Rebecca Quinn











{February 1, 2011}   Reservation Agents top 11 Pet Peeves.

So. I work for a hotel in the United States called Kimpton. We have like… 51 hotels across America.

www.kimptonhotels.com

I’m a reservations Agent at a call centre here in Canada. So that means that, when you call that 1-800 number, you’ll get me (or my co-workers) 90% of the time. No matter who you’re trying to talk to, you’ll get us at Central Reservations.

 

Now there are a few Pet Peeves that I would like to clear up with everyone. Hopefully, if you read this, your hotel reservation experience will go a bit smoother.

  1. When you call to make a reservation, be PREPARED! You can not imagine how annoying it is to get this:
    Agent: Thank you for calling Kimpton Hotels, My name is […], How may I assist you with your reservations?
    Guest: “Hi, I’d like to make a reservation.”
    ……………………. 

    NO SHIT! That’s why you called us! Other improper guest responses are
    Guest: “I’d like to make a reservation”
    Agent: “For which date?”
    Guest” Oh…. Hold on…”

    And

    Guest: “Reservations please.”

     

  2. If you’re calling to make a reservation, or even just to check rates, Have a pencil or pen and piece of paper ready. Chances are, you’re going to be writing shit down. 

  3. ALWAYS have your credit card ready! Don’t even bother calling if you don’t have it with you. You’ll need it. If you’re just checking rates, HAVE IT READY. You might stumble upon a great rate that WILL NOT be there later on. In order to even hold a room, you will need the credit card. 

  4. It is not our fault if you don’t get the price you want. Reservation agents cannot change rates. Nor can we magically open up a room for you if the hotel is sold out. We just can’t do it. If you’re whining about how your friend got a great rate and you want the same one, don’t expect it to be done easily. Rates are based upon availability. That means, as the rooms book up, the rates go up. As the rooms free up, the rates go down. If your friend called an hour ago, and got a rate of 143, and you call and the rate is 200. That’s because rooms were booked in that hour. And if you think it’s going to be easy to make the hotel honour the rate you want, it’s not.  Not that they can’t do it. They can, but it loses them money, and creates extra work. And chances are, you’ll be the first one kicked out if they over book and need to get a VIP in. 

  5. If you think you’re going to get your way by bitching and whining and hanging up dramatically, you’re wrong. We get calls back to back most days, and when Agents get a call like that, they forget about you as soon as they start their next call. 

  6. When an agent answers the phone, 99% of the time they will say their name. Remember it. If you can’t, then don’t try to call them by what you think you heard. Just ask. They don’t mind telling you again. Specially if they’re happy and you’re a nice guest. If you’re rotten on the phone, they’ll probably give you a fake name. 

  7. When you call into the reservations, no matter who you think you’re talking to, always know the name of the hotel you’re trying to book. And if you can, say it at the beginning of the call. Sometimes the calls will come in on a general line, and we just see “Kimpton Hotels” on the phone. Kimpton is the chain, each hotel has a different name. And don’t get mad if we ask which hotel. We’re not stupid, we really don’t know what one you want. 

  8. If you have small children, and are watching them while you’re calling, Don’t! Don’t hold the baby while you’re on the phone. Don’t have the kids sit quietly on the floor. Kids can’t be quiet. Either put them in another room, or get someone else to take them for the 4.5 minutes it takes to make a reservation. Same for pets. Nothing is more annoying then a dog barking in the background. 

  9. We can hear what you’re saying. Even if you cover up the mouthpiece of the phone. 

  10. Don’t call on a cell phone. 60% of the time you will get disconnected or we won’t be able to hear you over the static. 

  11. Just be pleasant! If an agent seems slow, they’re probably A) New or B) Having a bad day. Yes, we have bad days too.  And think about it, in worst case scenario, you may have to call back 3 or 4 times. But we have to deal with about 100 or more guests a day. And if most of those guests are rotten, we’re going to be rotten too. 

It really isn’t that hard. Just remember, Be prepared, be nice, and keep your screaming kids away from the phone. Oh, and don’t prank call us. It’s annoying, un-amusing, and we’ll just hang up on you.

**Views expressed in this blog are my own, and not the opinion of Kimpton Hotels or anyone associated with Kimpton Hotels.

^Covering my ass.

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