Valuable bookings are being lost by venues in the UK and abroad
because of a failure by sales teams to follow up on enquiries according to
research from BDRC Continental’s Meetings Benchmark Tracker.
The research revealed that during Q4 2011, despite 94 per
cent of telephone enquiry handlers pledging to call a customer back, only 81
per cent fulfilled their promise.
More than 450 UK venues and a further 225
internationally were assessed by the firm – which uses a multi-channel mystery
shopping programme to measure enquiry handling standards – with results also
showing that although a greater proportion of electronic booking enquiries
received a response, response times were generally slower than for those made
Nearly 92 per cent of potential customers contacting the
venue via email or web-submitted RFP received a proposal within two days, this
number falling to 84 per cent for within four hours, compared to 86.6 per cent
and 91.5 per cent respectively for telephone enquiries.
Senior client services manager at BDRC Continental, James
Bland, said: “This quarter, we’ve seen a significant number of venues that are
simply failing to follow up valuable sales leads.
“Only 72 per cent of electronic enquiries received a follow
up call within three days, although this figure does increase somewhat to 81
per cent for telephone enquiries.
“Electronic enquiries are being forgotten about or left to
the end of the day, suggesting the idea of ‘file and forget’ is more prevalent
with electronic communication. There is a real opportunity for venues to
increase bookings by dealing with enquiries from all media both quickly and efficiently.”
Pictured: James Bland, BDRC Continental