Automating hotel operations for stress-free upselling is a fantastic way to boost a hotel’s ancillary revenue while reducing error and stress in your staff.
Nonetheless, it's understandable to question the operational aspect of it all. More services inevitably mean more tasks, and you may be wondering if there is a way to efficiently delegate action steps for incoming requests.
There must be a better method than adding another point to your to-do list, chasing down a free colleague and manually recording the entire process in your PMS? And if there are multiple requests, there is surely a failsafe way to avoid overlooking information?
More tasks don't have to equal more stress! Keep reading for our latest tips on how to delight your guests with a smart upselling initiative that uses foresight and hotel operation tools to bring your offers to life, without stressing your operations teams.
If you review, approve and forward your upselling requests manually, batch this task. Check new requests once or twice a day, depending on how many you get. Then, pass on the information to the relevant departments in one shot. Make an exception only for last-minute requests you have to deal with immediately.
By doing this, you'll be allowing your staff to go through all required tasks at once to get an overview of what they need to prepare for the coming days. They can plan and bundle tasks, which will help them work more efficiently.
For example, sending your pastry chef a list of all the new birthday cake orders will help him plan his production and inventory. When it’s time to prepare the cakes, everything is in place and there are no surprises.
Finally, check with the team about the best time to send them the information. The beginning or end of the shift usually works well since that’s when they’re also handling other admin tasks.
Open lines of communication with your team are important - this system needs to work just as well for them as it does for you.
Only notify the departments concerned
We can all agree there's no sense in pinging housekeeping when a guest pre-orders a rental bike. Audit your communication system to see if there isn't a way to reduce any unnecessary distractions for your staff.
Make sure to update your system’s notification process when you implement your upselling programme in one of the following ways:
- Send all notifications to one dedicated email address. The person in charge can forward the information to the departments concerned.
- Configure your tools to notify the right teams directly. This allows you to skip the step of staff manually going through and assigning tasks.
A guest books a birthday surprise in the room for her husband via the hotel’s upselling platform. Instead of a general email blast, the notifications go only to the four relevant departments
Front office, to add request for birthday surprise to the guest’s profile
F&B, to request a birthday cake from the kitchen and to arrange delivery of the cake and champagne from room service.
Housekeeping to prepare balloons and flowers in the guests' room.
Let’s look at one more example:
A business traveller books late check-out via the hotel’s upselling app. This time only two departments get an email.
Front office, to add late check-out to the guest profile
Housekeeping, to schedule room cleaning after late check-out time
The kitchen and room service don’t need to be notified about this deal. One less email to crowd their inbox!
Automating hotel operations
Since the Oaky and hotelkit’s integration is now live, you can make this set-up a reality at your hotel in the blink of an eye.
Decide who gets which emails, set it and forget it. After that, requests coming via Oaky will flow through hotelkit directly to your staff. Gone are the days of spending time attributing and forwarding tasks or overlooking requests in an overcrowded inbox. 🙌
Streamline your communication
You might think that constant browser notifications and emails are a necessary evil when using tech to manage your team and workload. In theory, these notifications have a simple goal: to update the user and reduce the chance that updates will be missed. In practice however, these notifications make life anything but simple!
Constantly being distracted by pings and having to check every tool’s interface, tab or window doesn't help your team’s productivity either.
Less is often more with communication. Avoid overwhelming your staff with endless calls, emails and notifications. Rather, leverage modern operations and communication software to become more effective and efficient. Group your communication in one place instead of relying on multiple channels.
This makes it much easier to:
- Keep an overview of ongoing tasks
- Assign work, give feedback, answer questions and follow up when needed
- Avoid unnecessary back and forth or miscommunication
- Reduce distractions to get more done
Just think of the benefits this will have for you and your team. Here are just a few of them:
- Save your staff's time and energy (Especially with increased bureaucracy around hygiene, this is key.)
- Reduced stress without the worry that tasks will be overlooked.
- Upsells, cross-sells and other guest requests perfectly executed, delighting your customer.
hotelkit is a great example of a tool that lets you do all this as it's an easy-to-use hotel operations software with an all-in-one interface. Now that Oaky is integrated with hotelkit, you can use it to keep updated on Oaky updates without having to sign in, easily sharing information and instructions with your team.
Use checklists and SOPs
Now that everyone knows which tasks to handle, they also need to know how to do them. Checklists and SOPs (standard operating procedures) help with this.
You probably already have SOPs for many areas of your hotel. But have you created them for your upselling deals? If not, it’s about time.
First, decide which deals to write an SOP for. Simple ones like late check-outs may not require one. The more elaborate deals like an in-room birthday surprise set-up or a romantic package are better candidates.
Write your SOP like you would for any other service or task. Provide relevant background information, outline necessary steps, highlight who is in charge and include photos if needed.
The checklist can be a condensed version of the SOP. It should feature the main action steps to ensure nothing is overlooked. This will help both your seasoned team members and new staff handle upsell and cross-sell requests independently and according to your property’s standards. It will also save you time on training and ensure guests have a consistently good experience every time they return.
These tips will make it easier for you and your team to bring your upselling and cross-selling offers to life without stress. Implement them now and you’ll have more time and energy to spend on the truly important work: delighting your guests and making their stay a memorable experience.