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Telephone Selling Skills
Great lengths are taken to improve the professional level in many areas in travel agencies.
Perhaps it is time to pay some attention to agents' telephone techniques.
A quick assessment of an agent's telephone skills can be performed easily.
Here are some basic items to check in measuring an agent's telephone skills: Overall Phone Tone Listen for the following: oNumber of times the phone rings before it is answered.
oAgency and agent identification in call greeting.
oCheerful and professional tone.
oExplanation when putting a call on hold.
oPrompt client callback.
All of these observations fall under the category of common courtesy, but when phones are frantically ringing, common courtesy is sometimes sacrificed.
Telephone Selling Skills A well-trained phone agent can easily increase sales and revenue.
For instance, booking hotels and cars on every reservation can increase revenues significantly.
Converting a client to an agency-preferred vender can also create dramatic increases in revenues.
Offering further assistance before ending each call will remind the caller of any further assistance that he/she might need and will potentially increase sales.
A technique that avoids a simple "yes" or "no" answer can also add significant sales.
Instead of asking, "Does Mr.
Chestnut need a hotel in Miami?", the question should be phrased, "In what hotel would Mr.
Chestnut like to stay in Miami?" The question phrased this way is a great deal harder for the caller to dismiss than the one that can be answered with a simple "yes" or "no".
Many clients still do not realize that travel agencies are full service companies that can take care of every one of their travel needs.
It is up to the agents to remind the caller of this fact.
Call Control Valuable time on the phone is often wasted because a client knows what he/she wants, but just doesn't know how to relate this information to agents.
A well-trained agent can extract this information from the client politely, quickly and in the order that it is needed.
Proper call control can decrease the time spent on each phone call by at least 2 or 3 minutes.
Handling Client Objections And Complaints Effectively handling customer resistance and turning that resistance into a sale is a very important phone skill.
Likewise, turning a disgruntled client into one who is happy with the service that your agency offers is a valuable tool.
Are your agents trained in these areas? A regular schedule for reviewing the telephone-service levels of your agents will prove valuable in the maintenance of your agency's overall service level.
At least three calls per agent should be reviewed in order to get a fair measurement of each agent's abilities.
Notify your agents of the reviewing schedule.
Reassure them that there will be no passing or failing grades to be handed out - that a phone audit is a vital step in training each and every one of them! Once the observation stage has been completed, an assessment can be made of an agent's overall phone skills.
Once you know which areas need improvement, you know what to look for in a telephone-skills course.
Service levels promised by the sales staff and service levels delivered by operations are historically inconsistent.
Well-trained phone agents can provide the much needed bridge between these two areas, and in so doing, ensure a more professional agency image, more satisfied clients and better still - more sales! Travel business consultants such as Travel Business CPR will provide training to your front-line sales staff on how to become more effective travel sellers.