The guests of your hotel likely fall into one of three categories. There are those who are not members of your loyalty program, those who are simply signed up and those who are devotees—they choose your hotel based on the relationship the loyalty program provides. When a guest joins this third group, you’ve “won”, and the prize is a loyalist that produces long-term and somewhat predictable revenue. To keep this segment returning to your property, and to encourage the first two groups to participate, you will have to craft a loyalty program that stands out among the rest. Here are some examples of hotel brands that have created stand out customer loyalty programs.
The Leaders Club by LHW
The Leaders Club is the membership program for The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW). This program simplifies loyalty benefits by foregoing a points system and rewarding guests with one complimentary night after every five nights stayed at one of the luxury LHW. Phillip Logsdon, Director of Loyalty Marketing at Leading Hotels of the World, says that the Leaders Club’s straightforward program is a direct response to complicated, capacity-controlled points programs. For $150 USD annually, club members have access to complimentary daily breakfasts, room upgrades when available, unique welcome gifts and early check ins, in addition to the free sixth night credit that never expires. Unlimited Level members who pay $1,200 USD annually also get passes to 600 VIP airport lounges, and free one-way airport transfers to select cities.
Tip: Make it simple—straightforward rewards programs that are easy to grasp help to keep guests loyal and engaged.
Ritz-Carlton and Marriott Rewards
Basic perks offered by hotel rewards programs are commonplace at hotels like Ritz-Carlton and Marriott, but they also see the value in going above and beyond to reward guest loyalty. The Marriott Rewards and Ritz-Carlton Rewards programs include the new Experiences Marketplace, where guests can redeem points for special excursions that cater to their personal interests. Curated events and opportunities for discovery, such as photography workshops with National Geographic Expeditions, or VIP attendance to your favourite sports game, are just a few of the unique options that rewards members can choose from. This program also offers an Elite Concierge Service, a top tier membership option which includes additional benefits such as personalized concierge services and guaranteed late check out.
Tip: Think outside of the box—offering personalized perks and opportunities that go above and beyond will show guests that their total travel experience is a priority.
With 5000 properties in 103 countries and territories, Hilton Honors offers perhaps the greatest flexibility of all rewards programs. The Honors program offers members “a million ways to earn points”, from airlines and car rentals, to credit cards and wine clubs. Rewards can be redeemed within 14 different brands for any budget or occasion. Hilton Honors even allows members to share points with friends and family, or donate points to charities and non-profits. And guests can redeem a mix of points and cash, which makes the benefits accessible to less frequent guests.
Tip: Make rewards reachable—offer guests attainable benefits that are flexible and easy to redeem.
Retaining your guests’ loyalty through unique offerings and personalized benefits is a valuable investment of both time and money. Designing the right program for your hotel will result in greater guest satisfaction and higher customer retention. Any hotel can offer an early check in or a free muffin in the morning, but the best loyalty programs go beyond the ordinary or expected. Consider what you can do to make it easy to earn and redeem the kind of desirable rewards that keep your guests coming back and relationships growing stronger.
Learn more about how an innovative PMS can help you build and manage the type of loyalty program that will keep guests excited about returning to your property time and time again.
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