In the highly competitive hospitality industry, many hotels and travel operators are implementing customer loyalty programs to encourage longer stays, attract new customers and retain existing ones. Despite significant saturation in the market, there are still plenty of opportunities for differentiation. In fact, loyalty programs are claimed to be one of the most important reasons to book a particular place or destination, especially for business travelers and luxury hotels.
Research shows that adding luxury reward options is gaining increasing popularity compared to standard discount-based promotions and incentives.
In order to get competitive advantage and make the loyalty program effective, marketing teams should take into account existing member data to make relevant customer offerings and better positioning of the program within the brand.
But what other factors drive hotel guest loyalty and repeat bookings?
For customers joining a hotel loyalty program, the ease of earning free nights appears to be a primary motive for enrollment. However, the average customer belongs to more than one hotel or travel loyalty program, making it hard to stand out with a simple discount program.
Having in mind the travel industry is one of the most service-based businesses, great customer service remains crucial. And while it may be hard for large hotels and tour operators to maintain a consistent level on a global scales, it is important to empowered and encourage staff to provide personalized service
And while promotions and incentives act as clear drivers of selection, emotional connection to the brand is also crucial. Offering a complimentary wine hour, for example, can have a strong positive impact and long lasting impression in customer mind.
To summarize, hotel and tourism loyalty programs can have a profound effect on customer behaviour when combined with great customer service, positive prior experience and experiential treatments.
For more information on customer loyalty programs, contact us.