The other day I was stood in the reception of the top Glasgow hotel. While I waited to check in the sole receptionist took a phone call.
What I heard was
“I’m sorry our wedding coordinator isn’t here at the moment. Can you call back in the morning?“
Mmm, now I wonder if I would bother to phone back. The chances are that this potential wedding booking has been lost forever.
But how many other hotels are guilty of similar scenarios, of letting potential room, conference or wedding bookings slip through their fingers?
Now I’m not suggesting that the meetings or wedding coordinators need to be on hand 24/7, but at the very least ensure that there are some procedures in place for anyone to take an enquiry and give the potential customer confidence in the hotel’s ability to handle the potential booking.
Ensure that all of your staff who are customer facing (not just reception) fully understand the facilities on offer. It should be part of their induction to see the facilities, the layouts and get a general understanding of the types of events you’re able to host at the hotel. Even if someone is new the very minimum is to have a handy fact sheet to hand for any enquiries to include this top ten:
- Number of meeting/function rooms
- Optional layouts for each room
- Capacity of each room for each layout
- Equipment available
- Basic charges and what these rates include
- Breakout areas
- Catering options
- Wedding licence?
- Anywhere for indoor photos?
- Any other frequently asked questions about your venue
Don’t just assume that because you have a list that everyone treats enquiries in the same way. Ask a friend or colleague to act as a mystery shopper and find out how your staff deal with these enquiries.
And as an absolute last resort, even if you can’t manage this, make sure that your front of house team have a system in place to capture details of the prospective customer and are able to make a commitment to them that their enquiry will be followed up, by whom and by when.
And of course that you deliver on this promise and follow up promptly….
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