One of the biggest factors contributing to a successful Front Office Upgrade Program is turnover. Manage it well and as new Agents come and go over time, you can build in continuity and performance. The stability and success of your Upgrade Program hinges on new agents getting the training and support they need at the most critical times.
As such, we’ve identified three of the biggest challenges your program will face as new Agents join your team and how to best address these issues. In short, they are 1) product knowledge, 2) system confidence, and 3) service excellence.
A new Agent understandably lacks a familiar knowledge of your property’s different room categories and the subtle – or not so subtle – differences within categories. What exactly does partial-ocean mean? While room tours are a very standard part of onboarding, what varies is a hotel or brand’s focus on this aspect of onboarding.
It matters because it is rather difficult and intimidating early on to try to Upgrade a guest at check-in when you have a limited product knowledge. We want Agents to offer guests something that will truly enhance their stay. Guests are savvy and can sense when someone is offering them an Upgrade for the wrong reasons.
For example, there is a big difference between offering a romance couple an Upgrade simply because “it’s a bigger room” versus honing in on the romantic experience the guests are seeking by saying, “I think you would both really enjoy the beautiful view on the balcony that overlooks the ocean- the sunsets are incredible.”
Recommendations for Success
- Begin educating your new team members by hosting daily, weekly and/or monthly meetings in your most valuable upgradeable rooms, especially suites. If holding frequent team meetings isn’t feasible, then send your Agents up during a slower time of the day to individually explore and get acquainted with your rooms.
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