Article | July 24, 2023
Leverage upselling and cross-selling techniques to elevate hospitality & tourism businesses. Discover the strategies used to boost revenue by adapting upselling and cross selling techniques in hotels.
2. Cross-selling Vs Upselling: Which One Is More Optimal?
2.1. Defining the Two Techniques
2.2. The Key Differences
3. Combining Both the Techniques to Improve Revenue
4. Importance of Implementing the Techniques in Hotel Businesses
The hospitality industry is highly competitive, and hotels must find ways to boost revenue beyond room rates and taxes. The key to success in this field is to tailor offers to each customer and encourage them to spend more than they had planned. Cross-selling and up-selling are two effective methods of increasing sales.
This article explores these methods' nuances in the hospitality sector. By dissecting the advantages of cross-selling and upselling, we can better understand when it makes sense to implement these tactics for maximum profit. The potency of upselling and cross selling techniques in hotels to improve the business and offer enhances guest experiences.
Cross-selling Vs Upselling: Which One Is More Optimal?
In the hospitality industry , maximizing revenue and enhancing guest experiences are paramount, and whether to prioritize cross-selling or upselling is a question. While often used interchangeably, these sales techniques hold distinctive positions within the buyer journey.
2.1. Defining the Two Techniques
Upselling is a sales approach that offers customers a higher-priced or upgraded service or product that aligns with their interests and preferences. In the hospitality industry, it may encompass enticing guests to upgrade their room selection, such as transitioning from a standard room to a mini-suite, either during the booking process or afterward. Additionally, it may involve presenting guests with hotel packages that provide added value and amenities compared to standalone bookings. The aim is to elevate customers to a higher price category and ensure they enjoy an exceptional stay experience.
On the other hand, cross-selling entails encouraging guests to purchase supplementary products or services related to their existing purchases. For instance, this could involve offering a spa package or a romantic dinner to enhance their stay. Cross-selling opportunities in the hospitality industry can include add-on activities like city tours or bicycle rentals, in-room extras such as upgraded amenities or specialized equipment, on-site spa and fitness services, food and beverage options such as dining discounts or meal packages, and other hotel services like complimentary parking or transportation.
2.2. The Key Differences
1. Strategy: Upselling focuses on communicating value to customers, persuading them to opt for a higher-priced or upgraded service or product. The emphasis is on showcasing the benefits and added value of the upsell, ensuring customers see the value in paying extra for a superior experience. On the other hand, cross-selling aims to appeal to impulse buying by enticing customers to purchase additional, related products or services that complement their original purchase.
2. Timing: Timing is crucial in both upselling and cross-selling. With upselling, the timing is most effective when done pre-arrival, ideally a week or two before the guest arrives at the hotel. This allows customers to anticipate their upcoming stay and consider upgrading their room or adding extra amenities. Cross-selling can be implemented post-booking, such as during check-in or through targeted email campaigns when customers have already committed to their initial purchase and are more open to additional offers.
3. Value Perception: Upselling techniques relies on effectively communicating the value and benefits of the upgraded or higher-priced offering. Guests need to see the value in paying extra for the enhanced experience. In contrast, cross-selling often involves appealing to customers' desire for convenience or enjoyment by offering travel management services that enhance their stay without necessarily requiring a significant increase in expenditure.
3. Combining Both the Techniques to Improve Revenue
Cross-selling is the most effective post-booking and can be implemented in various ways. Firstly, it can be done at the hotel reception during check-in, where guests can be offered add-on items. Secondly, sending an informative email before arrival to highlight additional services is another compelling cross-selling opportunity. Lastly, when guests express interest in a particular service, it presents an opportunity to introduce them to other relevant options.
Upselling, however, is particularly effective when implemented pre-arrival, ideally a week or two before guests arrive at the hotel. This technique can be deployed during the browsing and booking, where customers can be presented with room upgrades and add-on items. It is also fruitful to inform customers about better room options at affordable prices before their arrival, tapping into their anticipation for their upcoming vacation. Furthermore, during check-in, providing guests with information on enhancing their stay by spending a little extra can generate additional revenue.
To combine the power of both techniques efficiently, companies must employ specialized software. This software automates room upgrades and the promotion of additional ancillaries, providing customers with the convenience and freedom to choose and bid on attractive upgrades before arrival. Advanced customer journey analytics, such as software offers, enable personalized product offers, increasing sales and hotel revenue.
4. Importance of Implementing the Techniques in Hotel Businesses
Implementing upselling and cross-selling techniques is vital for hotel businesses, apartment rentals, and hostels. Hotel upselling techniques and cross selling techniques establishments possess unique opportunities to capitalize on these strategies, similar to how airlines offer seat upgrades, meal additions, and car rental options. When choosing accommodations, travelers invest considerable time and thought into finding a place that aligns with the desired ambiance of their trip. As hosts, this presents an ideal opportunity to offer additional products and activities that complement the property's offerings.
Unlike airlines, hotel properties often indicate the activities that guests might be interested in, allowing hosts to select the most relevant products to offer. This could involve tailored offerings such as private guided tours to popular tourist attractions or unique underground graffiti tours based on the guests' preferences and digital travel persona.
By providing personalized offerings that cater to the customer's needs, hotel businesses enhance the overall guest experience and deliver excellent service. Activities constitute the third-largest segment of the travel industry and are continuously growing. With data revealing that 46% of travelers engage in sightseeing tours, it becomes evident that upselling and cross-selling will play an increasingly significant role in the hospitality industry.
In the incredibly competitive hospitality industry, implementing upselling and cross-selling techniques is crucial for hotel businesses. By understanding the nuances and distinctions between these strategies, hotels can target customers strategically and increase revenue streams beyond room rates and taxes. Cross selling techniques encourages impulse purchases by offering additional products or services related to the initial investment. By combining both techniques with specialized software, hotels can personalize their offerings, automate their promotions, and provide a seamless experience for their guests. This strategy not only increases revenue but also caters to guests' various preferences, resulting in increased satisfaction and loyalty. As the activities segment of the travel industry continues to expand, the importance of upselling and cross-selling in hospitality management is anticipated to continue rising. In addition, deploying innovative business travel technology solutions can improve hotel businesses in hospitality industry.
Article | June 29, 2023
The travel industry is reviving. Tourist spots across the globe are packed with excited explorers. Though it feels like everything is going back to normal, the way people travel has changed. The hospitality tech revolution is making mundane tasks easier and the customer experience richer.
Most travelers prefer self-service over waiting to be served. Online planning and bookings have picked up pace, so have contact-less check-in and 24/7 digital concierge. Hotels must swiftly meet these evolving demands or risk losing in the race. They must incorporate technology into their day-to-day operations to eliminate human error, increase their service efficiency, and, above all, offer an outstanding customer experience.
One of the technology trends reshaping the travel and hospitality industry is digital concierge—hotel chatbots that bring the concierge desk into the palm of a guest’s hand. Convenient, right?
A Sneak Peak into Hotel Chatbots
Hotel chatbots are software applications that communicate with your hotel’s website page visitors and resolve their queries. They are either programmed to behave a certain way or can be AI-powered. Programmed chatbots are configured to answer a limited set of questions. However, they can collect visitor information so your customer executives can get in touch with prospects to resolve their queries or provide them with booking assistance.
On the other hand, AI-powered chatbots use NLP (Natural Language Processing) and ML (Machine Learning) to analye human behaviour and accordingly answer questions.
Digital Concierge Brings in Conversions
Personalized communication forms the crux of customer experience. A desired, non-intrusive interaction between a guest and a chat bot can create strong engagement and help the guest to make a booking at your hotel. In such cases, the bot will forward the booking inquiries directly into the IBE (Internet Booking Engine) and strengthen your direct sales. 30-50% of the chatbot-prospect interactions result in IBE forwarding of booking inquiries. This statistic shows how accepting the guests are of the chatbot’s services. (Source: DialogShift, Olga Heuser)
Chatbots can also be integrated into social media platforms and instant messenger platforms so that guests can directly make bookings from a platform of their choice.
How are Hotel Chatbots Redefining CX?
Apart from bringing in revenue through direct sales, hotel chatbots also create a solid customer experience for the guests, so they don’t go home unsatisfied and give you a good review online.
Here are the ways in which they enhance the customer experience:
24/7 Availability- Chatbots promptly respond to guest queries round the clock
Multi-Lingual Support- Languages are not a barrier for them
Efficiency- They lighten your hotel staff’s load of answering guest queries
Customer Retention- They collect guest information, which helps in retention and follow-up
Brand Awareness- They are brand representatives and increase brand awareness through responsiveness
Additionally, AI- powered chatbots can also:
Highlight the hotel’s special features upon check-in
Recommend places and activities to do around the hotel with pictures and links
Request feedback from guests about services
Assist with table reservations or pool-side orders
The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas Used Rose to Impress Guests
The introduction of Rose, a smart chatbot that converses with guests on The Cosmopolitan’s website, changed the game for the hotel. The bot’s playful personality wooed hotel guests. Those who made a booking directly from the website ended up spending 37% more than those who did not engage with her.
Let’s Wrap It Up
A hotel chatbot refines the concierge experience for guests through rapid response times and enhances your hotel’s AI marketing efforts. It can be an invaluable asset for hotel business owners looking to stay ahead in the race.
Article | June 19, 2023
Airports are embracing data and technology to improve the experience for both passengers and vendors. Such ‘smart airports’ where internet-connected devices control functions like thermostats and security using cloud-based technologies to enhance the consumer experience, are quickly becoming commonplace.
The Emergence of Smart Airports
Smart Airports were made to solve control and management problems that airports are having more and more of because of the number of people and goods that go through them. Because of this, experts from all over the world are focusing on smart airports, which use the latest developments in telecommunications, infrastructure, robotics, and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Advantages of Smart Airports
Real-time data improves operational efficiency.
Cost reduction, productivity improvement, and operational perfection.
Demand optimization through passenger flow control and entry automation.
Improved passenger handling, flight control, check-in, etc.
Biometric monitoring systems, advanced cyber security, and reliable operations and maintenance improve surveillance and security.
Better ground and health surveillance (cleaning frequencies, availability of amenities, etc.).
The Revenue Angle
A smart airport uses Wi-Fi access points as sensors to track passengers’ location and record their dwell times. With this data, the airport could place signs and ads where they would be seen. While landing travelers previously made few purchases, this airport placed signs for products they may want to buy before leaving where they would be seen. The result was increased sales for retailers and landside revenue for the airport operator. (Source: Deloitte Study)
Traveler’s & Airport Operations Experience
A traveler constantly interacts with technology systems and stakeholders during his journey through the airport. The smart airport systems influence the traveler’s safety, convenience, and overall experience at the airport. Operations like bag tracking, indoor navigation, in-store beacons, geo-fencing, queue analyzer, biometric screening, Wi-Fi passenger tracking, and building management systems are powered by IoT implementations that make an airport smart.
Creating a Smart Airport: The Checklist
A well-structured planning process can assist airport leaders in navigating all of the options and gaining confidence in achieving the airport's business objectives. The checklist includes the following steps:
Selecting an IoT solution that aligns with your business goals
Determine the organizational and technical abilities required to implement the solution
Craft a road map to address gaps between the required abilities and existing abilities
Article | December 3, 2020
The travel industry is getting back to business, and demand has skyrocketed for travel technologies that make interactions possible between companies and corporate travelers. A recent Gartner survey reveals how 2020 affected CFOs with their corporate travel and expense management tasks globally.
How will finance teams report and forecast expenses? How can corporate travel costs be managed? How to manage travel expense management processes effortlessly? Does this sound familiar to you? These were a few valid questions that kept companies engaged in finding answers during the pandemic.
Many finance leaders want to implement proper corporate travel and expense management services and find solutions to bring consistency and clarity to their financial processes. While switching from manual processes to automated management systems can be difficult post-pandemic, with an efficient travel and expense management tool or software, your company can gain optimum benefits and stay productive in the future. This article will show you how it evolved through the coronavirus phase efficiently.
Adoption of T&E Management Process for Seamless Work Experience
An American Express survey found that 55% of the chief executives and senior financial managers ranked rising travel and expense costs as a top concern during the peak pandemic phase.
Digital transformation of your processes is a critical strategy for spend management, and it ensures that employees are using the right product to get the best value. By adopting an efficient travel and expense management tool, your company can gain stellar benefits for your finance team to cater varied requirements, and keep a rigorous control over corporate travel spend.
Before looking into how travel expense management processes are evolving post-pandemic, here are the benefits and value travel and expense management solutions offer. Also, this will further facilitate your finance team to manage the current corporate travel scenario effectively.
Benefits of Travel and Expense Management Solutions
The travel and expense management didn’t disappear during the pandemic. Instead, it accelerated its core value. The idea of integrating travel and expense management services with the help of big data in the travel industry is to leverage best practices for travel expense management that can help analyze and extract key information to diverse corporate travel finance functions.
Travel industry leaders who are integrating effective travel expense management services in their corporate travel system have experienced the following benefits:
Automatic processes of expenditure
Data-driven decisions are smarter
Ability to forecast more accurately
Delivers better user experience
Quick access to integrated data from expenditures
Gain deep data visibility
Higher rate of compliance with corporate policies in finance
These significant upticks will benefit your company and will simultaneously improve your corporate travel policies. Understanding these benefits will help you identify how travel technology can help your company manage complex financial tasks that arose during the pandemic.
According to a Gartner survey, a travel expense management system is essential as a key solution to manage the corporate travel economy. Any company, big or small, needs to control its expenditure to recover during the pandemic.
Complex Forms of T&E Management Are Gone
Legacy processes may get a job done, but they are more time consuming, error-prone, and do not provide visibility into travel spend. And when your travel and expense management process is slow and cumbersome, it can slow down the growth trajectory of your business.
Corporate travel and expense management automation and its associated features like corporate travel policy, quick and easy booking, automated expense and reimbursement solutions, live credit card feeds, backup analytics capabilities, and more have taken precedence post-pandemic. These services offer more visibility into the travel spend of your employees. With top travel and expense management solutions, your finance teams can monitor and control costs and expenses in the long run.
While many corporate travelers have started researching and organizing trips online, you need to add value to financial services by adopting automated travel and expense management solutions that work effortlessly.
Core Focus Areas of Travel and Expense Management
The post-pandemic era has seen a lot of companies embracing new and updated travel and expense management solutions to drive cost savings, and enable finance teams to have a better control over their road warriors. Here are some:
Contactless Data Record Is the next Big Thing
Travel and expense management systems allow employees to record all corporate travel bills and receipts through mobile apps and create expense reports immediately. Big data in the travel industry has played a significant role during the pandemic. Technology leaders have already experienced the benefits of travel and expense management.
For example, TripActions’ travel and expense management platform uses data to learn about business travelers’ preferences, and predicts within 30 seconds what travelers are going to book with 90% accuracy. The advantage of big data to travel and expense management has already organized several effortless finance processes for corporate travelers to experience seamless budgets.
Automation Is Crucial
Integrating travel and expense management solutions could easily add to the unimaginable overheads that companies are experiencing. Automation is one of these solutions. Its integration in the travel and expense management system will give rise to a paperless world that will facilitate finance functions to build an audit trail. With this, it also ensures total compliance to keep the organization and its process fast.
Agile Technology Is the Enabler
Critically for the travel industry, agile technology has allowed multiple methodologies for incremental development in corporate travels, which has transformed the processes from rigid to flexible. The agile process in corporate travel and expense management allows analyzing tangible results on expense. The approach also provides the potential to change plans according to the requirements.
For example, Lola.com, the agile travel management company is helping corporate travelers book, re-book, and take the task of expense reports off the table easily. Finance teams arrange travel policies in minutes and equally manage, control, and view expenditure effortlessly. In short, agile technology is making it much easier for travelers and companies all round.
To address the use of agile technology in travel and expense management, Jeanne Hopkins, former CMO at Lola.com, the agile travel management company shares
“Finance teams at Lola.com have tried managing, controlling, and got visibility into expenditures efficiently by implementing travel and expense management. Small and mid-sized businesses have to be fast and dynamic in the changing scenario of travel, so that actions like booking, re-booking, and managing corporate travel could be performed with efficiency and results in high productivity.”
A Hassle-free Expense Management System
Expense has been one common challenge with corporate travel programs. Integrating travel and expense management in your company can eventually introduce you to a hassle-free work solution. As the process involves collecting receipts from multiple sources, either from hotels, flights, or car rentals, travel and expense management solutions make it easier for a manager to look at all corporate travel costs at once. Also, in terms of future travel spend and potential savings, the capability of this management remains exceptional. Modern travel and expense management solutions also include self-service, real time, and easy navigation.
For example, for travelers, Lola.com has a large inventory of flights and hotels that allow users to avoid going to various sites to compare fares, and save preferences, loyalty programs, and provides payment options in one place. Traveler profiles are automatically stored so that users can book with one click. The 24/7 support team then ensures easy booking and re-booking for its users without any delay.
End-to-End Integration Is the New Order of Workforce
End-to-end integrated systems in your company will help your finance team implement best practices for travel expense management. This will make it easier for your employees to initiate, approve, and pay each transaction out of hundreds within minutes, thereby creating a seamless task without any manual involvement.
Travel and Expense Management Trends
When you automate your travel and expense process, it will not only maximize your returns but, at the same time, it will minimize your spending. This will save you both time and money. Below are the reasons you will want to consider making a switch to automate from a manual process.
Remove Guess Work from Expense Process
For finance personnel in your company, the new travel and expense management system can be set up in five minutes. One of the travel and expense management tools, like Expensify, helps with easy expense tracking and reporting. Similar to this, SpendCatcher – a mobile application of MobileXpense.com that is infused with AI and deep machine learning extracts payment information with just one tap.
Companies whose employees use a corporate travel and expense management system can receive reports according to department, employee, direct travel supplier, hotel, or car rental company. This information helps managers analyze spending patterns by actively monitoring it with up-to-date information in one flow from various travel suppliers.
In this case, Concur TripLink connects to corporate travelers for direct bookings across the borders. It gives visibility of bookings no matter where it is booked.
True Visibility into Spending
The corporate travel and expense report management system automatically flags and creates analyses of dashboards highlight hidden expenditure. This can be helpful to know:
How much expenditure is going in personal corporate travel cards, and why
Find expense categories easily
Find out why expense is falling short and ask for details
In this context, MasterCard International is rapidly approaching towards a smart, web-based expense management system to control spending, generate comprehensive spending reports, and accurately integrate purchase data. Thus, delivering business efficiently, quickly, and easily.
Rise of Bleisure Travel
Corporate travel and expense management also includes ‘bleisure travel’ for corporate travelers, those looking to combine business travel with leisure time. With agile travel and expense management tools, you can make quick changes in plans to keep your employees and finance team happy and productive while mapping the budget. In this case, Lola.com has made travel and expense management real by providing an effortless way to manage, book, and report on business plus leisure travel, by encouraging its employers to save most of their time and money.
Travel technology offers a deserving platform with travel and expense management to companies for added efficiency and visibility over travel spend. As corporate travel businesses are returning rapidly towards their regular work scenarios, the travel industry will see a rise in revenue. Travel and expense management system will be one of the powerful remedies to the travel industry and will increase its scope to drive growth post-pandemic.
According to the new Skift report, 88% of corporate travelers will drive travel technology company growth. 86% of corporate travel managers believe it. Put an end to complex budget management and legacy processes; it is time to know how to manage travel expenses in corporate.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is travel and expense process?
The aim of the travel and expense process is the complete administration of travel expenses, including the recording of expenses, posting in Financial Accounting (FI), and allocation in Controlling (CO) and Funds Management (FI-FM). The process also involves the valuation of costs associated with business-related activities.
Why is expense management important?
Expense management is important for businesses because it helps employees to keep an accurate track of expenses. This caters to them to plan financial aspects for the future with more clarity and confidence. Capital flow is a daily process in any business, so to manage some significant amounts could get efficiently done through expense management and generate a profit.
What is travel and expense management?
Travel and expense management is a process that includes finance management by the employee when on a business trip or any expense is made for business goals. Each travel and expense management consists of detailed records of costs, expenditure, budgeting, and report submission.