10 Ways for Revenue Managers to Optimize the Upsell
Hold your team accountable to realistic forecasts and goals.
Be sure everyone, from the General Manager on down, knows and supports the hotel’s upgrade revenue goals. You will only meet or exceed expectations if every eye is on the forecast and aiming for the same goals.
Acknowledge successful agents and managers regularly.
Reward your top agents and managers – either with recognition or commissions – for an upselling job well done. Post their names and rewards so their colleagues will be inspired to increase efforts and be similarly recognized.
Have a multi-platform approach to upselling.
Guests have different ways of interacting with a hotel, so make sure you aren’t missing any of them. Upgrade offers should be optimized for every contact method: on the desktop, on smart devices, and at check-in.
Recognize, too, that different types of guests respond to different types of offers.
Some prefer value through a package, and others respond to specific offers targeting their guest type or reason for traveling. Know your guests!
Understand the value of optimizing upgrade opportunities early with eStandby®.
Know that eStandby Upgrade® creates a demand for premium inventories at the time of booking, and that requested eStandby® upgrades are not awarded or confirmed until just before arrival.
Make your room-blocking policy “revenue-centric”.
Limit complimentary upgrades needed to balance the house in order to leave premium rooms available for the front desk to sell. Ensure your Rooms Controller is strategically utilizing eStandby requests to create straight line availability across room types and to award early when standard rooms are oversold. Honor loyalty upgrades based on program guidelines, understanding the premium customers often “purchase” upgrades that are above their guaranteed benefits.
Review upgrade offers and room descriptions regularly, and update them based on changes to rooms and seasonality.
Your agents should also know how to best describe all your rooms and suites. Instead of “It’s 500-square-feet”, they might say, “It’s an oversized comfortable suite with big windows that overlook the bay”.
Analyze upgrade performance weekly and look for missed revenue opportunities.
Identify missed opportunities and how they happened. Did front desk staff provide complimentary upgrades instead of upselling? Did they use CheckIn Merchandising™ to present relevant offers to each guest? Were eStandby Upgrade® requests denied, or did they expire, even though the requested room types were left available at the end of the night? Determine which upsell offers are not resonating with guests to update the offer benefits or change the offer completely. Identify underperforming agents who would benefit from additional training.
Walk the talk.
Spend time at the front desk observing agents and their upsell techniques, share information about the revenue management plan and why it’s important, and listen to and answer agent questions or concerns.
Celebrate your success!