Loyalty programs have been around for a long time and hotel companies all over the world have been crafting their own unique variations in attempts to improve conversion figures and increase the number of repeat customers for decades. As the industry continues to grow rapidly in the digital age, more competition is emerging and the industry-wide battle for market share has been catalysed by the growing popularity of aggregator websites and online travel agents.
In recent years more hotel operators have sought the help of a hospitality marketing agency in order to develop effective loyalty programs and improve their hotel distribution management. This is a key step that can help you improve your prospects and devise appealing incentives that will improve customer loyalty and drive up sales figures. Here are some of the important factors to consider when designing a loyalty program for your hotel.
Know your customers
Many hotel operators often make the mistake of assuming they know exactly what their customers want, without basing their thoughts on any reliable research or information. Before deciding on the type of reward system you want to incorporate, it’s vital that you find out as much information as possible about your customer base and why they choose to book with you. Don’t assume the answer is cost or location. Ask. A well-informed and highly researched customer profile is vital to identifying the most appealing incentives. For example, research should show you the varying age groups within your customer base, allowing you to craft an appropriate reward system for each part of the demographic.
Make it easy
In order to maximise the number of customers that take advantage of your reward system, the conditions and requirements need to be simple and easy. If a loyalty system involves a series of stringent tasks or requirements, many customers are discouraged to take part. Wherever possible, the steps of a loyalty system should be streamlined and integrated into the already existing booking process. Minimising the amount of effort required from guests and maximising the reward is a recipe for success with any loyalty scheme.
Looking at examples like Hilton illustrates just how important it is for hotel companies to embrace new trends and adopt emerging technologies in order to remain successful. Technology has made it easier than ever to create digital rewards programs. Call in a hospitality marketing agency to assist and look at ways to use technology to automatically enrol customers into a loyalty program via your app or website. Smartphone use and time spent using apps are both rapidly increasing which means it’s important for hotels to tap into the trends with digital rewards structures.
Creating tailored or customised rewards can help diversify your reward strategy and increase customer engagement. It also means your hotel will appeal to a wider market. This concept works in direct conjunction with the idea of creating an in-depth customer profile. By knowing your customers well you can craft specific and effective reward systems.