfaction among agents, helping reduce attrition rates.

8. Use conversational sales tactics

Mastering conversational sales techniques allows hotel call center agents to build stronger relationships with potential guests, which in turn drives more phone bookings.

One of the most effective tactics agents can employ is active listening. Rather than simply sharing a standard list of hotel amenities with each caller, it’s much more effective for an agent to ask open-ended questions, and truly listen to understand the experiences travelers are looking for. Agents can then easily connect a guest’s desires with the unique features of your property.

For example, if a caller expresses interest in outdoor activities, your agent can highlight nearby adventure excursions and scenic hiking trails.

In addition, agents should embrace common courtesy, maintaining an upbeat and friendly tone. They can share relatable personal stories in a normal conversational give and take, creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere that leaves callers feeling truly valued.

To help equip your agents in employing conversational sales tactics, we’ve put together a checklist to guide your reservation team in securing more hotel bookings through engaging conversations. You can use the checklist to create key performance indicators (KPIs) for call scoring — a way to help ensure your agents maintain consistent call quality.

Checklist for hotel call center agents

  • ✅ Use personalization: Introduce yourself and use the guest’s name during the call. Use information gathered to make tailored recommendations that are specific to guests needs and interests.
  • ✅ Employ active listening: Listen attentively to what a caller is saying, and respond thoughtfully by repeating back key points to confirm that you understand.
  • ✅ Ask open-ended questions: Ask clarifying questions to uncover a guest’s preferences and desires. For instance, “Tell me about your ideal vacation experience?” Or “What activities are you most excited about?”
  • ✅ Be patient: Politely address any concerns, and allow callers plenty of time to express their thoughts without rushing them.
  • ✅ Be professional: Use courtesy and thoughtfulness throughout your conversation with a caller.
  • ✅ Be engaging: Maintain a natural, upbeat, and friendly tone, steering clear of slang. Share personal anecdotes to create a relatable atmosphere during the conversation.
  • ✅ Take notes: Capture data and record detailed notes — including any special requests — to help personalize future interactions, and enhance your marketing efforts.
  • ✅ Protect privacy: Avoid sharing sensitive information, and assure guests that any personal details discussed will remain confidential.
  • ✅ Ask for the reservation: Don’t forget to ask for the sale! This may seem obvious, but our research shows agents skip this step 60% of the time.
  • ✅ Overcome objections: Address objections tactfully by emphasizing urgency, offering flexible date options, or seeking clarification and exploring alternatives through thoughtful questions.
  • ✅ Offer to follow up: Offer to set up an appointment to call them later to address any lingering concerns or questions promptly.
  • ✅ Show appreciation: Whether a caller books during the call or not, always show appreciation by thanking the caller for their time.

Transform calls to conversions

To sum up, the voice channel remains indispensable for property owners aiming to increase direct bookings. Every call provides an essential opportunity to connect with customers in a positive way. By implementing the strategies and tactics discussed, you have the tools you need to optimize your phone reservations, boost loyalty, and reap the rewards of higher direct booking revenue.

About Revinate

Revinate empowers hoteliers to directly connect with their guests.

Our Guest Data Platform and communication solutions unlock revenue for hoteliers and put them in control of the full guest experience — initial research, booking, check-in, throughout the stay, and even after check out — all via the communication channels that guests prefer, whether it's voice, text, email, or web.

More than 12,000 hotels globally bank on Revinate to drive direct revenue and deliver delightful guest experiences.

Ask us how we do it. Visit our website to get a demo.

Sanjana Chappalli
VP of Brand Marketing and Communications
Revinate, Inc.

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