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News Details

Customer Success Story: Pandox chooses ROOMDEX Automated Upselling

Pandox is a leading hotel property company that owns and leases hotel properties to leading hotel operators.

In total, its portfolio encompasses 156 hotels in 15 countries from continental Europe to the Nordics, North America and Canada.

From well-known brands such as Hilton, IHG, Radisson, to regional and independents, Pandox is no stranger to upselling or the use of upsell tools and programs.

We recently caught up with Jens Egemalm, Distribution Director for Pandox Operations Hotel to find out why they ultimately chose ROOMDEX? How has it performed so far - and, how does ROOMDEX compare to other systems they have previously had in place?.

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We've always kind of worked with some kind of tool for upselling - from a human resources-based upselling where you have training and you upsell on property, to half-automated systems where you either upsell at the end of the booking engine journey, or as an email. And, of course, they all required some human input.

None of the systems that we have worked with have made us feel like this is the system we want to continue with. Whatever system or method we have worked with always led to some complaints and at the end of the contract period, we would stop.

So, we were looking for something else, something that was better. But it was clear, especially after the pandemic, that any kind of system that relied on human management would be a hurdle. We knew we could not suggest to operations any new tasks whilst they could barely cover the basics.

We were really looking at systems that were automated. One of my colleagues at the revenue center was doing general research for upsell tools and was looking through the marketplace on MEWS and found ROOMDEX. It was one of the few we saw that was a fully automated system. We liked the simplicity of it, and that led to the first call.

There is an opportunity to upsell at many stages throughout the customer journey. I've been working hotels about 15 years, and you always know there's a potential for increasing revenue per guest. If we can present the guest with an offer for a bottle of champagne at the right moment, they are very likely to buy it. It's just a matter of us proposing it at the right time.

About 15 years ago, I was working at the Sofitel hotel and I remember we had a huge upsell training session. We had people flown in to train the team for a week on how to do upselling at reception - those were different times!

But the problem with that old, manual upselling process is that it requires constant renewal to keep it alive. And, just slowly, the results go down and down, as people get a little bit complacent and with turnover of staff. It is hard to keep it alive.

Smooth, I would say. The key thing for us was that many times you get a new tool, you don't necessarily know all the details and how to onboard, and so the set up ends up going a bit slower than expected. But ROOMDEX was much different. ROOMDEX really helped us identify upsell opportunities and then define the description of the added value. I really liked that. Of course, the automation and connectivity with the system is really important. But we knew that, with MEWS, things go smoothly too and this was true for the ROOMDEX connection as well.

I would say we had high expectations because it was sold to us that it would perform really well. And it did. One of my colleagues even said how we didn't have to wait one or two weeks before it started performing. It started performing directly. We had, in the first week, €5000-6,000 worth of upsells within a few days of one of the properties going live. And it's been consistent. We haven't gone any day without any upsells. We had high expectations, but our ROI is higher than what was promised or expected. We were very happy with that.

And what's better is that we haven't had any negative feedback from operations. We've had no complaints from operations whatsoever, which is great.

They've been performing much better than we would have thought because you wouldn't have thought that that's an added value. Before a lot of these early check-ins and late checkouts have been given for free because of various reasons. Maybe a guest, a loyal guest would have waited until they got to the property and then just asked, can I get early check-in. But now with ROOMDEX he gets the opportunity to do it directly. It's done, he'll just pay for it and it's over with. That is a great benefit to both the customer and us.

I was surprised that stay extensions formed a big part of the upsell revenue - and the fact that you could earn, up to €700 euros a week on it, with pretty much with no additional cost. We have even tweaked it a little bit as we have noticed that there are certain hours that need to be extended to make it more attractive, whether it's making late check out a little bit longer, or starting the early check-in one hour earlier. We're trying that to see if we can increase conversion a little bit more.

Yes, absolutely. We are currently having discussions now to continue with ROOMDEX in an independent property that's opening at the end of the year. And, while we're not in charge of operations for some of the brands or bigger chains that are part of Pandox we do hope that there will be conversions between them and ROOMDEX.

So, I would probably tell them a story - which is this; I've worked with financial control in our hotels since probably 2015 and have been sending contracts and invoices for marketing and distribution technology on a regular basis. When I sent over the first invoice for ROOMDEX to the financial controller, it's the first time he responded without actually questioning the price. And then secondly, he also had a smile in the email! He was very happy with what it produced. He had seen in his P&L that all of a sudden there was revenue coming from somewhere that he hadn't seen before. So, I think, that says a lot about ROOMDEX.