Effective Front Desk Upselling Increases Online Reputation by 25%
While Driving Added Property Revenue
By Klaus Kohlmayr Chief Evangelist, IDeaS Revenue Solutions | December 14, 2014
Implementing effective upselling methodology into a hotel's front desk protocol has long been demonstrated to have a substantially positive and immediate effect on property revenues. Also considered a subsequent result of successful upselling is an increase in guest satisfaction, due to each guest receiving a unique experience, tailored to match their own specific needs. While instances of increasingly satisfied guests would seem to go hand-in-hand with a rise in the number of positive online reviews, until recently, no data had been collected or analyzed to validate such a relationship, or that of upselling's ability to influence online reputation. Following a joint study conducted by Brand Karma on behalf of TSA Solutions at multiple Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts properties, the results demonstrate the very real impact that a well-structured and consistent upselling program can have on online reputation and therefore future revenue streams.
When Online Activity Affects Your Business's Bottom Line
Since the exponential rise of social media and online review sites, hotels and resorts have been forced to play a game of catch up with guests in an effort to safeguard their property's reputation, along with the legitimate consequence of user-generated content and its influence on future reservations and profit. Given a recent Cornell University study that demonstrates a link between a rise in positive reviews and a significant increase in property revenue, such efforts have never been as critical to property success as they are today.
As a result, the efforts of hoteliers in attempting to influence such posts, have seen a multitude of tactics employed: from photo contests to earning loyalty points for liking a property's Facebook page. But how do hospitality professionals know the success rate of a given strategy or whether it will bear any influence on guest responses at all? How do they recognize and implement a strategy that is best suited to either their individual property or hotel chain? In conducting its analysis of what potential guests find most important when consulting online reviews, Cornell University found that an impressive 51 percent of individuals focus on prior guest experience, rather than such factors as a property's location, price or the existence of ongoing promotions, etc.
Enhancing the guest experience is, in essence, the very basis of what upselling seeks to accomplish, and what a successful upselling team can achieve with guests on a daily basis; Yet only by equipping team members with the necessary skills and intuition, can a front desk team accurately interpret a guest's needs and match them to the appropriate hotel service or amenity at "the moment of truth" – a guest's check-in. Such upgrades have often been assumed to significantly improve an individual's perception of their hotel stay, and ultimately any review that they may later share with others. With detailed research finally available on the matter, hoteliers can now see an evident correlation between effective upselling and a subsequent increase in online reputation and reservation bookings.
Upselling and Reputation: The Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts Experience