04 Mar 2015

How To Increase Revenue Through The Voice Channel

Many companies today are focused on increasing online bookings, rightfully so, it’s important.  Increasing online bookings is essential for many reasons including:

1. Less human resource required for processing online bookings.

2. Easily measurable to the last click for attribution tracking.

3. Less cost associated with online bookings.

These are a few of the benefits of increasing online bookings, but the reality is, many people when booking a vacation rental are not booking online, especially without talking with someone first.  Why?  Because vacation rentals are not standardized like hotel rooms are.   The average vacation rental booking is often up to 2x to 3x the typical hotel booking, thus, people want to speak with someone before booking to verify they are getting exactly what they are looking for.

So here are a few ways to increase revenue through the voice channel and how Pulse by Track can help.

1. Tracking all calls can help you understand how many inbound leads your reservations team is receiving

How does this help? Without knowing how many calls for availability your team is receiving, you have no way of determining what your closing rate is.  Here is an example of typical 150 unit vacation rental company. A 150 unit vacation rental company could take as many as 10,000 calls in a year.  At a 20% closing rate = 2,000 bookings.  At a 3 night average length of stay X $200 average nightly rate = $1,200,000 in direct bookings. If this company increases their closing rate by 5% (5 bookings for every 100 calls) = 500 additional bookings x 3 nights x $200 = $300,000 incremental bookings.

This would be a big increase in top and bottom line revenues because there is no additional marketing spend required to generate this revenue.

2. Tracking Agent (Sales people) performance provides incentive opportunities and allows top agents to increase performance

In many years of managing and directing sales professionals, one thing has always been true, by showing agents (sales people) how they are performing,  you allow the cream to rise to the top.  Meaning, top performers want to perform at a high level.  Without measuring and showing this data, there is no way for top performers to gauge themselves against the rest of the team.  Since top performers will often be responsible for the majority share of revenues, incentivizing these employees to perform by showing them how they stack rank against their counterparts and incentivizing this performance,  a positive, competitive atmosphere will begin to develop within your reservations team.  There are many positive side effects of this type of sales culture.

3. Follow up with inbound calls via outbound call blitzes to recover lost opportunities to increase reservations

If the company with 10,000 calls books 2,000 reservations, this means there are 8,000 calls from travelers interested in booking that did not confirm on the first inbound call.  If these 8,000 calls are followed up with and 3% turn into a reservation, this equates to 240 incremental reservations and potentially upwards of $240,000 at a $1000 average booking. Even incentivizing your staff with a 10% commission would still deliver a net gain of $216,000 in new bookings.

Why should you follow up with these leads?  This is obvious, because if you are not following up with these leads, there is as good a chance that the guest simply finds another property management company with a similar rental, at a similar price and books with that company instead of yours. With the internet being the dominant way people discover, research, plan and book their lodging, it is simply too important to follow up with leads that do not convert on the first call or user session.

Following up with a consistent outbound approach allows your organization to consistently close more business than your competition does if they do not have this strategy. TrackPulse allows your company to track all inbound calls, track agent performance, save leads and create follow up opportunities.

By implementing the TrackPulse software and implementing these strategies, you will likely see an increase in closing rates, bookings, revenues and profits.

Happy Booking!


Matt Renner

VP Sales & Partner ResortsandLodges.com and TRACK