Upselling rooms in hotels is the most obvious way of maximizing revenue. But do you actually know how to do it properly and the importance of upselling in hotels?
This kind of sale involves much more than offering a better room or generic products for your guests. When done right, upselling for hotels can:
- Generate extra revenue
- Make your guest loyal to your brand
- Put your name out there as the best hotel in your region
- Generate extra compensation for your employees
Upselling is about offering the right product to the right person at the right time. The only way you can do that is if you know your guests well.
By collecting and analyzing data, you can offer a better room, the right extra service, and increase the happiness of your guest. This will forever change how they view your space.
To begin the great journey of upselling for hotels, there are some tips you must know. We gathered here important information, and advice given by specialists on the matter so you can organize and begin to offer upsells on your property.
Why Have an Upselling Program at Your Hotel?
It Can Change Your Guest Experience
Guest satisfaction is the most important goal in the hospitality industry. We want guests to feel welcome, comfortable, and have a good time.
By having a good upselling program in place, you can offer exactly what your guests need while on vacation or a business trip and that’s one of the main features that shows the importance of upselling in hotels.
Maybe at the last minute, they decide to get a spa treatment, or that they need laundry service. If you already have their profiles, you can let them know about these options.
And as you may already know, a happy guest is a repeat guest.
Upselling services that keep each guest’s personal preferences in mind will help your online image and reputation. Satisfied customers are more likely to leave positive reviews on your social media pages and/or on third-party review sites, such as TripAdvisor.
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It Improves Your Revenue
By offering extra services, you are making extra money. This can be an excellent way to regain revenue in low seasons. You can also partner up with local businesses and offer theater tickets, restaurant reservations, and even transportation on demand.
When starting an upselling program at your hotel, you can also invest in a commission program. This will generate bonus opportunities for your employees and keep them motivated when offering upsells for guests.
In an interview for Hospitality Net, Leora H Lanz talked about how important it is to have a motivated employee at the front desk responsible for upsells.
“The popularity of reserving rooms online from a third-party travel site, the property’s website, or packaged with a flight and/or rental car means that the front desk agent’s reception is often the first person-to-person interaction that guests experience. This trend gives the front desk agent the opportunity to become a member of the sales department by selling upgrades (upselling) to guests upon arrival.” Says Leora Lanz
Having an upselling program with commissions for your whole team is the perfect way to achieve this gained revenue. People like compensation and a commission program can give employees that extra incentive to encourage guests to take full advantage of all the services you provide.
How to Create the Perfect Upsell Program at Your Hotel
To successfully upsell, you need to take full advantage of all services your property has to offer while assessing other options you could recommend that are specific to your guests’ needs.
Now, let’s see what other factors are important in order to succeed with this strategy.
Know Your Ideal Guest
As Jutta Moore said, you have to listen to your guests and learn everything you can about them.
In this incredible chat with Jutta Moore, we discussed the benefits of upselling when done right. Listen now!
If you don’t know what their preferences are, how can you offer the best upsell options? In order to do this, you need to gather data about your guests, and a good way to do this is through your website.
When travelers make direct bookings through the website, you can have them fill out a form asking about their preferences, such as their dietary restrictions, or you can send an email after the reservation confirmation to ask for further information.
Know Your Product
Besides knowing what your guest loves and expects to encounter while traveling, you also need to be well versed in what you’re upselling.
If you know your ideal guest, you can more effectively communicate with your target audience through focused marketing campaigns. In order to do that, you need well-defined profiles. Learn how to do this with our checklist!
Having well-defined products and services will help your team match the best upsell to the right type of guest.
You can divide upsells into two categories: products and guest profiles.
Upsell a product
- Room upgrades
Here you can provide detailed descriptions of your individual rooms to let your guest know about unique features such as if they have an outside view, the proximity to the elevators or other amenities.
- Food and beverage
This is a very important type of upselling that you cannot miss. You need to have this information for the guests’ arrival. For example, if you know that your guest is a vegetarian, you can offer an appropriate food menu. The same applies to people with allergies and other food restrictions. This information will surely be appreciated.
- Events and partnerships
Companies and businesses are often on the lookout for spaces to host events. And with the pandemic, they are more demanding when it comes to health safety.
If your hotel has a space for events, there are a number of ways of offering upsells for guests and attendees.
For instance, you can partner up with local industries to offer different kinds of activities. Who wouldn’t enjoy a local wine tasting, a colonial breakfast, or even a guided tour around the city?
Bleisure trips (a mix of business and pleasure travel) are a big trend!
Upsell via guest profile
If you know that you’re expecting couples at your property, you can offer personalized upsells, such as a room with a view, a romantic dinner or breakfast, etc.
Another good idea is to put together a guided tour with romantic activities, such as outings to the theater and museums. You may also offer transportation as an upsell as well.
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- Family with children
Families with children are more inclined to look for activities that are both safe and entertaining. A supervised recreation activity and/or guided activities around the hotel might be good options to suggest as upsell to this type of guest.
- Business travelers
Many times, business travelers will be attracted to your upsells during their stay. This type of guest is usually the most demanding, so quality is essential.
Train Your Staff
The success of an upselling program depends on sales and reservation teams. They should be updated on everything your property offers. Otherwise, they won’t be able to effectively upsell your amenities.
Training and sharing information is the best way to achieve that. They need to be kept in the loop about upcoming promotions, business decisions, and so on.
Educate your team about the typical guest profile to ensure they are offering the right product or service to the right customer. Listen to their opinions, brainstorm strategies, and build team confidence.
This training, aligned with a good commission program will be all the motivation your team needs to perform even better and bring good results in Sales.
The Importance of Upselling in Hotels
You might have realized by now the importance of upselling for your hotel’s revenue. But here is our last, but not least, tip for your future upselling program: don’t force upselling!
People don’t like to be forced to buy things they don’t really want. It can also be awkward for your team to suggest something when the customer is clearly not interested.
The effect of a poorly done upsell is the potential of damaging your reputation, making guests feel inclined to look for another hotel in the future.
In a nutshell, when done right, upselling:
- Can revamp your revenue all year long
- Is a motivation boost for your sales and reservation teams
- Increases guest satisfaction
- Gives you loyal guests and help you map travelers’ profiles
If you don’t have an upsell program yet, this is the perfect time to start!