68% of people said it was useful when they are shown what add-ons they can pay for during the booking process

In what is emerging as an increasingly competitive market, we are seeing a key trend toward more and more personalisation on hotel websites. Both small independents and large multinational hoteliers need a personality in order to engage with consumers. This simply cannot be plucked from a manual, but what can be learnt are the processes to help. For example to go above and beyond to give the customer more.

After surveying over 1,000 people, Triptease found the eight things people want when booking a hotel all devised in the Triptease ‘Get a Room’ eBook. This blog analyses the sixth of those eight things – tell me what else I could have.

Tell me what else I could have                                                                                

Our research showed us that 68% of people said it is useful when they are shown what upgrades they can pay for during the booking process. All hotels are expected to offer the basic package - a room. What you then offer with that room is what sets you apart from your competitors. This isn’t to say you have to automatically present them with a complementary bottle of bubbly upon arrival. It just means you have to give them choice. Bookers that we spoke to liked sites that gave them options for add-ons. Simple things the hotel already supplies such as massages, or hotel transfers were seen as helpful suggestions.

Again though, I refer you back to title of blog one, ‘make it simple, short and clean’. These extras will appear in the delicate stage of final booking, so the last thing you want to do is over sell, or over crowd your customer with various expenses. This isn’t for everyone; so don’t hold your customers back from booking. We don’t want you to build a glamorous website with all the key content, but getting to the end feels like swimming through treacle.

There are two things to consider when offering upgrades and add-ons. First, ensure that the guest is clear on the value of what they are paying for. For example, think carefully when offering paid-for early check in or late check out. Our bookers told us that they would expect this service for free if they asked, or to be offered bag storage if there was not option for additional time in the room. If you start throwing in extra prices at this stage, the hotel becomes a little mercenary, and you start to lose that friendly touch that may have got you the potential booking in the first place. Second, make sure any upgrades or add ons offered are relevant and affordable to the booker. Categorise your add ons depending on what room is being booked. One of the bookers we spoke to was shown a quite unrealistic $2,100 upgrade on a $400 room. Needless to say, there should be no discrimination stopping this guest from receiving the desired extras. It just requires common sense as to what appears alongside the booking button.

If you’re offering guest extras at an additional cost, let them know what they already have. Our bookers found it increasingly frustrating that they didn’t know what extras they might want, simply because they didn’t know what they had in the first place. This is often because details of packages were not clear or often hard to find. Make it simple for them, and it will be simple for you.

It’s a fine balance between pushing extras sales at this stage and offering a genuinely helpful service so be careful. Guests like to get excited before they finish booking so let them upgrade. This is a chance for you to look good.

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