6 Components of a Successful Upselling Strategy
By Jonathan Lee & Jason G Bryant
June 18, 2018
As such, what you offer your guests, how you offer it to them, and when you make the offer will significantly impact the success of your upsell strategy.
That said, it is important to first define when exactly upsells take place. The upsell life cycle includes the entire period from booking to check-out. Upsells should occur during any point in this cycle, which could be days or even weeks.
A coherent upsell strategy must encompass web, email, and mobile-based offers and agent driven offers – from the moment of booking until check-out – to maximize value creation.
Any upselling strategy that fails to capture value at all points in the guests’ interaction with the hotel is suboptimal and will actually create opportunity costs to the hotel.
Nor1 Data Scientists have determined, based on millions of transactions, that guest demand for room upsells (not including add-ons) was $25 per reservation
Since only a very small percentage of guests are willing to book premium inventory at a full-rate at the time of booking, hotels must solicit the guests that already have a confirmed reservation.
But why would a guest who has already said “no” say “yes” later?
Today’s guests usually book what is standard. Premium inventory often goes unused. Therefore, upselling post-booking is an ideal time to make relevant offers to guests.
The buyer behavior of guests often shifts after a booking. They are different buyers post-booking. They are making a different decision from a different frame of reference.
When travelers are planning their vacation, they may spend weeks agonizing over how much to spend. Paying for those flights and hotel reservations causes travelers some pain in the wallet. However, once travelers book, the pain of paying diminishes even as additional expenses arise.
In lies the opportunity.
If you know that your guests would be more satisfied with their stay by paying more for a better experience, why would you not let them?
Here are the four most common mistakes of hotel upsell programs.
- Pricing offers without pricing intelligence (data science), which causes significant loss of revenue.
- Making offers that are not based on real-time inventory.
- Creating offers in a vacuum. Offers are made based on one specific point of interaction with no consideration of what has already occurred in the past.
- Over-reliance on human interaction. Empowered human interaction at the front desk is invaluable. However, without coherency, decisions about what to offer the guest and for how much will be imprecise and lack standardization.
Nor1’s coherent approach to upselling, built on state-of-the-art technology and top quality front desk agent training, enables hotels to address these concerns.
1. On Booking Page
Guests who pay full price value certainty. They pay a premium to secure top inventory. This group represents only a small fraction of the bookers. Nevertheless, exposing all guests to available room-types can capture the small segment of the population who does want to upgrade immediately and, perhaps more importantly, educate others about the options now so that they might upgrade later.
2. Post Confirmation in Booking Path
3. Booking Confirmation Email
4. Pre-Arrival Email
To use use a basketball analogy, having a strong “frontcourt” is great and so is having a great “backcourt”, but having both is so much better.
6. During Stay
Most properties possess significant untapped opportunity that, if approached with a coherent strategy, can achieve the following:
Still using outdated upselling methods? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation on how Nor1’s modern approach to maximizing the value of premium inventory through data science and advanced front desk training can upgrade your upselling strategy.