TAKE THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS HIGHER RETURNS AND HEALTHY GROWTH


6 Tips for Building Customer Loyalty


Posted by Lanyon on 05/13/2015

< Back to Blog



“Loyalty programs have hit the maturity stage in the hospitality industries,” stated Michael McCall, director of The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University, “and many firms are now struggling to demonstrate the return on investment in these programs.”

But this doesn’t have to be the case. Loyalty and rewards programs can be among the most efficient mechanisms for marketing your hotel, but getting there requires thinking a bit differently about what customer loyalty is — and how it’s rewarded. These six tips are a great place to start:
 

Tip #1: Personalize

Different customers value different types of rewards. Leisure travelers tend to be more cost-sensitive than business travelers, and may prefer discounts on their room rates — whereas business travelers might prefer an upgraded room. We now have the technology to track customer preferences and behavior like never before, making customizable “loyalty paths” a practical option.

Creating membership levels that specifically target corporate travelers — your most profitable market segment — can help you deliver rewards that your corporate clients are more likely to value. For example, some corporate travelers may prefer extras that they can redeem while on business travel — such as spa services, so they can relax after a long day of meetings — while other may prefer to take the points they earn during business travel and redeem them later for leisure travel.
 

Tip #2: Think Locally

Don’t overlook (or undervalue) local individuals whose loyalty can drive repeat business. Local meeting and event professionals build long-term relationships with hotels in their area — and it’s definitely worth your consideration. Whether it’s launching a “planner points” reward system or a big-item raffle for your most loyal planners, your hotel can benefit greatly from finding ethical and contractually compliant ways to reward these professionals for their loyalty.

Likewise, building relationships with local establishments — like restaurants, boutiques, concert venues, etc. — can help you vary the types of rewards that you offer your loyal customers.
 

Tip #3: Think Beyond Points and Discounts

Loyalty isn’t all about points or miles. It’s about emotional, personal experiences — built in the short- and mid-term — that pay off in the long-term. The issue with room discounts is that they don’t provide much of an experience at all. Instead, you can offer your loyal guests a VIP service that’s more likely to leave a lasting impact, such as being picked up at the airport in a limousine.

Status symbols also have a high perceived value — the airlines have already caught onto this idea. For instance, First Class upgrades and early boarding are each seen as a valuable status symbol among many travelers.
 

Tip #4: Social Media

Social media hold enormous potential for brand identification and referral value. It’s also a place where loyal behaviors can be tracked and rewarded. Kelly McManus, director of guest experience at Hilton Worldwide, explains that low-level engagement on social media — such as “liking” a Facebook page or following on Twitter — can be valuable for hotels and should be rewarded. However, more intensive social media engagement, like writing positive reviews and posting hotel recommendations, can and should earn extra points.

Likewise, social media gives you new ways to reward your customers. Posting a personal message or a thank-you note to a loyal customer’s Facebook page or Twitter feed can provide a meaningful and personal experience.
 

Tip #5: It’s All Fun and Games

The rise of social media and mobile technology has brought about another powerful trend — gamification. “When you really think about it, you might say that hotels invented gamification,” says Anthony Miller, chief marketing officer at Lanyon. “It was hotels, after all, that began the practice of identifying their best customers and awarding them points that they could exchange for ‘prizes’.”

Gamification has advanced far beyond basic point systems, and hotels seeking to venture deeper into gamification need to expand both the types of rewards they offer and the ways that customers can earn them. To learn how to gamify your loyalty programs, look to the meetings and events industry — which has been very successful in using gamification to make meetings and events more engaging and interactive.
 

Tip #6: Experiment. Test. Be Patient.

Some might consider “Big Data” to be only a buzzword, but the ability to capture and analyze massive amounts of customer data makes it possible to test the efficacy of your hotel’s loyalty program more accurately than ever.

Don’t be afraid to test different combinations of rewards and customer segmentation — just make sure to measure the resulting behaviors. Try offering points for food and beverage purchases and reward loyal guests by waiving room-service fees. Your loyal corporate travelers might prefer to exchange their reward points for dry-cleaning services — or they might not. But you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment to see what works best.

Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that finding the best possible program for your hotel takes time. Certain types of customer loyalty, like brand advocacy and brand identification, is rarely reflected in short-term profits — and programs can take as long as three years or more to demonstrate ROI. However, in terms of long-term success, ROI may not be as powerful as ROE — return on engagement.

For more information, download Lanyon’s latest infographic: Grow Your Group and Transient Business!

 
---------------------------------------
Lanyon believes that when people come together, amazing things happen, relationships are built and business gets done. That’s why we’ve created the industry’s leading cloud-based software for managing corporate meetings, events and travel programs — while helping hotels better connect with corporate clients.


Lanyon is the only company to provide solutions that deliver and manage both transient and group business.
SHARE THIS POST:

Lanyon Launches Smart Events Cloud 2016

Posted by Lanyon on 09/19/2016

Lanyon Launches Smart Events Cloud 2016


READ MORE


Meetings Today-Lanyon Launches Smart Events Cloud 2016-July 2016

Posted by Patrick Mendoza on 07/26/2016

Lanyon, a meetings and travel software company, released a new version of its Smart Events Cloud platform that features a number of significant enhancements, a simplified user interface and improved scalability.


READ MORE


Lanyon Launches New Functionality and Salesforce Integration for the Company's Smart Events Cloud®

Posted by Lanyon on 07/25/2016

New release delivers event ROI transparency for marketing teams


READ MORE


Lanyon Selected as Event technology Provider by Meeting Professionals International

Posted by Lanyon on 06/15/2016

Lanyon Selected as Event Technology Provider by Meeting Professionals International


READ MORE


Meetings and Conventions Magazine — 5 Tips to Make Your Event More Environmentally Friendly — May 2016

Posted by Lanyon Staff on 05/11/2016

Earth Day fell on April 22 this year. As happens every year, people from around the world agreed on that day to turn off lights, reflect on ways to make our planet cleaner and take steps to reduce waste. 
 
As we in this industry know, bringing together thousands of people can create a great deal of waste and emissions. However, we can make conscious decisions every day, at every event, to make sure we are doing all that we can to make our events environmentally friendly.
 


Read the original article here.


READ MORE


Lanyon Selected to Power GBTA’s Worldwide Events

Posted by Lanyon on 05/02/2016

Dallas, Texas (April 28, 2016) — Lanyon, a global leader in meetings, events and travel software, today announced that the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) has selected the company’s RegOnline® software to power their global events. The agreement reinforces Lanyon’s commitment to provide best-in-class software to the association marketplace.


READ MORE


How Dreamforce Mastered Event Registration With Salesforce’s Scott Owens

Posted by Lanyon on 04/25/2016

Salesforce, the world’s leading CRM technology provider, is one of the most recognizable names in the tech industry. And with over 172,000 attendees, their flagship event, Dreamforce, is the largest software conference on Earth. They’re also a Lanyon customer.


READ MORE


PCMA Convene – 5 Tips to Max Out Your Mobile Event App – April 2016

Posted by Lanyon Staff on 04/11/2016

If you’ve attended an event, or even walked around any street recently, it’s a safe bet you saw a lot of folks walking around with their heads down, eyes trained on their smartphones, thumbs busily scrolling up and down their screens.

What’s so awesome about their phones? Most likely, they were engaged with an app. 

 

...read the original article here.


READ MORE


Dallas Business Journal — RealPage exec joins Lanyon as president, COO — March 2016

Posted by Lanyon Staff on 03/22/2016

Dallas Business Journal — RealPage exec joins Lanyon as president, COO — March 2016
 
Meetings, events and travel software company Lanyon has hired Dirk Wakeham as its president and chief operating officer.
 
Wakeham joins Dallas-based Lanyon from RealPage Inc. (Nasdaq: RP), a rental housing software business headquartered in Carrollton. During his five years as president of RealPage, Wakeham lead the company through an initial public offering and grew revenue to more than $300 million.

...read the original article here.


READ MORE


PREVIOUS   1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9 NEXT 
Mobile search icon Search