How Cross Hotels & Resorts Use Upselling to Uplift Ancillary Revenue

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For hoteliers, embracing technology is the key to staying ahead of your competition and creating a unique guest experience.

On top of being a great way to make your guests happy, the right hotel tech can also increase your revenue. Now you’re probably wondering which solutions those are…

Here’s a tip: Automated pre-arrival upselling is a great place to start. For an idea of how it works, which challenges it addresses, and which results you can expect, find out what Ratchaya Dear Termsilkanok, VP – Revenue & E-Commerce at Cross Hotels & Resorts said about his upselling journey with Oaky.

 

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A quick intro to Cross Hotels & Resorts

Cross Hotels & Resorts is an international hotel management company wholly owned by the ASX listed Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG). The group currently operates 24 hotels across three distinct brands, X2, X2 Vibe and Away, in major tourist destinations in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Now it’s time to find out how Dear and his team became upselling champions.

 

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The goal: to boost ancillary revenue and improve the guest experience

When Cross Hotels & Resorts implemented upselling at properties like the Away Bali Legian Camakila, the goal was to increase ancillary revenue and create the perfect guest experience. To achieve the best results, they needed to go beyond promoting paid upgrades and also cross-sell other departments. That way guests can have the best possible stay by taking advantage of the available services and products and the hotels can celebrate an increased average spend.

The challenge

Initially, the front office team at the Away Bali Legian Camakila upsold guests on arrival. They also promoted departments like the restaurants or the spa, but guests were more interested in getting to their rooms than in dinner reservations or massage bookings.

“For a hotel to run an upselling program, it has to invest a lot of time in training and sometimes extra manning is necessary during busy periods which is a costly investment,” Dear explains.

“To increase conversions and encourage our staff to upsell, we implemented an incentive programme. The team was working very hard, but we knew we could get even better results with a tech-driven approach,” he goes on to say.

The solution

Since Cross Hotels & Resorts is looking to stay ahead of the competition by embracing new technology, Dear and his team began looking for a digital upselling solution.

“With digital transformation playing a big role in our company, we saw an opportunity to solve our upselling challenge by implementing an innovative tech solution to help us increase our ancillary revenue,” Dear says.

When he learned how automated pre-arrival upselling via emails sent directly to the guest could help boost revenue and create a smoother experience, Dear knew he needed to try it.

The results

Improved guest experience

Since implementing Oaky, guests at the Away Bali no longer feel pressured by upsells during check-in. Instead, they can pick the offer they want in their own time.

“Without a person pushing for the sale, upselling has become much more subtle. Many guests don’t even perceive this as the hotel trying to sell them something but see it as a way to better plan their stay pre-arrival,” Dear says.

Dear also notes that guests enjoy having access to a wide choice of easily bookable offers: “With Oaky, our clients can browse all our deals and choose the ones they like best. This wouldn’t be possible when upselling at the reception because time during check-in is limited, and we can’t just rattle off the whole list.”

Inspired to test new offers and broaden our approach

Since you can easily change the offers you promote via Oaky, you can always keep optimising your upselling scheme.

“When we started with Oaky, we tried many different deals to see what our guests are most interested in. Some results really surprised us, like the great performance of our yoga class and the Champagne breakfast,” Dear says.

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While classic deals like the airport transfer and a BBQ dinner are the Away Bali’s bestsellers, Dear and his team are constantly getting creative to come up with new deals to try, like a floating breakfast or a dessert sent to the room on arrival.

Dear also has a new project now: “Working with Oaky has inspired us to create a new direct booking programme which we want to enhance by using pre-arrival upselling emails to give our guests the best experience possible.”

Improved efficiency and increased ancillary revenue

User-friendliness was an important aspect when Dear chose Oaky: “We wanted a tool that is easy to use for our team, so they can work with it on their own. Once they finish the onboarding training, the staff can handle all the requests and update the offers very quickly and efficiently.”

Paired with the team’s creative offers, Oaky’s simplicity also boosts conversion rates. Since the pre-arrival emails are delivered at optimised times and guests can book offers in a single click, the Away Bali has seen a significant uplift in ancillary revenue.

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A final word

Dear’s last statement sums up what he thinks about Oaky and whether hoteliers should give automated pre-arrival upselling a try: “If you have been searching for a technology partner that will help you increase your ancillary revenue, Oaky is the way to go. The platform is easy and fun to use for staff because it challenges us to use our creativity to provide personalised offers to our guests. Given all it offers, the investment is quite small, and the return is fantastic.”