Reservation Agents Are Your Front Line: How to Coach a Winning Team

April 15, 2014 admin

How do you measure your search engine marketing success? If you use only online metrics, you miss the biggest piece of the profitability puzzle, according to Michelle Marquis, NAVIS VP of Marketing and Strategic Initiatives. She clued in the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Digital Marketing Strategy Conference in New York City on Feb. 25 to this game-changing fact: 83% of search engine marketing results in off-line (voice channel) bookings! Read on for how to make the most of every call.

Good coaching brings out the best in your “players.” I revealed NAVIS’ BIG THREE secrets to supercharged call conversions last month. Even with these proven strategies, you need an inspired team to carry them out successfully. How can you motivate reservation agents to aim high every time they take a potential guest’s call?

Commit to coaching rather than training.

A training session gives your team a shot in the arm, but it’s a short-term learning experience. Coaching provides ongoing feedback for a constant improvement process. It means you set goals, monitor progress, and adjust according to trends. Then you’re ready for…

5 Best Practices for Coaching Success

1.  Outline specific expectations.
Coach to call mechanics (The 7 Non-Negotiables) rather than results (increased call conversion).  Do your agents position product before price?  Do your agents give personal recommendations?  Do they ask for the sale?  These are the activities that agents can control and choose to perform.

2.  Monitor an agent’s progress by listening to calls.
NAVIS recommends five calls per coaching session, with two sessions per month.  This gives you enough data to know what your agents need coaching on and where they are having success, as well as enables you to see what changes have been made.

3.  Collect accurate, real-time data on agent performance.
This goes beyond call conversion figures to encompass how often the agent complies with call mechanics. 80% compliance is the NAVIS gold standard.

4.  “Keep, Stop, Start”
In other words, reinforce your agents’ strengths, identify and eliminate undesirable actions, and set new goals. This is especially important once an agent hits the 80% mark on a particular activity.

5.  Find what works to inspire team members.

  • A coaching session with role play and/or scripts can clarify how to apply solutions in the real world.
  • Peer-to-peer coaching can be less intimidating.
  • Self-scoring and brainstorming can encourage agents more than one-way sessions.

 

Of course, coaching requires reliable, up-to-date data. NAVIS’ Reservation Sales System and the NAVIS Marketing Automation Platform (MAP) create the hospitality industry’s most robust and most complete solution to optimize your sales and marketing, backed by our Client Advocate Consulting Team. We help you coach reservation agents to capture bookings that drive your leisure revenue.

Once you’ve coached that team into top form, what’s the next step in encouraging maximum performance? Check in next month for fresh ideas on incentives that support success.

 

Michelle Marquis, NAVIS VP Marketing and Strategic Initiatives

 

 

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