Overview on Inquiries

Overview on Inquiries

Learning Objectives
This article will teach you...
  1. What are inquiries
  2. Difference between an Inquiry vs a Booking in Thynk
  3. The process of converting an inquiry to a Booking

Understanding Inquiries on Thynk

An Inquiry can be thought of as a lead or lead referral. When you only have basic information from a potential customer, inquiries allow you to capture and track the potential piece of business. An inquiry can be easily converted into a booking, should the customer want to go forward and request a proposal.

Examples of Inquiries

Sales teams may create inquiries when:
  1. A regional or global sales team routes inquiries to multiple properties across the team’s portfolio. In such cases, sales managers are able to enter leads as an inquiry and send it to the hotels through Thynk, streamlining the process for the sales team.
  2. Another scenario is when the hotel's internal sales team receives inquiries that may not specifically materialise, or there isn't enough information and needs to be qualified. They can also create Inquiries to record and manage them efficiently.

Difference Between Inquiries and Bookings in Thynk

The main difference between Inquiries and Bookings is that inquiries don't show on guest room availability and function diary. Before you decide which to use, always check your internal SOPs on your company’s guidelines with Inquiries and Bookings.

We suggest it’s best to start with inquiries before moving on to bookings because you can keep a record of when clients first contact you and their important details. Here's why this order makes sense:
  1. If you go straight to making bookings and they don't work out, you'll miss the initial inquiry details, which can be helpful for future opportunities.
  2. Even if you jump right into a booking and it's successful, it's still important to keep the initial inquiry records as proof that the lead turned into a booking.

The Process from a New Inquiry to a Booking

The transition from an Inquiry to a Booking involves several steps, and the specific procedure may vary based on your company's SOPs. Here are the general steps we typically follow as a standard practice. However, it's crucial to verify your company's policies for any deviations:
  1. Initiate a New Inquiry: Begin by creating a new inquiry to record the details of the potential business and save.
  2. On the saved Inquiry add more information, Inquiry Events, Guest Rooms and Products (if needed): Depending on the inquiry, you may add Inquiry Events, Guest Rooms and / or Products as well as additional information.
  3. Convert the Inquiry into a Booking: Once you’re ready, proceed to convert the inquiry into a booking.

You can find more detailed steps about converting an inquiry into a booking here.

Best Practices for Inquiries

  1. Start by checking with your Director of Sales, as your hotel may have strict policies on how to use Inquiries. The SOPs will provide guidance on when and how to classify a piece of business as an inquiry or a booking.
  2. Typically, if a lead has very basic information, you don’t know the source, or feel it’s not going to really materialize, you can track this as an inquiry. This allows you to track the business and the lost business without spending too much time detailing it.
  3. If you are part of a Central Sales Team, you are essentially routing leads to various properties by using Inquiries. Again, follow your own internal SOPs.
  4. Inquiries can be a treasure trove for prospecting for new business. Review lost inquiries and see if maybe you should get to know the account/contact better in order to find new business.
  5. Some hotels use ‘generic accounts’ to track their inquiries, or social business. For instance, you may have the following ‘generic accounts’: Wedding Account, Social Account, (Sales Manager’s name) Paul Smith’s Inquiry Account, etc. This allows you to link your inquiries to the generic account, without creating brand new accounts, especially if you don’t have the time now to really research the account.
  6. When you are converting an inquiry to a booking, make sure to follow your SOPs on qualifying accounts etc.

Resources




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