While there are so many benefits to the TRACK Pulse system, one that I am particularly fond of is that it enables trainers like me to listen-in to recordings of real calls from real callers.  This provides such insights into what today’s callers are looking to hear and is always a learning experience.

One thing that always hits me is that despite all of the information that is posted online at our websites, today’s callers still seem to want us to describe what they will see and experience. In the early years of my training career I always called this “painting the pictures,” as callers had very little information other than a few thumbnail pictures in a brochure.  Today, they have seen dozens of images at the hotel’s website, and probably a few more of the “real traveler photos” at TripAdvisor and elsewhere. On top of that, an increasing number of websites even offer virtual tours, 3D floor plans and 360° tours.

Yet still they ask “What’s it like?”  I know in our heart of hearts we as reservations agents sometimes want to say “Well, it looks like it looks in the pictures you just saw!”   

Today, rather than “painting the pictures” we need to “narrate the pictures” they have already seen online.  The best way to do so is to use a “storytelling” approach. Here are three ways to do so:

1) Visually and emotionally descriptive language.  Rather than over-use a few “comfort words,” work to expand your vocabulary to sell the experience. Colorful adjectives and adverbs to help callers imagine what we are describing. Words that appeal to emotions more than intellect. Rather than saying there is a view, tell them what they will see, feel and experience.  Go beyond the comfort words we all tend to over-use such as “beautiful,” “nice,” and “great.” Instead use words that appeal to their senses.

2) Use the “just for you” approach to include the caller in the descriptions.  Replace “we have” with “you will enjoy.” Replace “we offer” with “you will receive.”

Here are some examples that demonstrate how to use these two concepts together:

  • “Imagine yourself stepping out onto your own private balcony as you look out and see…” instead of “This room has a balcony with a view…”
  • “Imagine scheduling some alone time during your family vacation to enjoy a tranquil visit to our spa where you can enjoy…” instead of “Our spa is located on the second floor and is open from 9am until 6pm. They offer massages and skin care…”
  • “Imagine enjoying a romantic dinner with your wife right here at the resort. When you enter the restaurant you will see…” instead of “We have a fine dining restaurant that serves seafood…”

3) Use needs-based recommendations, suggestions and endorsements.  When you stop to think about how many options a caller has viewed online prior to dialing our number, it is virtually certain that they are a bit confused and probably also overwhelmed with choices. Therefore, reassure them they are making a good choice. Example: “Since you mentioned (special circumstance) this would be a great option because…”  Recommendations, suggestions and endorsements work very well throughout the call, but the best time is when you are presenting accommodations and rates.

  • “As to rooms, there are three terrific options I can recommend for your family vacation…” instead of “We offer standard, superior and deluxe rooms.”
  • “Yes, I do have that and since you’re here for (purpose) that would be an excellent choice!” instead of “Yes, that room you asked about is available.”

Doug Kennedy

October 9, 2018

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