Survey reveals Dubai disappointments

International Hospitality Check has reported some Dubai hotel
reservation departments fail to measure up in their services, as
revealed in a survey. ‘As the busy tourist season begins and upcoming new hotels, some of
Dubai’s 4 and 5 star hotel and residence properties might be driving
potential guests straight into the arms of their competitors because of
poorly trained reservation staff and less-than-professional telephone
etiquette,’ says Elisabeth Brehl, Manager of International Hospitality
Check (IHC).

Dubai-based IHC, a mystery customer research company specializing in
providing undercover ‘mystery guests’ to the global hospitality
industry, has released the results of an anonymous investigation where
agents posing as potential guests attempted to make hotel reservation
via an international call during Dubai office hours.

Surprisingly, what should have been a relatively easy task, for hotel
staff, who are the first line of contact for potential paying customers
and seeing the large availability of accommodation, proved to be a
challenge at most of the 4 and 5 star properties in Dubai and sometimes
even impossible.

According to the undercover callers, whose mission was to pose as guests
wishing to secure hotel reservations during the prime tourist season,
these were the most common obstacles they encountered:

.Reservationists had difficulty speaking and/or understanding English

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.Reservationists were rude or impatient

.Requiring written reservation requests in lieu of telephone-based
reservations

.Poor listening skills

.Failure to anticipate caller’s needs or requests

.Dropped calls

.Poor sales ability reflecting an ‘order-taking’ mentality

.Limited or no mention of hotel services and amenities

.Late or missing confirmations

.Failure to use the callers name during the call

.Presence of loud and disruptive background noises

Although some of the issues, such as dropped calls and late or missing
confirmations, possible were technology-related, the majority of
challenges were decidedly training and coaching-related issues.

In an industry where hospitality is the core product, there is no excuse
for properties to lose revenue over poor service.

Elisabeth Brehl invites any hotel or residential property manager who
wants to experience their reservations department through the ears of
potential guests to contact her directly. IHC offers the ability to log
Mystery calls digitally into their on-line reporting system so they can
be heard and shared with a client’s training departments, supervisors
and respective staff members in an effort to raise the level of service
even via self-assessments.
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