Hotel upselling is a powerful tool for hotels to generate more revenue and build customer loyalty. This method largely helps to drive guest engagement while boosting a hotel’s overall revenue. A lot goes into planning, managing, and consolidating the diverse aspects and functions of upselling. You need the right team and the right tools; today we will learn everything about the concept of hotel upselling.
Understanding Hotel Upselling
Hotel upselling involves encouraging guests to spend more without feeling the guilt crunch. The catch is to make them feel special and think that their stay was more enjoyable because of the add-ons they invested in. These offers are mindfully crafted by the management, in consideration of the guest demographics, spending habits, likes and dislikes, etc.
Upsells benefit both hotels and guests. It aids in nourishing relationships with guests while booting profitability. In the realm of successful revenue management, the secret mantra for upselling is offering the right upsell option to the right customer, at the right time and through the right channel.
Benefits and Advantages of Upselling in Hotels
While hotel upselling is a game changer in providing exceptional guest experience, this personalized method is a groundbreaking technique to amplify business for hoteliers too. As hotels tailor their customer experience, they manage to bring in a host of benefits including monetary returns and brand value.
Some of the obvious benefits of upselling in hotels are:
- Exceptional guest experience and satisfaction - Every additional offer to your guests is a token of your care and responsibility towards your clientele. Your guests are sure to feel catered and understood.
- Better utilization of hotel facilities - Upselling is an effective way to make guests avail maximum facilities available at your hotel. It aids in creating awareness about all that you have to offer to your guests.
- Stronger customer loyalty - Your happy customers will be in awe of your service. They are going to return as well as recommend you to others.
- Increased revenue per available room - Also known as RevPAR, this is a criterion that measures the average revenue collected from each available room. Upselling tends to boost the RevPAR, too.
- Better reviews and ratings - Your satisfied guests are likely to give positive reviews and ratings, thus, elevating your online reputation and ratings.
The Prerequisites of Successful Upselling
You can never succeed with hotel upselling without a proper strategy. If you want to garner substantial incremental revenue for your hotel, then you need to devise the perfect blueprint for successful upselling. Here are some sure-fire ideas to make the most of your upselling techniques:
- Segmentation - You need to segregate your guests into segments. You can store customer information in property management software. This will help you to create segments based on several factors such as age, preferences, etc. This will help you to create the perfect hotel upselling plan for each segment.
- Create awareness - Deliver the message to your guests at the right time and in the right manner. The benefits of opting for the pricier option should be made obvious to the customer. Present it in a way that is not forceful but rather a no-brainer for the guest to enable quick decision-making.
Effective Hotel Upselling Techniques and Strategies
When it comes to hotel upselling techniques, remember that every opportunity is an opportunity to upsell. After all, you should explore every chance to generate more revenue. However, do not push any offer solely for the purpose of making money. If you want to know how to do upselling in a hotel, make sure you always put your customer first. Here are some smart tips and tricks to upsell like a pro:
- Categorize into segments and then customize - Guests differ from one another on grounds of tastes and interests. So, tailor your upselling methods on the basis of these segments. Here are some of the customary proposals offered by hotels:
- Families with kids can be offered fun activities, couples can be given free spa sessions, and business travelers can be helped with an early check-in or an airport pickup facility.
- Extra activities can be rendered such as bicycle rentals or organized tours of the city.
- Added in-room amenities can be provided including baby chairs, upgraded bathroom amenities, pet corners, etc.
- Fitness and spiritual healing services are always a delight for guests
- Offer on-site food and beverage choices like a special menu for happy hours, on-site dining discounts, meals served in rooms, etc.
- Room upgrades are usual examples of upselling in hotels, where guests are offered a higher upgrade, say, from a standard room to a mini-suite.
- Personalization - Instead of bombarding the same offer to every guest, opt for sending out personalized messages to each guest based on their categorization. Customers like to be identified as individuals and personalized upselling offers make them feel valued. Do not approach a couple just the way you would approach a corporate guest. To learn what is upselling in hotels, you need to throw your cards right.
- Upsell at different touchpoints - Timing is a major element in hotel upselling. Apart from knowing who to target, you should also know when to target. Here are a few touchpoints in a guest’s journey when you can reach out with the best-personalized offers:
- At the time of booking - You can get the message to your guests at the time when they make a booking through your website. For instance, if someone books a double-bed room, it is more likely to be for a couple. On the confirmation page, you can offer a table reservation at your hotel restaurant with a complimentary dessert. There is a decent chance that guests will opt for the upsell if it comes to them at the time of booking.
- Pre-arrival - The pre-arrival time, after making the reservations is a period of excitement for guests. Emails and messages with upgrade offers are usually accepted as guests are elated to do anything extra for a happy trip.
- During check-in - Your front-desk executives come to action at this stage. They can make suggestions to guests for their stay enhancement. There are also self-check-in apps that can recommend upgrade schemes.
- During the stay period - After guests have settled in their rooms, they can be offered offers via emails, messages, apps, or even in person. Do ensure that it should not be a tsunami of irritating and assertive offers.
As we know hospitality properties consist of complex departments and systems, and it becomes cumbersome to integrate its various internal and external functions. This makes the need for Property Management Systems (PMSs) like AxisRooms to consolidate these functions into a single cohesive mechanism.
AxisRooms comprises of various modules that help in various aspects of hotel management including hotel revenue management. It comes with an innovative upselling tool that aids in offering relevant upsell content to clients based on CRM data. This data is collected based on details of customers’ past stays, website actions, etc.
The Role of Technology in Hotel Upselling
Hotel upselling follows a customer-centric approach to augment business for hotels. Today, technology is the key to integrating business with customer experience. The hospitality industry is largely banking on Property Management Systems (PMS) to automate and optimize upselling opportunities. Here we have rounded up the chief features of PMS and Hotel Upselling Software that aid in quality upselling!
- Email automation - Offer emails along with confirmation and redemption emails are managed automatically.
- Different communication channels - It is now possible to reach the target customers through the right channel via chatbots, emails, text messages, etc.
- Personalization - Special features include customer segmentation, dynamic room upgrades, and easy offer selection by customers.
- Real-time reporting - You can get timely insights about your target guest list and when and what you can offer.
- Integrations - PMS has a direct connection with all the other systems that hotels operate for synchronizing data and receiving updates.
- Cross-device usage - Your staff can use various gadgets including laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc. PMS and upselling software enable cross-device usage and can be accessed via any platform.
Effective hotel upselling can amplify your business revenue to a great extent. The perfect upselling strategy includes out-of-the-box ideas that you can incorporate into every step of your guest’s journey. The right plan will help you keep track of your progress while improving your upselling performance organically. More than just a smart revenue generation strategy, a well-crafted upsell catalog can result in enhanced customer loyalty and exclusive brand value.