Top 5 loyalty programs


Reading Time: 5 mins. 20/12/2017

Loyalty programs are essential to boost hotel revenue and get customers back. That is why in this pill we want to tell you about the top 5 examples of loyalty programs. Shall we begin?
As we saw in our pill “The importance of customer loyalty”. Developing a customer loyalty strategy is essential in order to build and keep strong and loyal relationships with current and potential clients.
 
Through a customer loyalty strategy, not only can we reduce the cost of acquisition of a client, but we can also improve our productivity, reduce the risk of leakage of our customers and attract new customers through the advantages or incentives the loyalty program itself offers against other alternatives.
 
According to a study made by Deloitte, 80% of consumers state that loyalty programs have an impact on their purchasing decisions, and for 84% of consumers there is a greater possibility of choosing a hotel for its loyalty program.
This is why through this pill we want to talk about 5 examples of great loyalty programs. It is necessary to adapt these actions and ideas to the particular business model of each hotelier, but no doubt one of the best ways to promote your hotel is through the evangelization of your customers.
 
Let’s start this compilation of the 5 best examples with Marriot Rewards, which has been awarded by US News as the best loyalty program. This program is designed for both tourists and business travellers. It consists of collecting points which can later be exchanged in the different brands of the chain and different companies affiliated to the program, from restaurants, car rentals to cruises. This program offers to their members priority check-in and an one night extra per every four consecutive ones.  As highlights, there are no date restrictions when it comes to spending the free nights generated.

The vast majority of hotel chains offer all sorts of loyalty programs so it’s very important to differentiate from the rest. Therefore, the second example we want to talk about is Kimpton Hotels, from the Intercontinental group, and its program Karma Rewards. To the classic and traditional system of points to obtain discounts, they have joined the karma credits. Through these credits, clients get an additional attention that employees of each hotel can incorporate in their interactions with the client to improve their experience. For example, credits can be exchanged by the front office staff t offer a different and unique service at the time of check-in. This program stands out for being able to become a virtuous circle, since if the client interacts with the brand, leaving positive comments or sharing brand content on their social networks, they get more karma credits.

The third case we want to talk about is Abba Hotels. Through their loyalty program, aside from the classic points system, they offer their members a direct discount if they book through their website. Thus, through abbantage program they offer an incentive or advantage to their clients while enhancing direct sales. As a highlight, there are no restrictions when paying with points, offering the possibility of exchanging the whole price through points.

Brand associations are another very useful tool when it comes to promoting a brand. This practice consists of associating with brands of other industries that share potential customers with our brand, to improve the client’s experience.
 
This marketing tool is also applicable to loyalty programs. In this line, we want to present the fourth example, Starwood’s loyalty program. Through Starwood Preferred Guest, their members can take advantage of free nights and interchangeable points in their hotels, but in addition, they can redeem their points for tickets to concerts and sporting events, as well as Amazon, Starbucks or iTunes.

The best way to turn customers into active members of a loyalty program and authentic brand ambassadors is offering tiered programs with a clear structure. It is a good idea to have loyalty programs where the advantages of accessing the next level seem obvious, since this encourages the interest and the activity of travellers who seek to add the highest number of points to increase their level. Our fifth example is Melià Hotels who, through their loyalty program Melià Rewards defines different levels of loyalty for their best clients with increasingly attractive advantages.

It is important to highlight that when we create our loyalty program we have to do it thinking about our potential client, since each traveller is unique and everyone wants to feel that their specific needs and expectations are met. This is why it is not enough to have a loyalty program, moreover, according to a study by Oracle Hospitality, 30% of travellers avoid joining these programs due to a lack of interest in what they offer.

Loyalty programs with outstanding advantages, such as the 5 examples mentioned above, are becoming essential to boost revenue and get customers to repeat the stay. Therefore, we encourage you to bet on promoting your brand and avoid others from taking your clients’ loyalty.