George Farouk, director of rooms division at Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort says staff need to be trained on the right way to upsell guest experience.
Around this time of the year, hoteliers are occupied reviewing 2018 financial plans and building strategies to generate more revenue for the hotel. Upselling is one of the strategies used to encourage customers to spend more than they originally intended to and is key in increasing hotel profitability and guest satisfaction.
Unless the hotel is planning to build more hotel rooms, the only way to achieve greater revenue is by implementing a front desk and reservations upselling program, or improving the one already in place. Hotels usually include a third-party business or additional services such as city tours, adventure trips, spa day and room upgrades. In addition to increasing the hotel’s profit, it helps guests have a better experience by introducing them to extra options they may have been unaware of.
Many companies teach their employees to upsell products and services. A common technique for success is becoming aware of a guest’s background, especially with a recurring hotel guest, allowing a better understanding of individual needs and what is of personal value case by case.
Upselling can also act as a great way to build on an existing guest relationship because it forces the hotelier to anticipate those needs, interests and desires, generally resulting in an enhanced experience. Successful upselling begins with a problem-solving approach. Instead of confusing clients with endless options, things should be kept simple and be adapted directly to their needs.
At Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort, we implement upsell training programs for our team, geared towards encouraging them to put guest comfort before profit. We want to make sure that our staff are asking the right questions and providing all the details, then leaving each guest to choose a specific upgrade or package as they wish.
Our ultimate aim is to guarantee that all guests are fully aware of the upgrades, different room types and packages available to enhance their stay. In order to upsell efficiently, it is key that our team are familiar with the resort’s offering and able to explain each service and activity to advise guests on what would suit them best.
The resort provides a variety of upgrades and additional services that can be altered and personalised to every customer such as airport pick-up and drop-off service, long and short stay upgrades and activities like mountain climbing, biking, hiking, extreme mountain running, yoga, archery, landscape photography and painting lessons and many others that appeal to families, couples, adventure seekers and those looking to relax and recharge.
Based on my experience, hotels and companies in general will usually look to increase their revenue, however, they should learn that it goes hand-in-hand with customer satisfaction. In my role, leading the front desk and registration teams, I am continuously training and guiding my team to ensure their upselling is targeted and, above all, of value.