Travellers always look for a memorable experience. As a hotelier, it's your job to provide just that. It is vital to highlight the strong points of your establishment to your customers. How can the customers take advantage of your varying amenities if they are not aware of them? It would be helpful if the front desk staff welcomes the customers and politely informs them of the current offers and upgrades available or any latest events you are holding. This is called upselling.
By definition, upselling is offering your customers additional services like spas, couple massages, breakfast buffets, room upgrades and more at nominal prices to further elevate their experience. This is a basic thing that any small, mid-sized or large hotel chains can offer their customers. Your guests get value for money experiences while you see greater revenues and increased occupancy along with returning guests.
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Let us take a deeper look into the various ways of upselling in the hospitality industry.
- Don't forget the basics
Give your guests a proper welcome with some relaxing drinks or beverage. Encourage your guests to celebrate any special occasions through banquet deals or offer complimentary drinks and chocolates or desserts.
Offer services like room upgrades, airport transfers, complimentary breakfast and car or bike hire so that they explore the localities. Always make sure to present a lot of options for your guest to choose from instead of expecting them to go with your recommendations.
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- Identify your target customers
The first step is to identify the target customer for your upselling. This may include business travellers, honeymooners and vacationers. Not every customer will likely be a good fit for your upselling. So, it's very important to push strategies and services according to the customer and their unique preferences. For example, offering complimentary drinks and chocolates to a business traveller is the perfect example of choosing the wrong audience. However, the thumb of the rule here is not to go overboard. It should not sound like a sales pitch. Just briefly mention it to your guests as a possible option.
- Determine the right timing
Timing is EVERYTHING! This is particularly true when you are pitching in your services to your guests. Offering your guests additional services when they need it is of paramount importance. You can send your guests emails during booking, after arrival or during check-out.
- Offer guest-ready smartphones
Not a lot of international travellers will be keen on buying a sim card abroad especially if they are in town for a weekend. That's exactly where these guest-ready smartphones come into play. Equip these smartphones with data and local calling credits and you will see your guests thanking you for that! These can help your guests move around freely, book tours or discover the locality. If correctly implemented, this can be a very good source of revenue for you.
- Flexibility is the key
If your guest wants a quick breakfast before catching a morning flight or maybe wants some snacks packed, be flexible and accommodate his/her request. The guest will appreciate this gesture because they did not have to go to the caf nearby to grab something beforehand. This results in good ratings and gives them another reason to choose your hotel next time they are in town. Make your guests feel valued in everything you do.
- Make your place fur-friendly
Your four-legged customers should be happy too! A lot of pet owners do not bring their pets because they are not informed beforehand. Avoid this issue by actively sending out emails to the guests about this and outline the exciting offers and treats you have in store for the furry friends.
- Create a sense of urgency
While checking in, do not forget to mention the upgrades that are currently on offer. Always aim to create a sense of urgency by saying, 'Currently, we have only one suite available.' Of course, website bookings are advantageous because this will show that other travelers are also looking at the same rooms. Studies have revealed that people perceive things as valuable when they are scarce. Hence, if there are fewer suites, there is a higher chance of guests going for upgrades.
- Offer local experiences to your guests
Millennials nowadays wish to explore offbeat sites and locations. They steer away from crowded places and busy tourist spots. A local guide can help to locate spots barely known. You can partner with local guides who specialize in these kinds of off-beat tours and activities. This will help in creating beautiful memories which your guests will cherish and probably tell their friends.
- Take advantage of group bookings
Group bookings for weddings, business conferences or family get-togethers are always an added advantage. More guests mean the requirement of more rooms and additional beddings. This is the right opportunity to upsell your services and increases your revenues through the varied amenities at your establishment.
- Introduce loyalty programs
This will no doubt help in upselling your amenities and increase repeat guests. This means more occupancy thereby ensuring greater revenues. Not only this, loyalty programs ensure the constant use of the amenities you provide and foster a close relationship with your guests.
Understanding your customer's demographics and preferences will help you in understanding the loopholes and introduce better strategies for upselling amenities customized to them. Upselling has something for both the hotelier and the customers alike. Customers get to make memorable experiences while you bring in revenues and goodwill.