Room Volume for Guest Direct’s℠ Central Reservation and HSIA Services Doubles in Q4 ‘12

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US-based live agent contact center adds nearly 250 lodging properties to its call center queue

Guest Direct℠ (a division of Customer Direct), North America’s leader in contact center services for the Lodging & Hospitality Industry, announced today that the room volume it on-boarded for its Central Reservation Services and High Speed Internet Access (HSIA) support in the fourth quarter of 2012 increased by nearly 100% over the same period in 2011.

Approximately 250 properties across North America, Mexico, and the Caribbean were added in the last three months of 2012; properties that are now utilizing Guest Direct’s℠ live agent central reservation services and HSIA support to fill rooms and keep guests connected. The properties added range in size from a 5-room bed & breakfast in Maryland, to a 1,650-room luxury hotel in Chicago.

“I think our growth is a combination of a few factors at play here,” stated Guest Direct’s℠ President/CEO Robert W. Nolan, Jr. “First, as the economy starts to stabilize, the amount of business and leisure travel is picking back up. To handle the current and anticipated increased demand, hoteliers are looking for assistance in filling inventory when travelers have so many lodging options to choose from. And if the downturn in the economy demonstrated anything, it’s that operations need to remain smart and lean, and yet, service cannot be sacrificed.”

According to a January 2013 forecast from PricewaterhouseCoopers, lodging demand and pricing are "expected to remain on positive trajectories through 2013,” with revenue per available room (RevPar) projected to increase 5.9 percent and the average daily rate to rise 4.8 percent, all indicators "representing the fourth year of lodging recovery."

“As an outsourced reservations services and HSIA support provider, it is our job to keep operating costs low for our clients, while keeping their reservation sales and guest connectivity services levels very high,” Mr. Nolan continued. “We see ourselves as a transparent extension of our clients. And to fulfill that promise, it is vital that we become expertly versed in the unique attributes of each and every property we serve. Plus, with the incredible number of travel sites, and information, or misinformation, about travel on the Internet, having a friendly and knowledgeable agent to help guide a potential guest through the reservation process is more critical than ever.”

Offering multi-faceted, global, call center support to the world’s finest hotels and on-line booking agencies, Guest Direct℠ has developed a uniquely effective approach to drive property RevPar. Guest Direct℠ first assesses a client’s existing conversion rates for a given basket of calls received, and then employs a proprietary 8-step situational sales solution to significantly improve that metric. This conversion improvement process has been developed through years of extensive lodging & hospitality-specific experience, benchmarking, and statistical analyses of live reservation calls. And the diligent & continuous preparation, monitoring, and coaching that Guest Direct’s℠ hospitality-trained agents receive ensures that the process is consistently implemented at the highest, and most productive, level.

Serving the High-Speed Internet Access (HSIA) support needs of clients and their guests since 2003, Guest Direct℠ has also become the recognized leader in high-speed Internet connectivity service and support. The Guest Direct℠ Customized Help Desk Solution includes an actionable assessment of a current HSIA system’s performance, followed by a tailored service & support process that is designed to actually reduce the number of guest connectivity inquiries. And unlike most other HSIA support providers, Guest Direct℠ delivers its service and support with no set-up fees, no term commitments, and no new equipment required.

“We were looking for a partner that could seamlessly integrate into our existing operations, a partner who could expertly represent each individual hotel as if they were right there on-site,” said Michelle Woodley, Preferred Hotel Group’s SVP of Distribution and Revenue, and one of the recent additions to the Guest Direct℠ portfolio of clients. “As we spoke to Guest Direct we soon realized that, with the demonstrated importance they place on the experience that a potential guest has on each and every call, the decision to select Guest Direct to handle our central reservations was an easy one.” Ms. Woodley continued, “And, needless to say, we were pleased to learn Guest Direct will significantly improve our conversion rates through their proven practices. And we are confident that is exactly what will happen.”

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About Guest Direct℠
Founded in 1997, St. Louis-based Customer Direct and its Guest Direct℠ division provide outsourced call, email, and chat sales & support services for a wide variety of clientele. These services include customer care, multi-tier technical support, and back-office fulfillment. Customer Direct and its Guest Direct℠ division serve domestic and international clients within industries such as hospitality, Internet retail, publishing, catalog sales, and health care. For more information, contact Mike Horst, Guest Direct’s℠ VP of Strategic Partnerships, at 1-800-332-3756. Or visit http://www.guestdirect.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Rob Gold
Marketing
Guest Direct℠
Tel: 800-332-3756 ext. 134
rgold(at)guestdirect(dot)com

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