When it comes to hotel revenue management, a lot of focus rightly goes to room sales. Again, that’s understandable. As a hotel, the property’s primary means of generating income will be through room sales. However, it should not be your only focus. When it comes to revenue management, you should also think about other ways to increase hotel revenue. In this post, we’ll explore some of your best options and how upselling ties into them.
Consider Guest Experience
Hotel revenue management challenges can feel insurmountable, but if you start from the right place, you can generate profit and make your property stand out for all the right reasons. Where do you start? It’s with your overall guest experience and satisfaction levels.
Let’s put this bluntly – good enough is never really good enough. You want your guests to enthusiastically recommend the property and to book their stays with you again. To do that, you must deliver a positive experience. One way to do that is to offer upsell options that add value, comfort, enjoyment, or some other quality to your guests’ stays but do so without detracting from the experience if the guest chooses not to purchase the upsell.
For instance, luxury bed linens and pillows could be a viable upsell, but don’t make the default bedding scratchy, low-quality bedding that leaves your guests unhappy with their decision to stay at your property.
Outdo the Competitors in Booking Experience
Building on the first step, the next consideration for better hotel revenue management is to deliver a better booking experience than what your competitors can offer. Of course, you’ll need to take a deep dive into just what it is that your competitors offer so that you can design a process that will outperform them.
One consideration is to upsell items right into the booking experience. Give your guests options and make it plain why they might want to choose an upgrade, higher tier, or extra service. When possible, include images to help drive guest interest in your upsell services or items, as well.
However, make sure that your upsell tactics don’t overcomplicate the process, or you could find that you’re not delivering the best booking experience possible.
Sell Your Offerings
While hotel revenue management is primarily based around room sales, don’t fall into the rut of thinking that rooms are all that you have to offer. Most properties offer far more than just a place for guests to lay their heads. Just some of the upsell options you have available to you may include:
- Netflix/streaming packages
- Room service
- Spa/salon services
- Seasonal offerings
However, don’t think that your guests will just automatically buy what they want or need. They first need to know that you offer the service or feature, and that means offering them. Make your upsell options obvious and available.
Come Right Out and Ask
Do you know how fast-food restaurants maximize their revenue? They come right out and ask what size combo their diners would like. Sure, some people default to the standard medium fries and soda, but most people automatically upgrade to the largest size.
You can use this same tactic to your advantage. Come out and ask about upgrades and upsell items. “Would you like to dine in your room tonight? We’re having a room service special – two entrees and sides for just $XX.” That is just a basic example of how easy it is to ask about the upgrade, and it’s not reserved for room service. You can upgrade almost anything, from room types to stay packages and everything in between.
Automate the Upsell Process
While asking about upgrades and upsell items is a good strategy, automating the upsell process is even better. By automating, you automatically remove resistance and avoid the potential of human error. Suppose your front desk staff members forget to ask about upgrades, for instance.
By automating the upsell process through booking, check-in, and other interactions with your guest, you maximize the visibility of your upsell options and boost the chances that a guest will purchase them. You can then reinforce that with verbal offers from your staff, printed material in guest rooms, email marketing, and other methods that help you sell the experience of the stay.
Hotelogix Offers the Right Tools
It’s all well and good to talk about the benefits of upselling when it comes to hotel revenue management. However, without the right tools, you will find it more than a little challenging to accomplish. Today’s hotels need more than just brochures in the lobby or placards in the rooms. You need a way to bake your upsells and upgrades into the booking and check-in processes.
At Hotelogix, we offer a web booking engine (WBE) and POS to enable you to build a strong upsell strategy to automate the upsell process. Imagine being able to recommend upsells and upgrades to a customer before they ever set foot on your property, or the ability to build familiarity and begin laying the groundwork for selling the experience before a guest ever sees your lobby. With our tools, not only is that possible, but it becomes easier to find and implement ways to increase hotel revenue, as well.
Ultimately, hotel revenue management hinges on the understanding that while your hotel primarily sells rooms, it also does so much more. It’s also important to break out of the room-only mindset. You’re not selling beds – you’re selling guest experiences. What experience do you want your guests to have when they stay with you? Convenient and comfortable? Luxurious and refined? Simple and no hassle?
Define what you want to deliver and then build your upsell strategy around that. Bake your offerings into your web booking process and then reinforce them through digital marketing, print marketing, and your staff. By doing so, you not only make your guests aware of all that you offer, but you dramatically increase the purchase rate of upsell items/services and boost profitability while giving your guests a better overall experience and encouraging them to recommend your hotel and book a repeat stay.