How Some Hoteliers Leverage Rewards to Earn Repeat Stays
Do you have a loyalty program at your hotel? If not, you should.
Are you using your loyalty program in an effective manner? If not, you should.
For many hoteliers, leveraging loyalty rewards programs is a game changer. These types of programs boost return visits by guests and encourage their long-term loyalty. They also help foster relationships between your guests and your hotel which in turn creates brand ambassadors.
In this article, we look at how some hoteliers leverage rewards to earn repeat stays.
Gamify Your Rewards Program
You can really leverage your rewards program by adding some gamification to your program. You’ll find your customers like a little fun with their rewards.
You do this by rewarding them for more than just staying at your hotel. Give them additional ways to earn points. Here are some suggestions:
- Give them more points when they publish online reviews about your hotel. They might leave a review on Google, Facebook, Yelp, or TripAdvisor. Give them points for each review.
- Give them points when they refer a customer who books a stay with you.
- Add points to their account when they eat at your restaurant.
- Give them points when they share your social media posts.
You can make your program into a video game-like format where they have a list of tasks to complete to earn more rewards.
Your loyalty app might even show an anonymous leader board for customers so they can see where other users are.
By making your rewards program fun with gamification, you can increase your customer loyalty and retention even more. They are invested in your “game” and want to continue.
You’ll also find this generates growth for your hotel in the form of new customers as well as repeat business.
Personalize Your Rewards Program
Successful hoteliers are leveraging their rewards programs by personalizing it.
The name of marketing in the 21st century is personalization. Your customers want to be heard and catered to on a personal level.
For example, if you have a rewards program, do your front desk team members recognize these customers by name? Do they accommodate special requests?
That is just the beginning for your best customers and quite frankly, for all of your customers.
When it comes to your rewards program, are your notifications to each loyalty member personalized? For example, are your emails simply sent, or do they include the customer’s name?
When you send emails about reward redemption as well as opportunities to earn more rewards, you’ll find you get more opens and more clicks when you personalize the message.
You can even take this one step further as some hoteliers have done. Personalize the loyalty program so deeply that each customer’s loyalty status affects their room rates.
For example, when customer A reaches a certain point in your rewards program, they see more discounted room rates than a customer who isn’t part of your program. This happens before they’ve even earned enough points for a free night.
Or your system might see customer A is arriving late on Saturday night and offer them a free room service meal.
You can tie this to how frequently each customer stays with you and offer discounts specific to certain thresholds.
This is easier to do if your loyalty program is integrated with your reservations system or point of sale system. By doing this you have access to a wealth of data that allows you to personalize your rewards.
Personalized loyalty allows you to meet each customer and fulfill their needs. You’ll find this greatly increases your customer engagement.
Extend Your Rewards Program
Another out of the box idea is for hotel rewards is to offer them to event and travel planners. This way you leverage your program and introduce it to more customers.
This works especially well if your hotel is a wedding, conference, or meeting destination.
By offering a rewards program to the actual planners of the events, you ensure they’ll use your hotel again and again.
These are generally high dollar affairs that reserve a lot of rooms.
To encourage them to use your hotel, offer them free nights as well as perks at your hotel. By offering complimentary stays to event planners, you’ll find they use your hotel exclusively with their clients.
Green Up Your Rewards Program
Like we mentioned earlier, you can reward your customers for more than just their stays.
Sustainability is on a lot of minds, and you can leverage this to build your loyalty program and your customer base. (tweet this)
Some hotels, both large and small, across the United States have used some of these ideas to build their rewards program and earn repeat stays:
- Offer points for guests who decline housekeeping services. For example, give them 250 points when they opt out.
- Give your guests points for reusing their towels during their stay.
Offer your guests a chance to choose what they’d like. They can earn points for future stays by signing on to your sustainability program. Or you can make donations to environmentally friendly charities when they any of the above things.
Bottom line – they can earn points for themselves or for you to donate to green non-profits.
You’ll find many of your guests will really sign on to these “eco-rewards.” They want to reduce their footprint, and now you’re offering them a bonus to do it.
Final Thoughts on Hotel Rewards
Once you win your customers’ loyalty with hotel rewards, you have won their business for the long-term.
With a creative, efficient, and effective rewards program, this is how you leverage rewards to earn repeat stays.
According to one study, “loyalty initiatives are sticky – once customers enroll in a hotel program, they demonstrate loyalty to the host brand.”
What does this mean for you? Not only do you have long-term repeat customers because they are “stuck” to your loyalty program, but you also have brand ambassadors.
They are so happy with your hotel, they joined your rewards program. They in turn are happy with the program.
The end result for you means they will tell everyone they know about their great experience with your hotel, and you’ll gain new customers as well.
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