Trends 2018 | A loyalty programme for a hotel? Yes, but customized!

To be truly effective, customer loyalty programmes cannot just be a patchwork of standard discounts. In today’s world, loyalty programmes are all about tailored messaging and customisation, and loyalty schemes must now be fully aligned to the client’s needs in order to be successful.

Customer loyalty is more important than ever. A recent study has shown that as much as 79% of bookings made via hotel websites are made by the members of loyalty programmes[1]. At the same time, 77% of travellers now want to be able to shape their reward programme[2]. This suggests that loyalty schemes should not only be associated with discount points, but the perks awarded to clients should be customised to their individual needs.

Properly integrated IT systems provide hoteliers with a wealth of information about their customers. They enable hotels to find out how reservations were made, the services that their guests used, and any additional services that their guests expressed an interest in. All of this data can be utilised to design a loyalty programme which aligns with the guest’s individual preferences.

The necessity to create customised loyalty programmes stems from the fact that mere discounts no longer appeal to today’s guests. What’s more, OTAs offer similar discounts, and so offering perks based on the guest’s preferences will not only set the programme apart from competitors, but will also encourage guests to book direct.

Customer data, which can serve as the basis to design loyalty packs, can be gathered through surveys at the booking stage or by analysing the services which guests utilise during their stay. Knowing the guest’s preferences before they arrive will also enable the hotel to email them customised offers before they arrive, and inspire them to redeem their loyalty points on their preferred perks, such as spa treatments or tickets for top local attractions.
According to research by Travel Tripper, guests who signed up to a loyalty programme booked nearly 50% more nights than those who were not part of a programme. The total annual income for each guest enrolled in a loyalty programme also rose by almost 50%[3], demonstrating how important loyalty schemes have now become in terms of increasing revenue.


"The necessity to create customised loyalty programmes stems from the fact that mere discounts no longer appeal to today’s guests. What’s more, OTAs offer similar discounts, and so offering perks based on the guest’s preferences will not only set the programme apart from competitors, but will also encourage guests to book direct".
 

However, the more customised the loyalty programme, the more engaged the guest will be, so it’s important that offers are tailored to their individual preferences in order to maximise direct bookings and increase customer loyalty.

[1] blog.netaffinity.com/loyalty-programs-discounts-perks/ 
[2] traveltripper.com/blog/hotel-loyalty-programs-becoming- a-core-focus-of-2017/
[3] traveltripper.com/blog/hotel-loyalty-programs-becoming- a-core-focus-of-2017/