News for the Hospitality Executive
When Deployed Correctly, Courtesy Holds Can Help
By Doug Kennedy
November 26, 2012
The decision on whether or not to offer courtesy holds generally spurs some healthy debating on both sides. Those who argue against courtesy holds generally cite reasons such as:
What types of lodging companies can benefit from offering courtesy holds?
Certainly, not all hotel operations can benefit from offering a courtesy hold and so it is not always the right thing to offer. However, courtesy holds should be considered when:
Giving your reservations sales agents the option of offering a courtesy hold in certain types of call scenarios provides them with an extra tool they need to maximize their call conversion rates. A well-trained sales team will easily know when the conditions are right to offer courtesy holds, such as when callers are inquiring about dates that are far enough out that availability will not be impacted and when callers ready do express legitimate reasons for not being able to commit at the moment.
This tool is especially important for upscale and luxury operations, such as destination type resorts, vacation rental companies, gaming resorts, and spa resorts and thus a high average revenue per guest. The longer the average stay and higher the average rate, the more valuable each and every reservations call potentially is.
If you have not done the exercise in a while, take a moment to multiply your transient average rate by your transient average stay, and that will tell you the revenue potential of every call. Now add-in the “average” revenue your guests spend in outlets such as restaurants, bars, spa, retail, gaming, cabanas, and any other ancillary fees such as parking revenues or resort fees. It is easy to see that each and every “qualified” sales inquiry is certainly work putting forward a tenacious and pro-active sales effort.
The best part is that to the guest, courtesy holds can be presented as offering above and beyond service, as we will explore in more detail below.
How can my team maximize its effectiveness at using courtesy holds?
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