Best Practices: Room Upgrades

Best Practices: Room Upgrades

Best Practices: Room Upgrades

Superior room – lead-in picture is dark and does not showcase any amenities worth upgrading. Very long description with plenty of unnecessary information.  
Junior Suite – lead-in picture shows the main selling-point. The room description is short and highlights the main selling-points.   

1. Room Description:

Before writing your room, keep in mind that the guest is already yours. You are not selling the hotel (competing with other hotels), but rather an upgrade. Therefore, we do not recommend copying paste your website descriptions one to one.

The most important thing to keep in mind is: What are the features that would make a guest want to upgrade? 

 Our advice:

  1. Keep description short, use bullet points that are easier to read
  2. List and highlight only the main selling points
  3. Avoid generic description that applies to every room type (for example: free WIFI, alarm clock, hairdryer, telephone, etc.)
  4. Use words that are appealing and alluring.


2. Pictures:

Pictures say a thousand words. Ask yourself, what you’re trying to show off through the photos? What is unique about this room? Is it the balcony? Is it the views? The amenities? The space?

Our advice:
  1. Add as many pictures as possible. We recommend having 4 to 6 pictures
  2. Have the best picture as the lead-in picture (first in the setup)
  3. Use only high-quality pictures

3. Upgrade options:

It is great to have some variety, but the key is not to overwhelm the guest with too many upgrade options. Put yourself in the mind of the guest to imagine which room upgrades would be attractive to them.
Our advice:
  1. Don't overwhelm your guests with too many upgrade options. We suggest a maximum of 2 - 4 upgrade options per room type
  2. Offer only upgrades that are applicable and attractive for the guest in the booked room type 
  3. Review every 6 months which room upgrades are popular and which ones are not (Performance Report). Consider focusing on the more popular ones.

Upgrades to avoid:

  1. Change of bedding type: For example, offering upgrades from King Rooms to Twin Rooms (or vice-versa). In most cases guests are very particular about the bedding type they initially booked and won't be too keen to change it. 
  2. Not applicable for the occupancy: For example, offering upgrades from a Single to a Family Room; or from a Double to a Triple room. Rooms that are booked by a particular segmentation or occupancy won't be attractive to other guests. 
  3. Steep change in pricing and room type: For example, from a Standard to a Presidential Suite. Will the guest that booked the cheapest room suddenly pay a multiple of the booking price to upgrade to (one of) the most expensive room?

4. Pricing:

Bidding is the most dynamic and exciting way you can offer room upgrades. Some advice to make the most out of it:
  1. Setting the minimum and maximum price:

The maximum price should always be as close as possible to your regular upgrade price. For the minimum price it is recommended to offer at least a 25% discount. For bigger upgrades (e.g. Standard to Suite) higher discounts encourages a higher conversion.

  1. Creating pricing offsets:

Offsets are a great way to make your pricing even more dynamic and increase conversion. Look at your data (Reservations Analysis & Performance Report) to see where offsets will help. Here some examples:

  1.  Length of Stay: Is your conversion low for guests staying more than 5 nights? This may be due to pricing. Consider giving a discount for upgrades staying multiple nights.
  2. Day of the week: Set offsets for different days of the week if you have big variations in weekend / weekday demand.
  3. Room Availability: Rejecting offers due to occupancy and offer strength? We would also not upgrade our last room for the lowest possible upgrade price. Availability offset will automatically increase your price depending on your occupancy, so that you last rooms upgrades for a higher price. (Not available for all PMS interfaces)

5. Create upgrade bundles:

Create a higher value for some of you room upgrades by including a free amenity to the upgrade. This is a great way to "push" certain upgrades, especially if the difference between room types is very minimal.   

Here some ideas:
  1. Late check-out and/or early check-in to the upgrade
  2. Discount on F&B
  3. Free drink at the bar
  4. Lounge access
  5. Bottle of wine

Some of these inclusions may lead to more in-house upsell opportunities.

6. Availability:

INTERFACES > ROOM AVAILABILITY (Not available for all PMS interfaces) 

You have the option to display only room types that are available for an upgrade. We would recommend this option only for smaller hotels with limited availability. Larger hotels always have the option to re-arrange their room assignments.

The best indication to determine if you need it or not is: Do you have a low offer acceptance rate (lower than 85%)? Are you generally rejecting room upgrade offers if the room is not available, or are you re-assigning your rooms? Do you have many last-minute cancellations, so that you can accept room upgrades last minute?   

 7. Rejecting offers:

Unfortunately it happens that sometimes you must reject upgrade offers. Availability can change quickly... or you simply got a better offer.

Our advise:
  1. Wait until the day of arrival: In most cases it is worth waiting a few days and not rejecting the upgrade offer 2-3 days prior to arrival. A lot can happen in these last 48 hours prior to arrival (cancellations) and you may have an upgrade offer waiting to occupy that cancelled room.
  2. Find room for the upgrade: Consider re-assigning rooms or even upgrading the guest (or another guest) to another room type.
  3. Indicate the reason for rejecting: You have the option in UpsellGuru to indicate why you rejected an offer (this will pop up as soon as you click on the "reject" button) and track this in the reports. This information can help to determine ways to improve conversions.  

8. Avoid Expired Offers:

An “Expired offer” means that you did neither accept nor reject the upgrade offer. The guest simply got no response. Besides this been a missed opportunity, it is also confusing for the guest. Users with "Reports" enabled will get an email with an overview of expired offers every Monday for the previous week. 

 We recommend training your staff and arranging to have at least 1 person responsible for UpsellGuru for every day of the week. 

9. Auto-Pilot:

(Not available for all PMS interfaces)

Within UpsellGuru, there is the possibility to automatically accept or deny upgrades depending on certain criteria.

Benefits are: No more manual work, plus you will never miss an upgrade opportunity.

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