Christmas is calling


Christmas is calling


Since the Christmas season has the potential to be one of the busiest times of the year in the hospitality industry, it makes sense to turn our attention in that direction now that the summer months have passed.

According to our research, 92% of guests stated they would book a Christmas party up to three months in advance. Coupled with the fact that nearly half our respondents (42%) would rather call ahead to book rather than complete an online booking form or walk in, the stats suggest that September is an excellent time to start preparing your team for when the Christmas bookings come flooding in.

Phoning a venue to book a Christmas party may be a guest's first ever interaction with that brand. This is why the first impression a business portrays here is so crucial to whether they secure that booking, and potentially more in the future. So, how do you make an excellent first impression right from the start?

Our research revealed guests' booking bugbears include staff with an unfriendly, abrupt or hurried tone, as well as staff with a lack of knowledge. Ensure your team's training is up-to-date for the holiday season to ensure they are fully prepared to deal efficiently, effectively and consistently with guests' calls.

Data collected from our 2015 Christmas Call program highlighted key areas that needed attention when managing guests' booking experiences. These included: answering the phone in good time; making the effort to build rapport with the caller; and checking the guest's special requirements.

The highest scoring area for guest satisfaction in our Christmas Calls report was restaurants. Hotels still had some way to go, with staff missing out most frequently on upselling and offering overnight stays as part of a Christmas package.

This year, we are offering our Christmas Call program to clients again with a recommended minimum of three calls per site in the run up to Christmas, to demonstrate improvement. The cost of each call includes the original recordings as well as a detailed report, analysis and post-event report to help your business provide the best booking experience possible.

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