The Art of the Upsell: How to Improve Customer Service and Boost Revenue

It’s time to rethink how you approach upselling. When done right, upselling premium services, like spa treatments, executive lounge access, and room upgrades, can do more than just enhance your hotel’s revenue. While upselling benefits cash flow, it can also be a fantastic tool for increasing customer satisfaction and setting your hotel apart as a luxury brand that goes above and beyond for your guests.

So, how can you master the upsell, drive more revenue, increase bookings, and boost brand loyalty with upsells? Here are a few strategies to make upselling work for you – and your guests:

  1. Improve customer service with the right upsells
  2. Maximize revenue with personalized upsells
  3. Take advantage of upselling opportunities at check-out (and beyond)
  4. Deliver seamless guest experiences with Digital Key
  1. Improve customer service with the right upsells

Picture this. You’re at the airport. You’re sitting at the gate, waiting on a flight. You know your flight will take about five hours, and you’re not looking forward to a cramped seat and no leg room. At the counter, a gate agent calls out that they’ll be offering a discounted upgrade to first class for just $75. What do you do? You jump at the chance for a more relaxing and comfortable flight, right?

This is exactly what we’re talking about when we say that upselling can improve customer service. The key is to put yourself in your guests’ shoes. What kinds of enhancements could make their stay even better? If you were planning a family vacation, what would you think if you received an email offering a suite upgrade for a discounted price? Or how about one off these ideas?

  • Reservations at local restaurants
  • Discounted tickets for local tours and attractions
  • Special rates on spa services

You can include these in your pre-arrival emails to get your guests excited for their stay and help them plan their trip. And, for guests who may not receive pre-arrival communications, front desk staff can inform them about these opportunities at check-in.

  1. Maximize revenue with personalized upsells 

As we recommended in our blog about pre-arrival communications, you can’t go wrong with personalization. Making your guests feel special will help improve your reputation while giving you the opportunity to boost revenue.

For example, let’s say that you send out a pre-stay survey, and a guest indicates that they’ll be staying with you for a week for a conference. You can send follow-up emails before the guest checks in to offer the kinds of upgraded services that will make their stay more enjoyable and help them get through the conference with services that help them use their downtime to unwind and prepare for their time at the conference. Opportunities to upsell here might include early bird breakfast reservations at your restaurant, deluxe spa services, executive lounge access, and/or transportation services.

And you don’t necessarily have to rely on pre-arrival surveys, either. This kind of message also works well if you have a block of rooms reserved for a specific event. For guests joining you for a wedding party, family reunion, or other event, you can send personalized messages that will fit their trip, make them feel like you’re catering to their every need, and enhance your revenue – all at the same time!

  1. Take advantage of upselling opportunities at check-out (and beyond)

Your opportunities to upsell while increasing customer service and guest satisfaction don’t end with your guests’ stays. Following up with guests about their experience at check-out and/or in a post-stay email is a great way to get feedback on your performance and your guests’ level of satisfaction with their stay. It shows guests that you care, and it offers another opportunity for upselling.

If guests are checking out at the front desk, have staff inquire about their stay, give them information about your hotel’s loyalty program, and/or offer a discount or other special offer the next time they book a stay with your hotel.

If you’re offering contactless check-out, you can do all this in post-stay communications. Send out a courtesy message with a quick survey about your guests’ stay, and include those offers in the message (or as an incentive to fill out the survey).

  1. Deliver seamless guest experiences with Digital Key

Speaking of contactless services, implementing Digital Key technology can help you upsell, as well. With Digital Key, your guests’ phones become their room keys. So, if they opt in for that room upgrade, premium spa treatments, or other services that require executive access, you can simply update their digital key remotely.

Instead of making guests go to the front desk to re-code their key, you can give them instant access. They won’t need to make any extra trips or go out of their way at all to enjoy their upgraded services. With Digital Key, guests get a seamless experience from beginning to end with easy access to upsells that improve their stay and encourage them to book with you again.

Ready to see what Digital Keys can do for your hotel? OpenKey is the leading provider of digital key services. Schedule a demo today to see how Digital Key technology can enhance hotel revenue while improving guest satisfaction.