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How to find loyal customers with a social loyalty program

Every travel brand seems to have a loyalty program these days, particularly large hotel chains and airline 

companies. But do they really inspire brand loyalty?

Racking up enough points to shave a few dollars off the cost of a hotel room surely won’t be enough to strike a loyal relationship with guests. But what is the alternative?

The first Cornell Loyalty Management Roundtable disclosed by the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research tackled the topic of how to inspire true loyalty in guests.

They focussed on how social media might be used as a tool. According to roundtable chair Michael McCall, “One area of particular concern is the interaction of social media and loyalty, because no one quite understands how those interactions operate, especially with regard to spending behaviour.”

He added, “Since participants acknowledged that most programs are similar to each other, our goal was to use our discussion of best practices to identify ‘next practices.’ In that context, we examined program design and management, customer lifetime value, and program re-launch, looking for ways to move programs forward.”

Social media is certainly one way to differentiate your brand from its competitors and the more your guests promote you, the more word of mouth can inspire loyalty towards your business.

A spa treatment, free drinks or dining experience, room upgrade or other more unique service would all go much further towards inspiring your guests than a 10 per cent discount.

People are far more likely to share emotive content on social media than brag about a discount, so something to consider for your loyalty program might be awarding loyalty brand members with luxury experiences rather than price discounts.

According to the roundtable results, “such services could be determined by analysing guest data and consumer behaviour”. While “such an enriched approach could improve guest loyalty without costing more money”.

accomnews would like to know what kind of tactics you employ to boost guest loyalty. Leave a comment below or get in touch with us on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin.

 

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