In my last posts – post 1 marketing and sales representation – post 2 we dealt with importance of a marketer – post 3 importance of the operators and agents.
In this post we are going to look at what is required to handle your inquiries, bookings and reservations at the lodge itself.
Have the right person on reservations & inquiries – too many times I find at the lodge the job is handled by the manager or receptionist – this is a specialist job that needs to be handled by a person who is well trained and it is their dedicated position. It is not a multi task position. This is your blood line; your incoming income mess it up and you don’t need the marketer or the rest of your staff because you have nothing.
So you need the right person on this front line – they must be well trained in handling reservations (incoming calls & emails) they must be friendly with good communication skills as well as a full knowledge of the lodge and what is offered and be able to use their initiative, they must answer the phone promptly they must reply to emails immediately – how many times I see the hotel or lodge think that 24 or 48 hour turn around time is acceptable – no the agent needs an immediate answer if you don’t by the time you get back to them they have already found another property for their client.
The lodge must have the right tools, reliable communications – your phones and internet must work all the time – you must have a good reservations system like Knightsbridge or similar and linked to your website – your website should be up-to-date with all relevant and truthful information and rates.
Your reservations person needs to follow up on quotes and provisional bookings as well as follow up on bookings that have outstanding deposits or final payments due.
I hope this little bit of information has been helpful I have dealt with the fundamental basics and many lodges fall down in this area.
At Dreams 4 Africa we understand all aspects of the lodge industry if you would like to know more about our marketing assistance for lodges I would be happy to discuss this with you – call me on 0825788591 or firstname.lastname@example.org www.dreams4africa.com Mark Collins