Travel Outlook Premium Hotel Call Center (“Travel Outlook”) is set to begin its tenth year of sustaining certification by Kennedy Training Network (“KTN”), a prestigious hotel industry training company with a diverse mix of clients all over the world.
Founded in 2006 and based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, KTN’s experience in hotel call center training and mystery shopping assessment stretch back over three decades when its Founder and President, Doug Kennedy, first started conducting reservations sales training for hotel call center clients including Marriott, Westin, Omni, Kimpton, Best Western, Ritz-Carlton, and Wyndham.
“Our partnership with Travel Outlook continues to be a shining example of voice sales done right,” stated Doug Kennedy.
“For call centers, many brands have moved to a transactional sales style, not allowing their agents to deviate from the script. Yet on the other side of the conversation, today’s callers are pre-informed, having visited the hotel website prior to calling. We train Travel Outlook’s team to understand the ‘why behind the what’ for the call criteria we use to assess their performance.”
Doug Kennedy explained that over the past couple of decades, most leading hotel brands and other third-party call centers have devolved call center models into a transactional process obsessed with call-time efficiency, ultimately hurting the success of voice as a distribution channel by not building rapport and imbuing a sense of personalization.
In contrast to this, KTN’s training brings back the art of being engaged with the prospective guests, using conversational flow and communicating authenticity so that a lasting, recurringly fruitful relationship is formed. Particularly for the current era of traveling during an ongoing pandemic, the personalized, conversational style required by KTN and embraced by Travel Outlook is all the more critical for recovery because guests are much more likely to call the hotel to ask about COVID-19 safety procedures and other temporary property changes.
KTN’s mission and curriculum emphasize the human element in hotel reservations sales. In order to qualify for KTN Certification, every member of Travel Outlook’s agent team participates in an engaging, interactive, three-part development program provided by KTN as part of onboarding. This starts with live, small-group webcam training provided directly by Doug Kennedy, one-on-one role-playing with KTN’s senior trainers, and a third small group training.
Other requirements for Travel Outlook’s reservationists include:
- Utilizing KTN’s call flow criteria, the most demanding in the industry for both revenue generation as well as service excellence, with Travel Outlook doing additional scoring in accordance with the Forbes Five Star guidelines
- Engaging KTN for ‘third-party assessments’ conducted either via traditional reservations mystery shopping or, in the case of Travel Outlook, having KTN access and score real-world calls
- Maintaining KTN certification, where clients must achieve a total score of 85% or higher over a 90-day rolling average (historically, Travel Outlook’s routinely scores in the mid 90% range)
Given travel demands during our current recovery period, this uptick in voice channel importance requires a dedicated team of professionals who can act as authentic brand ambassadors and set the pace for a great onsite experience right from the first interaction. Through its ongoing commitment to KTN, Travel Outlook has a remarkable advantage over other voice channel teams and call centers because its reservationists are thoroughly coached in the art of connecting with guests and understanding their specific needs prior to discussing the hotel and making a bespoke recommendation.
ABOUT KENNEDY TRAINING NETWORK (KTN)
KTN is the lodging and hospitality industry’s best source for hotel training programs and supportive services in topic areas of hotel reservations sales, hospitality/guest service excellence, front desk hospitality certification, and hotel sales department training. Services include customized, on-site hotel training workshops, private hotel team webinars, telephone mystery shopping & remote call scoring. To learn more information about KTN, please visit www.kennedytrainingnetwork.com.