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Would You Like an Upgrade with That Booking?
By Karla Fonseca
Thursday, 22nd May 2014
 

Guest Connect Upsell a new hotel booking capability that allows guests to upgrade to a higher room; Customer Experience Manager a solution to help airlines leverage traveler insights to deliver a personalized experience and TripCase Corporate the business travel version of our popular TripCase consumer mobile app.

As a marketing manager at Sabre Hospitality Solutions, I did my homework to understand Guest Connect Upsell and the problem it solves for hoteliers!
 
As I did my research on upgrades and ancillaries, all I found were stats and results for airlines.  It’s interesting to see how airlines have been successful in offering ancillaries to their customers and how technology companies such as Sabre Airline solutions and Sabre Travel Network have helped them merchandise in the marketplace. 

Airlines have also made lots of money along the way!  US $12.5 billion in ancillary sales in 2011 by major U.S. airlines alone according to PhoCusWright.
 
So why are hotels falling behind?

 
Several studies acknowledge that ancillaries represent significant revenue potential for hotels but are largely untapped because of technology constraints. Now I understood the opportunity, the problem and most importantly, how our Guest Connect Upsell feature offers a solution. 

Guest Connect Upsell uses real-time data and availability (from the SynXis CRS) to offer guests the option to purchase a room upgrade after the reservation has been confirmed; thereby generating incremental revenue for their property.  Problem solved!
 
Three best practices you can implement right away:

 
1. Place – or product placement as we learn in marketing! Don’t overwhelm your customers with too many options before they’ve even booked you.  Prior to launching Guest Connect Upsell we conducted usability testing and found that presenting the upgrade offer after the guest confirmed their booking prevented shop abandonment. This is how our solution differs from the rest!
 
According to PhoCusWright, consumer targeting during the pre-stay (booking) and stay (check-in) phases drive the largest portion of ancillary revenue.  The study notes that your distribution technology is the major enabler for driving ancillary sales during this touch point.  “The availability of a CRS that supports ancillary sales throughout all modules (online booking engine) is a key requirement for hotel chains” PcW.
 
2. Positioning -
think about how your upgrade offers will enhance your guest’s experience and increase loyalty to your brand.
 
3. Present the right offers – be mindful when you present an offer and don’t just list all the options, match the right offer to the right guest by analyzing your data.  Guests are willing to pay for enhanced services if the right value proposition is made clear and they are encouraged.
 
If you’d like more information on the Guest Connect Booking Engine (including Upsell) or the SynXis CRS contact us at SHSSalesRequest@sabre.com. Send me a note if you’re looking for stats and research about ancillary products – I found great whitepapers! Now on to working on our next campaign!
 
Did you find these upsell tips helpful? Go ahead and share them or let us know in the comment section below.
 
Karla Fonseca is marketing manager at Sabre Hospitality Solutions. Reach her at
karla.fonseca@sabre.com.

www.sabre.com

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