two receptionists at hotel front office with one guest checking in and another on the phone illustrating the potential impact on hotel revenue of front desk upselling

While many hoteliers are aware of the benefits of hotel front desk upselling, they hardly leverage it to its full potential. It’s not surprising as there are numerous aspects to get right so that it’s worth the effort. Apart from having a comprehensive knowledge of all your hotel offerings, you (and your front desk team) need to know the basics of human psychology and upsell techniques to close upselling deals successfully.

NB: This is an article from Oaky

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From highlighting the most crucial communication skills to master to revealing the most widely used upselling techniques in hospitality, continue reading to learn the ins and outs of effective front desk upselling.

Why is front desk upselling important?

Front desk upselling is beneficial to both you and your guests. Here are a few benefits not to overlook:

  • Positively impacts your revenue and RevPAR

Although pre-arrival upselling is essential for driving incremental revenue, the check-in stage appears to be an even better opportunity to upsell.

The data speaks for itself:

  • Front desk upselling drives 5-9 times more revenue than pre-stay upselling.
  • Front desk upselling drives a RevPAR contribution of between 2 and 5%, while pre-stay upselling generates only 0.3-1%.

Considering that pre-arrival upselling generates at least €64 on average in form of additional spending per room (according to Q3 2022’s data), upselling in the front office might multiply this figure by at least five times.

  • Boosts your guest experience

Informing your guests about your offers is the first step to refining their experience. Front office agents have a unique opportunity to read the actual situation. By considering different factors like the guest’s mood and reservation data, they can suggest upsells that will better cater to their guest’s needs.

For example, if a family with kids and a lot of luggage arrives at the hotel, a front desk agent might offer a more spacious room with ample storage.

The key is to suggest an upsell that will add value to your guest’s stay, as this will increase the chance of them booking the deal.

What are the best upselling techniques for the front office?

Effective front desk upselling is not only about what you offer. It is also about how you do it.

This is why mastering upselling techniques is essential. The good news is that there are several tried-and-tested methods that you can start implementing right away to skyrocket your results.

1. Reconfirm your guest’s choice

The first rule of elegant upselling is never to point out the drawbacks of the room/service your guest has chosen. At this stage, your aim is to establish a good relationship with your guests. Mentioning the flaws of their choice won’t help in this regard and is unlikely to produce a positive impression about you and your hotel.

Only after you’ve reconfirmed your guest’s excellent choice, you can move on to presenting relevant upgrades and services. For instance, you can say, “I see you reserved a table at our restaurant — you will for sure not regret it! Would you like to have breakfast throughout your stay as well?”

2. Quote incremental price

Stress the affordability of room upgrades by mentioning only the incremental price guests will need to pay. Instead of saying, “You have a great chance to upgrade to a deluxe room for €250”, you should say, “For only €20 extra, you can get our deluxe room with a hot tub and a terrace.

Be as specific as possible and highlight the additional features, value, and amenities when suggesting a room upgrade/service.

Don’t hesitate to use visual content when offering a room upgrade. People remember 65% of what they see, compared to 10% of what they hear. So, demonstrating the photos of the room will ensure your guests can perceive the information better.

Read the full article at Oaky