Upselling and cross selling is about generating additional revenue by offering extras, various upgrades or add-ons.
It can come in the form of a more expensive or personalised version of the same product (room upgrade) or offering a product that hadn’t been previously considered (massage, tour around the city, etc.).
Besides extra income for your hotel it provides additional benefits such as:
Don’t forget that the way you use upselling and cross selling techniques needs to follow basic rules and be handled in a subtle manner.
Aim to improve the customer experience over increasing your revenues.
Customers can get annoyed by aggressive upselling techniques. Focus on offering solutions rather than increasing your profits.
The Timing is everything
It is a thing of the past that upselling and cross selling only takes place at the hotel reception or via paper prospecting in the hotel rooms. By utilizing technology you can significantly widen the space and opportunities for upsell.
Now you can use every stage of the guest journey to pitch a service exactly at the time when your customer needs it the most. You can send your (additional) offers by emails or text messages during booking, before and after arrival, and even after they check-out.
Also, consider the fact that upselling at the front desk isn’t the most convenient for both parties. The guest wants to go to his room, and the receptionist needs to give quick service to other guests waiting in the line.
This is why focusing greatly on the pre-arrival phase combined with the digital approach is much better and more efficient. This can also be an advantage, especially during the pandemic.
It goes without saying that the most tempting offer won’t convert if the price is not set to an optimal level. Set it too low and you won’t earn anything (at best), set it too high and you may make it unattainable for most guests budgets.
No, you shouldn’t offer everything to everyone.
It is vital that you also identify your target audience and start by acknowledging at least the basic segments.
Also remember, not every guest is a good fit for upsell; so never try to push additional products or services on someone who doesn’t truly want or need them.
Stop showing irrelevant offers to irrelevant guests. Personalize!
Besides proper targeting and taking your segments into account, the easiest way to ensure you are hitting the right spot is simply by asking your guests about their in-stay preferences. You will learn about their needs immediately and can start offering relevant content – useful both for online tools but also for your receptionist.
For example, the MyStay personalisation feature allows you to collect guest preferences before their arrival, or during the online check-in process. That means you can cater to every guests’ specific needs, while also completely automating the whole process.
Don’t know what to (up)sell?
Make sure your offers represent good value, are convenient, and that they are adding something relevant to the guest’s stay.
Sell anything with a high mark-up value
First of all fill in any gaps in the guests travel plan to make things easier for them – airport transfer, parking, massage after a long trip are the big ones for example.
Then don’t forget to focus on the convenient basics like late check-out or room upgrade or special room features. Those are the classic options that convert a lot.
How about in-room extras? A bottle of wine, chocolate-covered strawberries, movie rentals or premium minibar offerings are all great options.
Make sure you don’t wait for the guest’s arrival to push these offers. Send pre-stay communications the day before or even a week before to see if you can close a deal. The period in between a booking and arrival is also absolutely ideal for various limited offers, meaning you can always dress up your extras as a special or exceptional opportunity.
Don’t forget 3rd party offers
Additional activities are a big part of the stay and can be offered by your property or by third parties through partnerships. Bike rentals, boat trips, tours, monuments and many more. If you’re in a city famous for its food, consider offering a tasting menu or afternoon tea as fun alternatives.
Incentives and coupons
A sure way to capture anyone’s attention is incentives. Who doesn’t love free stuff and coupons? When offered a great deal, customers are more likely to buy into it. For example; if you offer your customer a free drink on their next stay, they are more likely to return to redeem their reward. – How about a free drink to their room upgrade?
If you don’t promote, they don’t know
The biggest problem is that the guest usually has no idea that you are offering something extra.
Combine automated digital tools with the power of your front desk
Automated digital tools? Automated pre-arrival and in- stay messaging by email and text messages, online upsell catalogue, QR codes, wifi success page.
Focus on training your staff for front-desk up-selling
Make sure that all the members of your hotel are on the same page. Training every customer-facing staff member to spot up-selling opportunities, and to approach the guests with the right tone, at the right time, will be a key advantage.
Attract your guests by perfectly timed email marketing
You can highlight facilities like spa, pool, yoga, gym, etc. to encourage them in utilizing these services or let them know about your special offers.
Use the magic of social media
Showcase best offers, combo packages, and deals on your website as well as on your social media profiles. You can also post Carousel images on social media platforms, highlighting the various offerings you have at your property.