How would you like to see a 30-40% uplift in sales… from customers already buying from you – these guys have figured it out. It’s what I’m now calling an “up serve”… not an “up sell”, I will explain.

Precision all the way – what a class act. One we can all learn from too.

From their marketing, initial booking to pick up, the thrilling ride to departure – Shotover Jets in Queenstown New Zealand sets the customer service experience and sales standards – high.


Bang on time our big red coach arrives to take us to the canyon for our jet boat experience. Our driver gives us a very warm, friendly welcome and sets a briefing DVD playing for us as he drives.

As we’ve experienced during out time in Australia and New Zealand – everything is done in good humour.

The safety video explains that all personal belongings should be left in the lockers before we board the boat. The video shows cameras, phones and handbags being placed into the locker… then someone shoving their sheep in for safe keeping too – love it.

Add humour to your customer experience and your sales process – it will pay huge dividends…

The coach drops us at the waters edge – we’re handed capes to keep us dry and life jackets… (incase we don’t stay too dry)… As we’re invited to step off the bus – not a second wasted with this well oiled machine. But we don’t feel rushed. We duly drop off our valuables as requested as we head to board the boats.

How well does your “work” flow…? Do your systems deliver maximum efficiencies?

Then the first quick photo opportunity by their staff of each rider beside the boat, click, the first “up serve” opportunity and inside two minutes we’re seated. (They changed my perspective on “up sell” process I’m so familiar with, more on that in a moment).

Seated, we get another greeting, this time from our skipper. Again, with a smile, he sets the scene, reinforces a few safety measures and we’re off… for the second photo call…

He revs the twin V8 engines and send us spinning, laughing and screaming as we hurtle towards the photographer on the shore – click.. another “up serve” opportunity. (OK, coming to the “up sell” v “up serve” in a sec…)

Then… wow, what a ride. It’s difficult to describe the thrill and excitement of the next 25 minutes as we glance off the side of the canyon walls… by all but an inch or two! The fun of the repeated 360 degree spins and the sensation of flying over rocks at speed and sometimes in just 6 inches of water! Search youtube and watch the ride – it’s insane.

All done… not quite.

Whilst in the peak state of excitement, adrenaline still pumping… the skipper announces he’s been videoing our reactions during the ride – guess what, we can view this upstairs right now… They collect our life jackets and wet weather capes in seconds and with military, yet friendly precision, we’re on dry land and into their “up serve” machine… sorry I mean reception area.

It was brilliant – As we walked into the sales funnel, sorry I mean reception area, our video footage was playing, our photos were on the wall. T shirts, fridge magnets, key rings, caps, hats, jackets – you name it – every possible element of merchandising had been thought out.

No pressure at all, but people were eagerly parting with an extra $50 – $60… for video packages – $20 for photos or $30 for a T shirt. I reckon there was an average of at least 35% of the original ticket price achieved though their add on “up serves”.

I then spoke with one of their senior managers, couldn’t help myself…

I thanked him for the most exhilarating experience and then commented on all the extras – what I called the “up sells”…

“Oh – I hope you don’t feel over sold to – we don’t see it as an “up sell” as you call it, really we don’t.” he explained with genuine and heartfelt sincerity.

“It’s not safe for people to take their own cameras – you saw how fast and how close we are to the rocks… we know how much people want to share their experience with family and friends, we know how much they treasure the experience – that’s why we’ve added all these additional services. We’ve priced them separately to keep the cost down for anyone not wanting the extras.”

Brilliant – they’ve turned their entire non-sales people into a highly effective sales machine by changing their language and perspective on what they’re offering.

How would you now feel about delivering an “Up Serve” not an “Up Sell”… make it more palatable? You should feel duty bound to serve… and it could also add 30-40% to your sales line too.

What does your “up serve” process look like – do you action it effectively at the point of sale?

Well done Shotover Jets – no wonder you’ve been doing this so successfully since 1970 and have thrilled over 3million people in that time – well done.

If you ever find yourself in Queenstown – this is a must!