Welcome to INNsider Tips.

In today’s INNsider Tip, I will talk about Guidelines for Answering Your Hospitality Properties Phone.

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Before I start I want to urge you to visit KeystoneHPD.com, our home page and watch the short video. If you stay to the end, you will qualify for a free bonus that will help grow your property’s business.

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Make sure you visit keystonehpd.com.

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This may sound like a strange concept to some but there are still properties that use phones.

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Why?

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When people call you looking for information or to get a reservation, they want to talk to a live person, not a recorded robot. If you operate a small property and are not always at the desk to take a call, get a call forwarding answering service or extra staff to make sure a real human is answering your business phone.

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The next step is to make sure the person answering your property’s phone is using the appropriate skills for business. For many guests, the phone will be their first point of contact and first impression of your business.

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Answering your hospitality properties phone properly and win business:

a) Answer all incoming calls before the third ring.

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b) When you answer the phone, smile, be warm and enthusiastic.

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c) When answering the phone, welcome callers courteously and identify yourself and your property. Say, for instance, “Good morning. Twin Oaks Inn. Gerry speaking. How may I help you?” No one should ever have to ask if they reached “Twin Oaks Inn”.

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d) Enunciate, speaks slowly and clearly keeping your voice volume moderate, so your caller can understand you easily.

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e) Don’t use buzzwords or slang or use fillers when you speak. For example, “uh-huh”, “um”, or phrases such as “like” or “you know”. 

Quite often we do not realize we’re doing this, so record your voice, listen for the filler words, and to train yourself to recognize them when you are speaking.

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f) Be positive when phone answering, even on a down day. For example, rather than saying, “I don’t know”, say, “Let me find out about that for you.”

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g) Take phone messages completely and accurately using full sentences. If there’s something you don’t understand or can’t spell, such as a person’s address or surname, ask the caller to repeat it or spell it for you.

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h) Return your messages within one day at the latest. I can’t emphasize this one enough.

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i) Always ask the caller if it’s all right to put them on hold when answering the phone, and don’t leave people on hold. Provide callers on hold with progress reports every 30 to 45 seconds. Offer them choices if possible, such as “That line is still busy. Will you continue to hold or should I have ________ call you back?” When on hold, don’t leave your callers listening to dead air. Have soothing music playing and occasional promotions for your products.

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j) Don’t use a speakerphone unless absolutely necessary.

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k)If you have to use an answering machine to answer calls, make sure that you have a professional message recorded.

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l) Train everyone else who answers the phone to answer the same way.

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That is it for today’s INNsider Tip.

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That’s today’s INNsider tips.

Until next time, have a fun day.