Cozy fires, falling leaves – and RFP’s
For hoteliers, the fall season is generally referred to as RFP season. And, sadly, there are no holiday or tailgate parties for RFP season. Rate loading season rushes in on the heels of RFP season, and it's about as welcome as an ice storm in Texas.
As much as we dread the annual RFP/rate loading season, there are ways to reduce some of the frustration associated with rate access issues. When an agency or corporate customer reports a rate access issue, we recommend following the guidelines below to expedite resolution. In dealing with GDS rate access issues, the more information you get when the issue is reported, the faster the issue will be resolved.
Be sure to ask the agency or person reporting the issue to provide you with the following:
The date that they are testing - Make sure the rate is available for the dates they are requesting.
- Is the rate mapped?
- Does the rate have seasons/availability?
- Is the rate LRA? (Last Room Availability) If not, you may need to explain why the rate is closed out.
The most current rate loading instructions - If they do not have a copy available, ask that they provide you with the GDS, their agency PCC and rate access code.
- If you have the last rate loading instructions on file, you might ask if there have been any agency changes/additions
A screenshot of the GDS request and response - This will be forwarded with the reported issue if a helpdesk is involved.
- Not only does the screenshot illustrate the system in use, it also provides a great deal of information, such as date requested and rate code used. Frequently, the screenshot will contradict the information provided verbally by the customer!
There are many players involved in the processing of RFP's and rate loading: corporate travel managers, agency IT managers, agents, third-party consulting and auditing companies, property level sales managers, national sales managers and revenue managers. To further complicate matters, each group has terminology unique to their system or GDS.Also, keep in mind that the person reporting the rate access issue may not have access to or knowledge of the technical processes involved in rate loading. As soon as you determine that the customer does not understand the process, you should step back and loop in the sales or account manager for direct follow-up. Should the problem escalate, it is possible for your GDS representation company to engage the actual GDS Helpdesk to contact the client.
We are always available to consult with you and to help you find the best solutions to reach your revenue goals. If you would like more information or an opportunity to discuss the many ways we can help, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Consulting Services page.