Three Common Mistakes Hotels Make (3/3)

You can read the first part here and read the second part here.

Mistake #3: Add On/Dynamic Package/Stay Enhancement Functionality is not Optimized (or Worse not Utilized)

When IBEs (Internet Booking Engines) first introduced this functionality, I was excited to find out how the hotels would use and maximize this incremental revenue opportunity. I was disappointed by the results I got from my audits, barely any of the hotels under my watch were using it at all. During my visits, I queried the reason behind the lack of use for this tool. One of their comments was: “We do not have the need for the dynamic package tool as we have our own packages already loaded.” They thought that, having packages such as summer package, weekend package, business traveler package was the way to use this functionality. But they had the wrong idea about this tool. Another hotel said that they didn’t really see the benefit of posting items as those were available onsite anyways, which the guests could avail when they checked-in. The remaining few, did not even realize there was such a functionality.

They thought that, having packages such as summer package, weekend package, business traveler package was the way to use this functionality. But they had the wrong idea about this tool.

You need to be very keen on what services and systems your providers are giving you, in this case, your IBE provider. It does not matter if you have the latest technology, if you do not have the right people in place to handle it, it will not give you the expected outcome.

Hotels need to consider a number of factors to maximize the revenue output of this functionality. Here are some of the elements to consider:

  1. Load just enough number of choices so as not to irritate your guests. According to social experiments, if people are faced with too many choices, they often times find it very difficult to make a decision. I believe three or four items would be just right.
  2. Monitor the production of these items to observe which ones are fast moving and which ones are barely selected by your guests. You can also see the relevance of these items for each season, e.g. influx of requests for a bouquet of flowers during the month of February (Valentine’s season). This way you can already plan what items should be loaded that will give you the most incremental revenue for each month or season.
  3. Have a ready list of all items that you can load. Make an analysis of what the hotel can offer as an amenity or service, e.g. babysitting service, massage, suit press, dinner voucher, spa voucher, breakfast, airport transfer, city transfer, etc. This way you will always have an item to replace the ones that are not being availed. Also, do not limit yourselves within the confines of the hotel. Think outside the box e.g. opera tickets, movie tickets, mall vouchers, souvenir basket, concert tickets, etc.
  4. It would also help if you mention in the description of the items, that you are offering a discount, if they purchase via your stay enhancement tool. This will persuade them to buy in advance to be able to grab the opportunity to save. You don’t need to offer huge amounts of discount, for guests even a small price difference is enough to convince them to purchase.

Hotels have the opportunity to make the most out of this tool, given the right direction and motivation. They can also take full advantage of delighting their guests by offering add-ons that would truly enhance their stay.

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Cover image from picjumbo.

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