1. Involve all teams at your hotel
After a long year with very few guests at your hotel, your team is itching to get back at what they do best. You may have used the downtime to overhaul your modus operandi, updating procedures across hotel departments. After this period of review and strategy, many of your hotel’s teams have a much better structure to follow, whether in the areas of guest relations, SOPs, reporting and analysis. While you may feel primed to hit the ground running, we want to give you a friendly reminder that it’s always a good idea to futureproof your approaches, especially in light of residual Covid-related changes to the industry. Upselling is no exception if you're serious about increasing your hotel revenue.
In the period of rebuilding and growth that will take place in the coming months, make sure to ‘build back better’ and return to your upselling initiative with the stage set for growth.
This article, based on the expertise of Oaky account manager Mattia Zanella, will guide you in five effective ways to scale your upsell efforts, allowing you to:
- Provide more options to guests
- Reach out to more people
- Make the upsell journey seamless
- Increase your hotel revenue
Your upselling initiative is an extension of your hotel’s main services, so must be treated as such.
Your marketing team can make sure your offering, and any associated copy and visuals, are presented in line with your branding and that the deals you present make sense for your ideal guest personas. Collaborating with your marketing team will help you ensure that you are delivering a great brand experience, always.
The people in charge of operations at your hotel have a lot on their plate, but it is critical that they are involved in the hotel’s upselling programme. Your upsell offering can become much more engaging and exciting to guests if you can ascertain whether it’s possible to, for instance, include 3rd party services in your offering, or accept advance payment. You’ll want to promise great things, but deliver on them too!
Your guest relations team members are experts in making sure the guest is at ease and enjoying their stay. As the people on your team who are likely to have the most familiar rapport with your guests, they hold valuable knowledge, rooted in experience, that will help keep your upsell offering relevant to your guests.
Your housekeeping team is another that has intimate knowledge of your guests’ habits and routines. You can use what housekeeping notices as they stock and clean rooms to create convenience for guests, i.e. extra comfort items for guests in the room.
2. Formalise your upsell meetings
The next step is to gather representatives from all of these teams in one room for a dedicated upselling meeting. You may have approached upselling more casually before this, but those days are gone! At this meeting you can highlight each team’s importance to the initiative as well as the importance of upselling in today’s hospitality climate.
Check the blog later this week for a short guide to conducting an efficient upsell meeting, including a template agenda!
3. Automate your operations
Operations concerning your upsell deliverables can be the most challenging part of upselling. Consider the following questions:
How can you make sure all of these details are tracked? Whether it’s about sourcing ingredients, supplies or guides; or keeping track of inventory; making sure you deliver on your promises requires a great deal of foresight.
How can you deliver your upsells quickly and conveniently? As welcome as your refined upselling approach may be to your guests, you’ll want to keep the length of interaction short and sweet.
How can you make sure that team communication around upsells is clear and efficient? Communication within the team is another challenge – you’ll need to make sure no requests get lost in the fray and that the right team members are notified about supplying the deal to the guest.
How can various team members supply these deals without disrupting their other work?
In order to deliver on the requests, your team will need to have processes and time set aside to see to them. Enough time to prepare is key!
How can you request payment for deals in a convenient way? Extra offers can be tricky to request payment for and sometimes a headache for guests.
The answer for all of these questions is this: automation! Not only can you use hotel technology to reduce your to-do list, you can use it to keep track of important information and streamline communication between your team, reducing human error to nearly nothing. Learn more about how to implement automation at your hotel with the right tools in our upcoming blog on automation.
4. Test, test, test
Conducting a truly insightful A/B test means that you will need to run two versions of your deal.
- A control version, which can be the deal that you’d like to improve results for.
- A hypothesis version, which is the same deal with one change (in copy, image, title etc) that you feel might enhance results.
In order to achieve statistically significant results, you’ll need to make sure you run these two versions in as similar conditions as possible and make sure to only change one thing about the deal.
You can also try multivariate testing, which is less statistically significant but can produce some interesting insights faster. For more on the advantages of multivariate testing, scroll down to enroll in the Upselling in Depth course!
5. Optimise your pricing
“The moment you make a mistake in your pricing, you’re either eating into your profit or your reputation.”
Quite a tough pill to swallow, but true. The right price point can be elusive, but it is essential in generating meaningful income while simultaneously satisfying your guests. Try these tips to figure out the right price point for each deal:
- Combine perspectives from revenue management and behavioural economics
- Use specific and unusual numbers in your prices, like 11.50, 37, 113.
- Use automated dynamic pricing for your room upgrades