At Oaky we believe upselling is an art. Moreover, when it’s done right, it can not only be profitable, but fun, engaging and a genuine win-win for your hotel’s guests as well as the hotel.
While front desk upselling is more widespread and a key part of a receptionist’s responsibilities, the talented people who can pull it off to a perfecting standard are few and far between. Upselling in a truly non-intrusive way requires a great deal of passion, empathy and tact and is by no means an easy task. In the small window of time available for front desk upselling, pushy pitches are just a misguided sentence away. This is why we refer to upselling as an art at Oaky: individuals that can truly execute it well are skilled at multitasking and ‘reading the room’ simultaneously.
Is it possible to take the talents of front desk upselling experts and automate them? What if you used this skill and tact as the anchors to a digital upselling approach?
With this in mind, Oaky reviewed the upselling techniques that were most effective in the current conditions. Keep reading to see what co-founder Erik Tengen had to say about what will pick up speed in the world of guest upselling in the future. These insights were originally published in the German Hotel Technology Landscape report.
A different approach to upselling in your hotel
“Upselling is to be relevant without being intrusive. It’s to enhance the guest experience while maximising revenue for your hotel. A true win-win.”
Upselling has garnered more interest from hotels during Covid-19. Hoteliers are thinking outside the box in the absence of regular booking volumes.This has resulted in plans to increase the average spend per guest while delighting guests.
Not all upselling attempts are created equally, however. What are the key factors setting the most successful hotels apart from the rest? What can we all learn from their upselling strategies?
How to be more successful in your upselling efforts
Hotels with successful upselling strategies dare to be creative.
They look at what their guests love most and think creatively about how to get the most potential from the features of their property.
Debundling or attribute-based selling
Debundling a room separates elements of a room (e.g. a certain view, size or furnishing) to enable guests to pick and choose their perfect mix. As you can imagine, this is a great opportunity for upselling.
Imagine your standard room is offered with two different views, e.g. parking lot and garden view. You can upsell guests to a nicer and quieter room overlooking greenery despite the rooms technically fitting into the same category.
Adding ancillary services like access to the spa or daily afternoon tea in the room is another example. You can create special offers for all guests in this case, no matter which room type a guest has booked.
Dynamic (or seasonal) room pricing
You may use dynamic pricing in your room pricing strategy, but have you thought of applying it to your upselling initiative as well?
Dynamic room upgrade pricing works similarly to dynamic pricing for rooms in that your upgrade prices adjust automatically along with your room rates. You can do this manually, but that would take hours of valuable time.
Instead, you can let an automated upselling platform take care of it. This will not only save vast amounts of time, but it will ensure your room type supplements are always optimised to boost your total revenue.
Taking upsell opportunities throughout the guest journey
It’s crucial to get to know your guests personally and communicate with them on a channel and at a time that suits them.
Staying in touch with your guests from their research phase all the way through to post-checkout is no small feat, but digital upselling gives you a unique chance to add value and create a personal connection at each stage of the guest journey, without dominating your workday.
Using an upselling platform that connects with omni-channel solutions, booking engines, chatbots, OTAs and other tools is a reliable way to give your upselling flexibility. As a result, you’ll get to know your guests and improve guest satisfaction, while getting more opportunities to sell great experiences and services at your hotel.
If you can begin implementing these three suggestions, you’re already on the way to upselling with flair. Perhaps mastering the art of upselling is just around the corner!