Maciej 2023
November 20, 2023

How to boost hotel upselling and cross-selling with AI?

Check how implementing AI can help you generate more revenue for your hotels

The hospitality industry is fiercely competitive, and every detail and creative idea can make an impact, giving your business an advantage. Hotel upselling and cross-selling are two strategies to enhance guest experience while generating more revenue. This article explores their importance, focus and key benefits, as well as the role conversational AI can play in the process.

What is upselling in hotels?

Upselling is a sales technique that encourages hotel guests to purchase room upgrades or higher-end services beyond what was included in their initial booking. The key idea behind a room upsell is to offer enhanced comfort, or even luxury, to the guest’s stay, making it a memorable five-star experience. A hotel upsell programme aims to maximise revenue per available room (RevPAR; learn more in our glossary) through strategic upselling methods at the hotel reception or through a virtual concierge.

10 examples of hotel upselling techniques

  • Room upgrade to a suite with a better view and additional amenities
  • Late check-out for guests who arrive late and may appreciate more rest
  • Breakfast in bed for guests who didn’t include breakfast in their booking
  • A romantic package with flowers, sparkling wine or chocolates
  • A business package with access to a dedicated workspace with office amenities
  • A wellness package with access to the spa and a massage appointment
  • An all-access offer covering a range of hotel amenities and services
  • Seasonal or event-based packages such as New Year’s Eve or big conferences
  • Special arrangements for special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries
  • A family offer of connecting rooms or additional beds

What is cross-selling in hotels?

Cross-selling in hospitality involves offering additional services that complement the booking the guest has already made. While it is directly related to generating more revenue, it also contributes to making a stay at the hotel more enjoyable, impacting guest experience and, in the long run, boosting customer loyalty and hotel reputation.

10 examples of hotel cross-selling techniques

  • A dining experience at the hotel’s signature restaurant
  • Tickets to local attractions and tours
  • Spa treatments
  • Gym and fitness class passes
  • Airport shuttle service
  • Branded hotel merchandise, like bathrobes or spa products
  • Masterclasses in mixology at the hotel bar
  • Access to exclusive hotel events
  • Added convenience services like car rental or babysitting
  • Pet care packages for guests travelling with pets
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Strategies for upselling and cross-selling in hospitality

Developing an effective and profitable upselling strategy is a complex process that requires identifying optimal moments in the guest journey to communicate offers and also to match the right ones for different guest segments. From the guest’s perspective, the offer must be relevant, ideally personalised, and add value to their experience.

Data is key to finding ideal offers and the right timing to communicate them to your guests. The perfect moment can be at check-in when guests are more open to extra indulgence or perhaps a few days before the arrival as the excitement is building up. Making the most of the insights into your guests’ preferences (historical records in case of the returning guests) can help to prepare more personalised offers with higher conversion rates.

Using AI-powered hotel technology for upselling

While upselling and cross-selling at hotel reception is always an integral part of the strategy, most guest communications happen digitally across various channels. The use of hotel technology in identifying and executing the best upselling opportunities cannot be overstated. Examples of such specialised solutions include property management systems (PMS), AI-powered recommendation engines, and other digital tools. Such solutions can significantly streamline and enhance hotel cross-selling and upselling processes.

Many of those hotel tech solutions can be integrated with conversational AI, enhancing overall effectiveness. Taking the form of a chatbot or a virtual concierge, they can be implemented on the hotel’s website, social media and popular messaging apps. They engage with guests through a natural conversation to learn about their preferences and respond by providing personalised suggestions without the need for hotel staff intervention. 

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Key benefits of using AI for hotel upselling and cross-selling

  • Cost-effective and scaleable: boosting your hotel’s ability to interact with guests and ensuring no missed opportunities.
  • Data-driven personalisation: analysing guest data and previous conversations to tailor offers to guests’ preferences, increasing the likelihood of conversion.
  • Reduced workload for hotel staff: automating sending out offers on popular messaging apps, for example WhatsApp which has over 80% open rate according to a case study.
  • Responsiveness and flexibility: Dynamic adjusting of the offers in real-time based on the availability of and response of the guest
  • Positive impact on guest experience: providing convenient, conversational, multilingual service 24/7.

How to measure success in upselling and cross-selling in hospitality?

You should decide on measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) that can be monitored regularly to evaluate the effectiveness of the upselling efforts. Popular KPIs include an increase in the average daily rate (ADR) and RevPAR, alongside the customer satisfaction score (CSAT).

If you are looking to increase revenue while elevating the guest experience at your hotel, upselling and cross-selling are essential strategies to implement. Using conversational AI to help you execute that strategy reduces the workload for your team, delivers highly personalised offers and makes the whole process more efficient.

Maciej 2023
Senior Content & Brand Specialist

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