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Hoteliers Lose Millions By Not Answering Phone

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Hotel owners are missing out on millions of pounds worth of business by failing to carry out basic business processes such as answering the telephone, according to tourism expert iknow-uk.


The UK's leading independent tourism and accommodation directory is warning hoteliers that by simply not being flexible enough, not answering their telephone and being late in responding to enquiries from potential customers, they could be missing out on their share of millions of pounds worth of business.


The company has found that 8.3 per cent of hoteliers don't answer their phone the first time they are called by a potential customer, and is urging accommodation providers to get their front of house in order to ensure opportunities aren't missed.


Marcus Simmons, managing director from iknow-uk, said:  "It's crazy that business owners are investing so much time in running their establishment yet are missing out on easy opportunities to get people through the door.  You could have the best hotel in the world but if no-one comes to stay then you might as well call it a day.


"Feedback from holidaymakers is that if a hotel telephone goes to answer machine then they will usually call a different establishment rather than leave a message.  That's an easy opportunity missed.  Owners of small hotels might well point out that they are unable to be in their establishment 24-7 but by simply forwarding the main telephone number to a mobile when out and about they could cash in on valuable business that is currently being missed."


Recently, iknow-uk also found out that restaurants are missing out on bookings by being unavailable to take calls at times that are traditionally out of hours to them, such as mornings or mid afternoons.


Some 62 per cent of people questioned had tried to call a restaurant to book a table, only to find that they were closed, and as a result 48 per cent decided to favour convenience and book with a different company altogether.


Marcus Simmons continued:  "These figures show that there is a significant amount of business there for the taking, and by getting the basics right hoteliers and restaurateurs can make sure they get their fair share of it."


"In this difficult economic climate, every penny counts, and small changes could make a big difference to the bottom line.


"Setting up online booking, or at least an email address which people can use to make their reservation is also a good way to address the out of hours issue, both for hotels and for other hospitality providers too."


Founded by Marcus in 2003 with the iknow-yorkshire website, iknow-uk now operates 16 regional websites for accommodation and hospitality providers including restaurants, hotels, guest houses, holiday cottages and B&Bs.


iknow-uk's websites cover the UK's most popular tourist regions and are visited by almost a million users each month.


Holiday home or restaurant owners looking to list on one of iknow's regional websites, should visit www.iknow-uk.com.





Notes to Editors:


-     iknow-uk ltd launched iknow-yorkshire in September 2003. They have since launched iknow-scotland, iknow-lakedistrict, iknow-northwest, iknow-cornwall, iknow-devon, iknow-wales, iknow-dorset, iknow-kent, iknow-somerset, iknow-sussex, iknow-hampshire, iknow-northeast, iknow-peakdistrict and iknow-london.


-     April 2009 saw the launch of a comprehensive hospitality section to iknow-yorkshire, which is now also available on iknow-lakedistrict and iknow-northwest.


-     Since their launch, the sites have received over 25 million visitors and created two million booking enquiries, which equates to £290 million worth of bookings, making iknow a leading authority on online bookings across the UK. 


-     For enquiries contact iknow-uk on 01772 521166.