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Advantage Reserve Partners with Kennedy Training Network

Call Center Agents Set to Earn 'KTN Certified' Designation


NEW YORK—January 23, 2013—Advantage Reserve LLC, a company specializing in high-quality, high-touch voice reservation services to independent hotels, resorts and management companies, announced that it has partnered with the Kennedy Training Network (KTN) to provide annual KTN Hotel Reservations SAILS Training to its call center agents. All current Advantage Reserve agents have completed either the on-site or webinar version of Hotel Reservations SAILS Training with the goal of becoming KTN Certified. New agents will complete their training within 30 days of their start date.

“Ongoing education is imperative in our industry,” says Robert Wilson, president of Advantage Reserve. “The training has heightened each agent’s ability to convert calls that result in more revenue per booking, and helped them better match each guest’s needs.”

“We are excited to work with Advantage Reserve,” says Douglas Kennedy, founder and president of KTN. “Their call center agents are proving that our training works. Callers are experiencing a much more caller-focused, personalized experience.”

A ‘Just for You’ Sales Approach

SAILS stands for “Situational Sensitivity,” “Alluring Descriptions,” “Investigative Selling Approach,” “Listening Interactively,” and “Secure the Sale.” The goal of SAILS is to use a “just for you” sales approach to help close the sale.
 
Advantage Reserve’s call center agent training includes a role playing session with a KTN Reservations Sales Coach, during which agents demonstrate that they can use the SAILS concepts in handling various types of call scenarios. Agents are also assessed using KTN criteria as part of a mystery shopping program. This encourages conversational selling and allows agents to be assessed on a minimum of four “full inquiry” calls per month. Agents who complete the role playing sessions and mystery shopping calls and who score a minimum of 80 percent will earn a KTN Certificate.

“We developed the KTN call center certification process for call centers that go above and beyond the typical level of call center service,” Kennedy says. “When Advantage Reserve found out we were offering this, they were immediately interested. Advantage Reserve is already performing at a high degree of efficiency and they want to reach another level.”

As part of the partnership, Advantage Reserve has agreed to consistently review its agents monthly using SAILS training techniques provided by KTN. This includes reviewing agent performance based on call conversion ratio, total revenue sold by agent, average revenue per booking, and call monitoring/mystery shopping. Advantage Reserve will maintain a KTN approved agent recognition or incentive plan that reinforces conversational selling, factoring in some if not all of the above metrics. Advantage Reserve will also provide for KTN training reinforcement for existing agents, whether on-site or via webinar, at least once per 12 month period.

“Doug is the leader in hospitality training,” Wilson says. “We are both excited and fortunate to be able to partner with him long term to continually improve our performance and to also monitor that performance.”

More Than 150 Hotel Clients
 
The announcement with Kennedy Training Network comes on the heels of Advantage Reserve’s recent news that it had moved its offices to a new location in Manhattan, doubling its capacity and positioning itself for future growth. Advantage Reserve now has more than 150 hotel clients and 80 employees.

Unique to Advantage Reserve is its pay-for-performance business model where the hotel is only charged when a call is converted. Advantage Reserve does not charge any implementation, setup or per-minute fees. Hotels are only charged for actualized reservations and never charged for cancellations, no-show or non-reservation calls that find their way to the Advantage Reserve call center. Hotel partners benefit from experienced hotel industry professionals while avoiding the additional expenses associated with salaried or hourly employees.

Advantage Reserve agents book into all of the major central reservations systems. Advantage Reserve has been certified by MICROS Systems, Inc. for a two-way interface with the MICROS OPERA Property Management System (PMS). Advantage Reserve is the first and only voice reservations services provider to have the interface with the OPERA PMS.

Highly Trained Call Center Agents

Advantage Reserve’s multilingual agents are seasoned hoteliers trained to be knowledgeable of each property Advantage Reserve represents. During a call, the guest never knows the reservation agent is not sitting at the property. Advantage Reserve provides incentive programs to its agents and ongoing training and mystery shopping to keep them up to speed on the features and benefits of its customer’s locations.

“We compile and distribute weekly reports to our hotel partners that include the volume of reservations made, room type, and rate category,” Wilson says. “We also provide conversion ratios: regrets, denials, and total conversions. We offer full reasons for regrets and denials—on a weekly basis.”
   
The Advantage Reserve team can handle full time and/or overflow and after-hours calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

About Advantage Reserve, LLC:
Advantage Reserve is a provider of high-quality, high-touch voice reservations services exclusive to the hospitality industry. Located in the heart of New York City, Advantage Reserve partners with independent hotels, resorts and management companies to provide toll-free private label voice reservations on an on-demand or as-needed basis 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
 
Advantage Reserve is comprised of seasoned hoteliers and focuses on service to guests and hotel partners first and foremost. The company’s mission is to enhance the service levels, revenues and profitability of its client hotels by providing timely, gracious and informed assistance to potential guests—resulting in outstanding conversion of reservation inquiries. For additional information, contact Robert Wilson at (212) 989-3684, e-mail info@advantagereserve.com, or go to www.advantagereserve.com.

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Contact:

Robert Wilson, CHA | President
Advantage Reserve, LLC

(212) 989-3684
E-mail: info@advantagereserve.com
www.advantagereserve.com

Glenn Hasek, President
Hasek Communications
(216) 848-1406; cell: (216) 702-0334
E-mail:
hasekcom@aol.com

 

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Also See: Advantage Reserve Doubles Voice Reservation Service Capacity; Pay-for-Performance Business Model Helps Drive Company’s Growth / November 2012

Advantage Reserve Certified by MICROS Systems for Two-Way Interface with OPERA PMS; Company is First Voice Reservations Services Provider to Interface with OPERA PMS / May 2012

Advantage Reserve Executes Call Center Agreement with TRAVELCLICK®; Company Becomes a Preferred U.S. Provider for eCommerce Leader / March 2010

Great Addresses Chooses Advantage Reserve to Provide Toll-Free Call Center Support; TravelCLICK’s iHotelier CRS Utilized to Access ‘Live’ Room Inventory / November 2008

Advantage Reserve Launches Private Label, Toll-Free Voice Reservation Service; Web Booking Engine, GDS Connectivity Also Available to Boutiques, Independents / June 2008
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