How Technology Can Help Hoteliers Improve Their Upselling Techniques to Boost Revenue and Guest Satisfaction

When upselling, avoid making it a fully online experience. Instead, use face-to-face interactions, such as check-in to engage directly with guests. This approach allows your hotel staff to personalize the upselling experience, making it more effective and appealing.
By Lauren Hall, CEO and Founder of iVvy - 5.7.2024

Mastering the art of upselling is not just about increasing profits; it’s about creating value for guests and elevating their stay to an unforgettable experience.  The following are six tech-enabled upselling techniques that can transform your hotel’s approach to service (and selling). By offering strategic enhancements and thoughtful add-ons, hoteliers can create a memorable guest experience. 

Upsell with Room Upgrades

Did you know that over 60% of consumers would spend a little extra if an additional service complements or enhances their purchase? It’s true, as reported by our friends over at Little Hotelier. 

One way your hotel can increase revenue and guest satisfaction is by offering room upgrades. Personalized room upgrades (like a room with a spa) can pleasantly surprise guests. Plus, guests who have already booked their trip tend to worry less about finances.

To generate more revenue per booking, your hotel can also offer room upgrades when expensive rooms are unoccupied. But there are other ways to upsell. Other options include offering families a second room at a reduced rate, providing guests with rooms featuring exclusive amenities, offering rooms with desirable views, and offering additional service, amenity, or activity packages.

Enhance with Event Extras

If you’re managing hotel venue spaces, you know how important it is to offer an excellent experience to event clients. However, we understand nobody likes to feel like they are under pressure to make a purchase.

That’s why we suggest framing any upgrades or additional offerings in the context of the event itself. Offer upsells that are relevant and personalized to their needs. To do this, look at the information in your venue management system to identify event details and see how you can enhance the experience.

If an event has a particular theme, consider offering upgraded table centerpieces, decor, or flowers to match the theme. You could also provide audio-visual equipment, event setup assistance, additional room rentals, and coat checks. Get creative – as long as your ideas are personalized and relevant, event planners will appreciate your input.

Finally, make sure to provide a clear and concise overview of how each upgrade or additional offering will contribute to the overall success of an event.

Promote Your Partnerships

Provide hotel guests with a more meaningful experience by immersing them in the local community and culture. 

Upselling by collaborating with local businesses can enhance the guest experience while supporting the local economy. By working with local artisans, restaurants, and experience providers, you can offer your guests authentic and exclusive products and services they won’t find anywhere else.

To effectively immerse your hotel guests in the local community and culture:

  • Work with local tour guides and experience providers to create exclusive tours and activities showcasing local culture, history, and natural beauty, from private culinary tours to local artisans’ workshops
  • Partner with local farming and food producers to offer an exclusive farm-to-table dining experience in your hotel restaurant
  • Collaborate with local businesses to showcase unique products and services. These could include locally sourced bath products for purchase, local snacks and drinks in the minibar, or exclusive offers and discounts at local shops and attractions.

By integrating these strategies, your hotel can contribute to the local economy and foster a positive relationship between local community members.

Touch Base with Pre-Stay Upsells

Once you’ve got a booking in your system, you’ve also got information about a guest’s stay that can make upselling easy and personable. Data points like length and purpose of stay can help you create personalized offers more likely to appeal to a guest’s unique interests and needs. 

For instance, if a guest is staying for an extended period, you might offer discounted rates on laundry services, spa treatments, or dining options within your property. Similarly, a business traveller might appreciate offers on meeting room rentals or express check-out services, while a couple on a romantic getaway might be more interested in room upgrades, champagne on arrival, or special dining experiences.

Technology can play a significant role in making these upselling efforts more effective and less intrusive. A CRM system and marketing tools found in your venue management software can help you manage and analyze guest data more efficiently, allowing you to send out personalized offers at optimal times. 

Offer Add-Ons During Check-In

When upselling, avoid making it a fully online experience. Instead, use face-to-face interactions, such as check-in to engage directly with guests. This approach allows your hotel staff to personalize the upselling experience, making it more effective and appealing. Strategies to consider include:

Training Staff: Ensure front desk staff and concierges are well-trained in sales and customer service. They should be aware of all products, services, and experiences offered by your hotel to make personalized recommendations based on guest’s needs and preferences.

Personalization: Use guest information to personalize your upsell. For example, if you know a guest is visiting for a special occasion, you can offer a room upgrade or a special package to make their stay more memorable. Tailoring the offer increases the chance of acceptance and enhances the guest’s overall experience.

Timing: Check-in time is a prime opportunity for upselling, as you have the guest’s full attention. However, timing and discretion are important. Ensure offers are made in a way that feels like a natural part of the conversation rather than a hard sell.

Exclusive Offers: Present your upsell as an exclusive offer that adds value to the guest’s stay. This could be a room with a better view, access to a club lounge, or a package that includes breakfast and spa services. Highlighting the exclusivity and benefits can make your offer more attractive.

Encourage Loyalty Upsells Post-Stay 

Finally, upselling shouldn’t stop once guests have departed. Managing the post-stay phase of a guest’s experience can significantly increase the chances of converting them into repeat customers.

After guests check out, stay in touch to offer additional services and amenities that might entice them to plan another visit or invest in additional upsell offers. Invite them to become a member of your hotel’s loyalty program, stay updated with regular communication through newsletters, or take up exclusive rebooking rates. 

Review Your Hotel’s Approach to Upselling

Effective upselling, when done with professionalism and a personal touch, has the power to transform a standard hotel stay into an exceptional experience. 

Embrace these upselling strategies with a blend of professionalism and genuine care, and watch as your hotel not only meets but exceeds the expectations of your guests.

For more tools, tips, and templates to increase your hotel’s venue leads, get your free copy of iVVy’s ebook How to Increase Venue Sales click here.

Lauren Hall is the CEO and Founder of iVvy, a a renowned software company that provides automation and cloud-based technology to help venues fill their function calendars and planners create unforgettable events. Lauren’s passion for entrepreneurship and over 25 years of business management experience at the executive and board levels make her a highly successful businesswoman. She has built multiple companies from startup to strategic and financial exit in various industries, including manufacturing, retail, advertising and technology, both in South Africa and Australia. Lauren co-founded iVvy in 2009 and has since overseen its growth to 10,000+ clients in 13 countries, expanding to New Zealand, Asia, Europe and North America.

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