Hotels give lodging accommodations on a short term basis. They typically provide further amenities, like meals, swimming pools, and alternative guest services. Some larger hotels may feature conference rooms and other facilities for corporate travelers. As such, they're utilized by traveling families, as well as corporate travelers.
Whereas hotels supply nice conveniences and much-needed services, they can also deal with money flow challenges from unpaid customers. These delinquent, overdue accounts frequently result from:
-Long distance charges- the hotel guest leaves behind unpaid telephone charges incurred during their stay.
-Credit card chargebacks- This will happen when a guest's line of credit which is established upon check in is exceeded during their stay. Without the guest's specific approval, it may be tough for the hotel to apply the further charges.
-Travel Agency Discounts- Agencies may have booked the hotel property but only partially paid the bill.
-Late Checkouts- Guests who have paid in advance for their hotel can incur extra charges once they stay beyond their predetermined checkout time.
-Function Accounts- An events planner may pay an initial deposit to the hotel, but fail to pay the balance when the bill is due.
Alternative debt collection issues are hotel skips plus open billing, where open company accounts with the hotel aren't paid when the bills are sent. Any hotel property wanting to stay on top of their accounts receivable and minimize outstanding unpaid bills must implement sound debt collection strategies.
In-house Debt Collection Strategies
One of the first things any hotel property can do to improve on their internal debt collections is asking for more info on hotel registration cards. For example, asking for the guest's home telephone number is very important. In the past, several properties haven't asked for this. Without this, successful collections can be quite difficult.
Whereas a few guests may not want to offer that info, a possible answer could be asking for emergency contact information. This will result in more reliable phone numbers for guests. And it will prove very helpful should these accounts go delinquent plus you need to contact the guest.
Early Intervention Is Very Significant
Whether the hotel property is singularly-owned or handled by a property management firm, when it comes to past due accounts early intervention is vital to successful debt recovery, and a very significant debt collection strategy.
When a bill goes unpaid, a person assigned to handle late accounts has to contact the debtor to rectify the matter. In fact, when it involves NSF checks, they must be handled immediately. Don't accept another check, but ask for a different form of payment, such as a credit or debit card.
If you have got an ongoing open account with a corporate client, and/or you're owed by an events planner, you might offer payment arrangements to settle the past due account(s). At any rate, consistent contact via reminder notices and the phone is essential at this stage. The most successful recoveries occur within the 1st 60 to ninety days of a overdue bill.
If your efforts haven't proven successful in obtaining payment in full or ongoing payment arrangements, its time to think about outsourcing to a debt collection agency. Statistics attest that if an account isn't settled inside 90 days, internal efforts aren't likely to ever recover the monies. Usually, small balances are written off as uncollectible. Collection agencies can help tremendously if they're brought in early enough.