So you have spent all that money on a fab new website, Facebook ads, glossy marketing materials and then when a customer enquires with you, there is either nobody there to answer their phone call or nobody responds to the enquiry at all. So what happens? Chances are they will probably book at your competitor.
Can you hand on heart say this is not happening at your venue?
Sometimes it is the simple processes that we forget to look at and first impressions mean so much.
Contrary to popular belief these days, people still prefer to speak to a human being, in which case research shows that people make decisions about other people within the first seven seconds of meeting.
How about adopting this idea into your own sales interactions? What is happening in the first seven seconds of a customer calling your venue? Or the first seven seconds of them speaking to your sales team?
The same focus should be applied to your enquiry response times via your website, Social media or email.
Do you have a standard in place for the turnaround time for responses for room enquiries, dinner reservations or event enquiries?
If the answer is no, I suggest you put one in place pretty pronto! For example in the hotel and events industry a response time of about 2 hours or less might be a starting point. This statistic from Inside Sales might make you think:
“If you follow up with web leads within 5 minutes you are 9 times more likely to convert them.”
From my own personal experiences if I have a few places in mind for dinner and one out of the three answer my call, I will more than likely book the venue that answered/responded and not bother following up on the others. (Depending on how they handle my enquiry of course!)
Spend some time reviewing how customers get hold of you and how quickly you are responding. Check what your competitors are doing.
If you are a restaurant have someone available to answer the phone or take bookings in the morning, even when you are not open. At the very least have a voicemail with a guarantee of a response within a certain time frame, nothing more frustrating than a restaurant phone that rings out with no response or acknowledgement!
If you are a hotel or conference venue, have another department take a fully briefed message on an enquiry form that is to standard, with all details and guarantee a call back in a specified time frame.
When I was writing this blog I had a few experiences of my own where responses where far from great. A gardener who doesn’t check his Facebook messages more than twice a week! A plumber who never responded to my texts because he was too busy! and a couple of luxury hotels who had nobody available to speak to me when I was trying to book a dinner for a special occasion AND it was within normal working hours!
“35-50% of sales goes to the company that responds first!” – Inside Sales.
You might only get one chance! This could be a massive but simple opportunity to stand out from your competitors. What you waiting for!?
For more information on how People Buy People can help your hotel and events venue or restaurant with your Processes and Enquiry Handling Sales Skills, please get in touch via email or give me a call on 07711999123. Check out my other blogs for more advice, hints and tips.