To conduct the test we first had our KTN mystery shopper look online at some of the most popular OTA websites. One piece of good news for the industry is that most of the time we found rate parity; the rate quoted on the phone was the same as what we saw online. Out of the 8 times there was a discrepancy though, only 1 of the agents said they could match the lower rate at the OTA site; the rest suggested we book online.
Doug makes a lot of points in his article that are worth passing along to the members of the Front Desk team. One of the most important points is the one he mentions in his last sentence in the quote above. Too often, Front Desk Agents refer people back online to book at a lower rate, not realizing the full extent of that decision.
I have outlined before how expensive OTAs are and why the hotel industry needs to move away from being dependent on them, but that information needs to be passed down to the rest of the team. If the Front Desk team are aware of the rate strategies with the OTAs, they can do the hotel a favour by capturing the calls to the hotel looking to match the rates online.
Be sure to check out Doug’s website for more great articles about the hospitality industry, Kennedy Training Network