Tip for quoting rates at check-in

This Extended Stay Inn puts their "Welcome" attitude on display.

This Extended Stay Inn puts their “Welcome” attitude on display.

Here’s a real-life situation that demonstrates how a quick-thinking front desk clerk created a return guest. Prior to arriving at the hotel, the guest phoned reservations to inquire about availability and rates.

The rate for a standard room with a king bed was quoted at $104. The guest asked if there was a AAA rate available and the agent replied that the rate would be $94. The guest then asked if it was necessary to make the reservation by phone, or since she was arriving within the hour, could she just walk in. The agent replied that there were nine king rooms available and a reservation was not necessary.

Fast forward to arrival at the hotel where the front desk clerk greeted the guest and quoted a AAA rate for a king room to be $104. Quickly the guest informed the clerk that the reservation agent had stated the AAA rate to be $94.

What would your front desk clerk say to this guest?

There are a few scenarios here to imagine – some ending badly for the hotel and the guest. But in this case, the front desk clerk did the right thing. He immediately replied that he would be willing to honor the $94 rate.

Why was this the right thing to do?
– The clerk demonstrated trust in the guest

– The clerk established good will with the guest, possibly setting up return visits or positive social media reviews

– The clerk obtained room revenue for the hotel that might otherwise have been lost

Here’s how to empower your clerks to do the right thing about rates at the front desk:  establish a “sell no lower than” rate for each day/time period, and at the same time run an incentive program for achieving an average rate higher than budgeted. These programs, in combination, allow the clerks the flexibility to create a satisfied guest while still motivating the clerks to try for higher rates.



Post from On The Road. March 2013

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