Upselling typically means convincing your customer to purchase something more expensive than they initially plan on buying. However, before we venture into various upselling techniques for a hotel, let’s understand how the word has a different connotation in the hospitality world.
Unlike the classic meaning of upselling, hotels generally do not try to sell a higher-value product to their guests. Let’s face it, when was it last that you went to the reception and the staff tried to sell a costlier room instead of the one you booked?
Instead, upselling in the hotel business relates to being aware of guests’ preferences and offering them premium services before, during, and sometimes after their stay.
Moreover, upselling for hotels has a double advantage as it leads to the guest feeling appreciated and generates revenue if the customer accepts the service.
Why should hotels upsell?
You might think there is a simple reason for hotels to upsell. However, the technique has several rewards.
The most apparent reason to upsell is to generate extra revenue. Hotels, no matter how small or big, should always look towards adding small features that allow them to earn extra income.
These can range from having an on-site cafe to offering premium services such as airport transfers. But to make these offerings worth the investment, you must be proactive and upsell them.
We’ve talked at length about Big Data in our earlier articles. Any information you collect from your guests goes towards understanding behaviors and trends. Then, working alongside a leading hotel marketing agency such as Adigital, you can analyze the data to improve service and increase sales.
Increase customer satisfaction
Upselling isn’t just about making money but also providing customer satisfaction. Knowing what your guests like and allowing them to do the same shows that you care and want their stay to be memorable.
Executing various upselling techniques helps boost your hotel brand value. After all, guests booking a stay now know that you provide more than a place to stay.
Use of property
Another reason hotels upsell is to use their property to the fullest. You would have noticed that more and more establishments nowadays have attractive wedding packages. That’s because they are an excellent way to refrain large areas like the hotel’s ballroom or garden from staying vacant all the time.
Upselling techniques for a hotel
There are generally four ways to go about upselling hotel features.
- On-site – includes in-person upselling through staff.
- Website – Offering guests added features at the time of making a booking.
- Email marketing – Upselling hotel features via email before and after guests arrive.
- Hotel App – Using the hotel’s app to upsell experiences and features during a guest’s period of stay.
Let us now look in detail at the different upselling techniques hotels can use to earn extra revenue.
In-person hotel upselling
In-person upselling at a hotel is generally done by the staff, from the personnel at the reception to the server at your in-house restaurant. It does involve teaching the team how to be subtle with the upsell and not come across as pushy.
So, let’s assume a couple checks in, and the receptionist finds out it is their anniversary. In such a case, the staff can casually inform them about the special couple’s experience at the on-site spa. Or else, they might suggest booking a romantic dinner for two at the hotel beach or the terrace, away from everyone else.
Upselling also includes informing guests about new features. If you’ve recently teamed up with a nearby golf course, let the guest know you can book a round for them.
When upselling in person, your staff must mention that the services are not free but are paid features to avoid any misunderstanding.
For a successful marketing strategy, the hotel’s sales team must remain in contact with its digital agency. We see the need for this even more when it comes to upselling.
Professionally done website design is a major factor in converting prospective customers into bonafide guests with bookings.
At the same time, you can execute adverts and add-ones to upsell features during the booking process.
For instance, a guest mentions that they are traveling for business. Your marketing agency can create a website that automatically offers add-ons such as faster WiFi or using a business room during their stay.
Moreover, you may give out a one-time special discount if they reserve the features along with their room booking, enticing them further.
Big Data and email marketing go brilliantly together. You can analyze all the information you have about guests to create a personalized email strategy with your hotel marketing agency that includes upselling.
Let’s assume you know that a returning guest is somewhat of a gourmand who enjoys culinary experiences. Before their arrival, you can email them about the new tasting menu at your restaurant and ask if they would like to book a table.
Similarly, you may ask if the guest would like to book tickets to a local event or excursion that centers around the city’s gastronomic heritage.
More commonly, you’ll see establishments using the email hotel upselling technique for airport pick-up and drop or early check-up or late check-out.
With things going digital faster than ever, many hotels, even smaller family-owned BnBs, are working with hotel marketing agencies to develop exclusive apps.
While the app is an excellent source of information for the guests and helps with customer service, you can use it to upsell various features.
One of the main reasons to hire a hotel marketing agency is that they can assist you with various upselling techniques. More importantly, the agency can test and analyze all the different strategies to see which brings in the most returns.