Upselling and Guest Satisfaction
The way people interact with business is changing, gone are the days when face to face interaction was the main way to do business. In 2018, 82% of hotel bookings were made via the internet without human interaction. With more and more people booking online, the front desk is often the first face to face contact the hotel has with its guests.
One way to increase overall guest satisfaction is by creating more personalised experiences for your guests, this is done through upselling. 90% of worldwide travellers say they expect personalised experiences when they travel.
For hotels to successfully upsell they firstly need to identify what it is they want to promote, and what it is that guests need. By offering this, guests are able to easily plan out their trips, thus increasing guest satisfaction and having an overall more enjoyable experience. The key to upselling is communicating value. Research shows that more than 60% of consumers would be open to spending more if an additional service compliments or enhances their main purchase. In today’s climate with rising costs, it is essential to upsell.
There are several upselling methods, through the use of property management software (PMS), a hotel can look at a guests history and offer them options based on their past preferences. In this method there are a few things to consider first; timing, delivery and language. Incremental pricing and language is very important, rather than saying “For $599 you can have a room with a view” “For only $49 extra, you are able to see the hustle and bustle of Sydney city, with the beautiful sunrise and sunset over the harbour”
Another, very powerful and often overlooked method are the front desk staff. Training and educating staff members is a key factor to successful upselling practises. As front desk staff are often the first face to face interaction the guests have with the hotels, it is very important they create a great first impression and go above and beyond to ensure guest satisfaction. An emphasis should be made that upselling is not about higher revenues, but creating more personalised experiences to achieve higher guest satisfaction, which then results in higher revenue.
Firstly staff should have a thorough knowledge of all the individual products and packages, as well as the value and profit margin for each. Good front desk staff should have the ability to understand guest profiles and anticipate their needs, offering educated suggestions. All staff should be trained in upselling techniques, such as asking open ended questions, qualifying guests, objection handling and of course the highest level of customer service. Individual incentives and group sales goals should be set to motivate staff members to increase their number of upsells.
Upselling poses a challenge for smaller hotels, however they too can get onboard with this by partnering up with service providers and vendors to create added value and improve the guest experiences.