Whether you’re looking to start your very first tournament or event or you’ve been in the game for years, here are 4 essential questions you should be asking your event housing provider:
1. Is your booking system optimized for mobile users?
In 2018, 57% of all Internet traffic came from mobile users, and that number is only expected to keep growing. With this number on the rise and customers increasingly using their mobile devices to get things done online, offering a mobile-friendly experience is no longer just a nice-to-have feature – it’s a necessity.
What to look for:
Most sites are now viewable on mobile devices, but there’s a big difference between just being viewable on mobile and actually being optimized for the experience. If you visit the site on your phone or tablet, all text and images should be easily resize to fit whatever screen you’re using and you shouldn’t have to pinch or zoom in on your screen in order to view the details.
Working links & forms:
In addition to having a mobile-optimized or responsive design on the site, all links and forms should work on mobile just as well as they do on desktop.
2. How do you handle customer service support?
The experience your attendees have with your housing provider is an extension of their overall impression of your event, so it’s so crucial to ensure they have a good experience from start to finish.
What to look for:
Dedicated customer support staff with a quick response time:
In addition to having a dedicated account manager to assist with any questions our tournament / event directors may have, your housing provider should have customer service staff whose sole responsibility it is to assist guests with questions about their booking. Additionally, there should be enough staff on board to handle all customer requests as soon as possible, and definitely within 24 hours.
Multiple options for customer support (Email, Phone, Online Chat, Self-Service):
While older generations prefer to make a phone call and speak directly to a customer service agent to get an answer to their question, younger generations are increasingly looking for options that will allow them to solve their issue on their own via online FAQs or help sections. In order to provide the best experience to all of your guests, your housing provider should be able to deliver customer service in many different ways to ensure people can get the information they need in the way that works best for them.
Integrated CRM System:
Ideally, all customer requests are able to be fully handled within one call, email, or chat, but if multiple touchpoints are required to assist a customer with their booking questions, it’s essential that they don’t have to repeat themselves every time they reach out. Your housing provider should have a system in place to ensure that all details of each customer’s interactions with their staff are recorded in one place – saving your customers’ time and patience while getting them exactly what they need.
3. What data do we have access to and how quickly can we access it?
As a tournament or event director, you obviously want to know what’s going on with your hotel blocks and don’t want to have to wait for someone to pull information for you every time you need to check the numbers. A good housing provider will provide this info to you easily and quickly – it shouldn’t feel like pulling teeth.
What to look for:
Real-time pick up:
Your housing provider should be able to provide you with an easily accessible report that will show you the full list of hotels being used, the total number of rooms booked / still available at each, the teams booked at each hotel and how many rooms per team, and more. This information should be up-to-date and available to you at any time via a private login.
Post-event rebate / final pick up report:
Even if you’ve been following the status of your blocks prior to your event, once it’s over you should expect to receive a report that details the final numbers, including total number of rooms booked and total rebate earned.
4. How are rebate payments handled?
In addition to providing a valuable service to your event attendees by securing discounted group accommodations for them, a good housing provider will work with you to help you earn additional revenue from those room nights through the use of rebates, and a great housing provider will make sure you’re maximizing your opportunity to earn without sacrificing the happiness of your event attendees.
What to look for:
The ability to have a conversation about what rebate will work best for each event:
Your housing provider should have knowledge of the area in which the event is being held and what the average hotel rates are to help come up with a rebate figure that allows you to earn the most revenue possible while also maintaining reasonable rates for your attendees so they will keep coming back to your events. No two events or locations are the same, so there shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach to this either.
Quick turnaround, single-payment:
You should reasonably expect to receive full payment from your earned rebates between 1-2 months (or sooner) after the conclusion of your event. Your housing provider should have the ability to send the full payment to you in one check or direct deposit via ACH so you can get it as soon as possible.
At Pse, we are proud to work hard to offer all of the above to ensure the best possible experience for our customers, like the PGA of America, Pro-Football Hall of Fame, and more.
If you’d like to learn more about our proven process and customer-first booking system, fill out the contact form below or schedule a demo here!