The front -desk team can decrease distribution costs by: - Avoiding transferring calls off-site to the brand (or third-party) call center. Whether you are part of a brand or use a third-party call center, there is typically either a flat rate per call charge or a commission. If you ask most managers they will tell you that the front desk is only supposed to flip calls offsite when they are busy. However, being in the front-desk mystery shopping business, I can tell you for sure that calls are often transferred when it is not necessary to do so. Make sure your team is aware of the hard costs and also consider implementing a small incentive for every booking they secure. (Note: If your hotel has on-site reservations this is also an opportunity, as experience shows that calls are often transferred unnecessarily even when the office is staffed. Ironically, instead of fielding calls they are often busy entering—or proofreading—third-party extranet bookings. Addressing this issue can save call center booking costs and also improve your call conversion, as on-site agents should be able to convert at a higher level than central reservations.) - Encouraging those who are simply calling to double-check the rate they see on an OTA to book directly right now. Many of today’s callers state right up front that they are comparing a rate they see online. Being in the call-monitoring assessment business, I often hear real callers say something alones the lines of, “I just want to verify a rate I see online.” We also hear too many front-desk agents respond by simply stating the rate. Instead, train your team to go on and ask, “May I go ahead and secure that for you right now?” Get the full story at Hotel News Now