Packages, Specials and Revenue Management, Oh WHY?
Why oh why do all the consultants, conference speakers, and website companies constantly push creating packages and specials? Packages and specials are the epitome of customer service and an amazing way to increase revenue at the same time. Let’s dig a bit deeper into those concepts. (Warning: Wizard of Oz references ahead!)
Customer Service: Be the person behind the curtain
The commonality among all property owners is you are experts in your region. Packages help highlight what is unique about visiting your property and your area (for instance, maybe the Lollipop Guild Shoppe is THE place for sweets). You don’t want to be the “best kept secret”. You want to promote the straw-stuffing out of what makes your property and your region a repeatable visit.
There is a commonality among all guests in that they are time-starved. By curating the go-to’s and must-see’s, you’re saving guests precious time by allowing them to plan a getaway in one click (of their red shoes.) By anticipating your guest’s needs, you signal to a potential customer you “get them” and will make sure their entire stay is filled with thoughtful touches. Wouldn’t you choose to stay at a property that knows their stuff, packaged it up all nicely, and will take care of the details? You bet!
Before your guest walks through your door, you have provided excellent customer service and created a happy patron.
Revenue Management: Not a wicked concept
As property owners you are capped with a finite number of bookable units. Even if you are strategic with your pricing, there is only so much those bookable units will yield. How do you bring in a tornado of more revenue? Through those packages that are getting guests to book left and right! Packages are an amazing way to create more return on investment for each guest that stays with you, helping to pay for all the operational and marketing costs it takes just to get them to walk in your door.
During your guest’s time with you, their perfectly crafted executed-by-the-owner getaway makes them think “There’s no place like XYZ Property!” Happy customers get social media-y about their time with you, with their word-of-mouth referral driving more like-minded customers your way without additional marketing costs.
Even better, happy customers often become repeat customers because their time-starved selves can be assured they will have an incredible experience with you (heck, they have more packages to try out!) Not to get too technical about marketing ROI metrics, suffice to say, repeat guests are worth their weight in emeralds.
An extra perk of packages? Because they neatly tie up a unique getaway with a bow, they are ideal for pitching publications. Getting a newspaper or magazine to pick up on your package can not only yield immediate revenue in bookings, but the SEO from their links can ensure a constant flow of interest for the future.
Specials add to the revenue management equation by driving occupancy during your shoulder and slow seasons. Be strategic about your specials, crafting them carefully based on your overall Book Direct strategy. Know the reason behind your special: loyalty program, marketing to specific groups, increase occupancy in the slow season, etc. Make sure to exclude any packages from specials as well - you don’t want to eat into your package profit margins by accidentally allowing them to be discounted.
Tips: Ideas can poppy up all the time
So now that we understand how packages can help create lasting memories for your guests and increase your bottom line, let’s look at some quick tips on how to generate packages:
- Think about what makes your property unique. Think about what hobbies make you nerd-out. Turn those passions into a package and share away!
- Look outside of your property to your surrounding area. Are there unique businesses with which you can partner? Are there outfitters where you can score a discount for your guests? What about a popular event? Can you create a 3-, 4-, or 5-day itinerary?
- When you create your package, don’t hesitate to get creative with the name (like the Flying Monkey Water Skiing Adventure Package.) But make sure it’s still descriptive enough that someone who knows nothing about your region will understand what it’s all about.
- Still having some trouble? Start small with simple item up-sell ideas. Then pull them together into a themed package.
- But be careful about offering the a la carte items AND the package - you don’t want guests picking apart your pricing strategy.
- As time goes on, absolutely modify your packages based on sales and customer comments.
- When you have all your packages and specials lined up, don’t forget to review them often. Take a peek at our comprehensive “Slow Season Checklist” article, to make sure you keep your packages and specials as tidy and clean as your bedrooms.
Packages and specials will lead you down the yellow brick road towards success with ecstatic customers and revenue management. Why oh why not give it a try?