In my last post, I wrote about the need to not base the whole upselling strategy in hotels on training the teams involved. Encouraging a customer to buy higher-value products (upselling) or complementary products (cross-selling) not only depends on the skills of the people at the front desk, but also on a process that includes "a complement" to that sales activity. Amongst other activities, this complement is developed through the use of marketing support materials.
Marketing support materials are things that visually stimulate customers in their decision to purchase a superior room or complementary service. This can include things such as screens in reception, signs and advertisements in elevators, or items placed in the rooms. However, before considering what to use, how, where, and the message to use, we need to analyze the customer flow from arrival to the hotel to arrival to the room. Where does the customer go? Where do they stand at check-in? Where do they look? What route do they prefer to get to their room? etc. These aspects are very important, together with where they go when they want to relax, or what activities they carry out inside the hotel. Below is a brief description of how to implement some of these marketing support materials by location.
Upselling at the Front Desk
Flat screens are very effective and you can get great results from placing them right in the customers’ line of view at check-in, using visual content and a clear marketing message, not just images. In this case the main thing to promote is the superior rooms, as the customer has not yet made any decision to buy. There are also digital frames or other elements such as cones, etc. available, and the same applies to their content and placement as applies to flat screens. However, I have seen hotels where these supports are really small. We have to think of them as an investment rather than a cost, and make sure they are visible, attractive and facing the customer.
Public areas and elevators
In these locations, customers are using services, so my suggestion is to promote other associated services. For example, in the fitness center advertise a massage package in the spa. In the restaurant, promote a particular dish or a good bottle of wine, etc.
This is the perfect place for cross-selling, complementing the hotel services directory with dynamic elements that promote both other hotels in the chain, as well as other services in the hotel such as the spa, restaurant, minibar, bathrobes for sale, or any event or newly- created product.
The content and message used in marketing support materials for these points of sale depend on the hotel's features, whether it’s a city or resort hotel, all inclusive, etc., and also on the sales strategy defined by each company or hotel. And finally (very importantly) it also depends on the hotel’s market segmentation. Remember that upselling and cross-selling at the front desk has three basic objectives: motivation and training of team members, followed by increased profits through key indicators such as RevPAR, ADR, and average expenditure, and finally, the main objective, to increase customer satisfaction through constantly adapting products and services to their needs and thus offer ever-higher service quality.
Alejandro Francino, CEO HBD Consulting