Acquiring a new customer can cost anywhere from five to 25 times more than retaining an existing one. And increasing customer retention rates by as little as 5 percent can boost profits by 25 to 95 percent. Most hoteliers understand the immense value of bringing in repeat business. And one of the most effective ways to do this is by establishing a hotel loyalty program that thanks and rewards guests for choosing to stay with you.
However, hotel loyalty programs are changing.
Your guests are no longer satisfied with the old points system that offers discounts on future stays. Instead, they want individualized benefits and rewards that let them customize their stay experience in real-time. And because seven in 10 people prefer to participate in a loyalty program they can access from their mobile devices, you get the most bang for your “loyalty program” buck when you incorporate it into your hotel app.
Instant Recognition and Rewards
When you use an app with location services, your staff will know the moment a loyalty program member has arrived. Furthermore, integration with your PMS or CRM solution gives you instant access to guest profiles, including the reason for their visit (leisure, business, etc.) and personal preferences. This allows hotel staff to greet VIPs by name and in a personal way, making them feel instantly welcome.
Research from Oracle revealed that 78 percent of loyalty members prefer to receive immediate benefits as opposed to waiting to redeem rewards on upcoming visits. With an app, guests can access instant rewards, like complimentary tickets to an evening event, with a few taps of their smartphone screen. Through the convenience of an app, you can also alert current guests about new rewards that become available, or expiring points they may want to redeem soon.
Another benefit of using an app with location technology is that you can trigger specific rewards and bonuses based on a member’s location in real-time. For example, you can anticipate guests’ needs and make them feel truly cared for by delivering a steaming French press of coffee or another preferred beverage to their guest room ten minutes after their arrival.
You can also optimize push notifications, such as offering a complimentary premium cocktail when a member enters the hotel lounge or a discount on retail items as they pass by the hotel gift shop. You can even consider partnering with local businesses, then use off-property geofencing to surprise guests with members-only offers when they’re near specific vendors.
A hotel app with chat and messaging features keeps an open line of communication between you and your loyalty members before, during, and after their stay. Send pre-arrival messages that make them feel special, such as letting them know that they have complimentary early check-in and late checkout.
You can also send short surveys via your app to glean useful information about what types of rewards your VIPs prefer, an important factor since 61 percent of them are interested in selecting their own rewards. Advanced apps also offer multilanguage capability, satisfying 76 percent of your loyalty members who are more likely to act on offers and make purchases delivered in their native language.
You don’t want to just satisfy your loyalty members, you want to spoil them with bespoke experiences that go above and beyond. An integrated app gives you the power to create the 1:1 personalization your loyalty members expect, letting you customize offers and perks on the fly using each guest’s behavior and profile data.
Say for example that a loyalty member who normally stays for business is visiting with their children. You can offer discounted tickets to a family-friendly local attraction as opposed to the complimentary spa service you may normally offer. You can also delight VIPs by anticipating their needs. Perhaps you have a member that buys local chocolates from your retail shop during each visit. Imagine how thrilled that guest will be to find a box of their favorite treats waiting in their guest room when they arrive.
Want to delight your loyalty members by offering real-time rewards and
hyper-personalized experiences throughout their stay?
 Gallo, Amy. “The Value of Keeping the Right Customers.” Harvard Business Review, 29 Oct. 2014, https://hbr.org/2014/10/the-value-of-keeping-the-right-customers#:~:text=Depending%20on%20which%20study%20you,the%20one%20you%20have%20happy.
 Rueda, Jonathan. “Mobile Loyalty: The Power of Mobile Wallet.” Airship, 29 Mar. 2019, https://www.airship.com/blog/the-power-of-mobile-wallet-marketing-mobile-loyalty-2/#:~:text=69%25%20of%20consumers%20are%20more,visible%20on%20mobile%20loyalty%20cards.
 “What Do Consumers Want From A Hotel Loyalty Program?” Oracle Hospitality, 2017, https://www.oracle.com/webfolder/s/delivery_production/docs/FY16h1/doc17/IOUGDataDeliveryFinal.pdf.
 “CSA RESREACH.” 76% Prefer Purchasing Products with Information in their Own Language, 7 July 2020,https://csa-research.com/Blogs-Events/CSA-in-the-Media/Press-Releases/Consumers-Prefer-their-Own-Language.