Reservation processes and the avoidance of the 'bump".

“You’re bumping all bookings surnames A- H, you can bump I-Q, I’ll bump surnames R-Z, if any guests start yelling or crying, transfer them to me. Good luck guys.”


Does this scenario ring any bells Reservations Managers?


Anyone who’s worked in rooms division of a hotel can tell you their own personal bumping horror story. The Saturday PM Duty Manager who claims a room has flooded, only to have the bumped guest ask to see the flooded room. Making phone call after dreaded phone call hoping the person on the other end will be understanding, and the relief as you cancel each booking and watch inventory nudge closer to the elusive zero. I’ve heard of chartering flights to sister properties on nearby islands, hiring rollaway beds in bulk, sending important clients to competitor hotels and duty manager’s feigning debilitating injuries before fronting guests ear marked to be bumped.


It's all cringy. It’s draining. And you swear this situation will Never. Happen. Again.


Enter 2022- we have integrated systems where bookings drop straight in, automatic triggered confirmation emails sent after bookings are made and pooled inventory feeding directly from PMS to channel manager. This tech all sounds quite normal, but I’m the girl who remembers stamping “Confirmed” on her booking before signing it (with a pen!) and heading over to the fax machine. Despite all our tech, we still find ourselves getting overbooked, humans are still involved in the reservation process, and mistakes still happen.


How do we fine tune our reservations processes, from reservations agent, groups co-ordinator, reservations supervisor to reservations manager? Who does what, and how often? Does someone in your business, whatever their position, have ownership of an area, whether it’s groups, rate loading, inventory and room allocation (aka PMS Tetris)? Does more than one person in your business know how to do all these things?


Another question to consider, what is the customer journey and where are the touch points where potential issues can be smoothed out and outlets can be upsold? Is there some form of checking process to ensure all bookings are entered correctly and confirmed with the guest to avoid mistakes and no shows?


The biggest rhetorical question of all; does your front desk team have the knowledge that your reservations team has and vice versa? Have the two departments ever cross trained? Does the Front Desk team have all the intel and access to reservations related information to be able to run their shift efficiently and effectively? I’m talking group cover sheet, final rooming lists, access to inboxes, thorough notes on payment details, the list goes on. We are often quick to mystery shop our front desk teams but what if we spent the time in training them rather than berating them?


At Revstar Group, we have job descriptions, checklists, training programs and over 100 years of combined reservations experience.


“Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it yet.”- L.M Montgomery


To learn more about how Revstar Group can support your Reservations department Contact Us!