Improving brand loyalty is a specialized technique that has become a vital component of all good business projects in the hospitality industry. The idea is to offer incentives based on increases frequency of services availed. But loyalty programs do not work if the hotel management does not understand the needs of guests. What use is a loyalty program with attributes that do not interest the guests? A general survey shows that 40 per cent of guests staying in hotel chains across the world, fail to register for loyalty programs and miss out on loyalty points, discounts, rewards, gifts and benefits. The alternative side is that the hotel fails to build business based on guest loyalty.
- Hotel managers should help evolve a loyalty program that is based on an accurate survey of guest needs and requirements keeping the type of hotel, business volume, seasonal guest occupancy, purpose of visits by guests, etc. in mind.
- Follow-up of guests signing up for loyalty programs should be handled meticulously. Regular emails or even sms-es should be used to alert guests about loyalty points or benefits that might lapse if not used within a stipulated period of time.
- Go for innovation. Conduct a market survey and see how your hotel can offer better rewards as compared to loyalty programs being offered by other hotels.
- Regular upgrades to the loyalty program with new offers would help. For example, offer free Internet access to guests making a reservation for three days or more. An ‘upgrade’ offer would, for example, allow guests to borrow a laptop from the Reception for free use during their stay.
More steps in the full edition of the BSC Toolkit for Hotel.