Written by: Cristina García
There is no doubt that a loyalty program for your hotel is a must. You know within the tourism sector there is a lot of competition. Studies proved you have to double up your efforts in order to get a new customer. And since your potential customers are just one click away from your competitors, you need to seriously think about integrating a loyalty plan within you overall marketing strategy. Because it’s easier to get an old guest to rebook, than a new one to do it.
That’s why, without further ado, we are bringing you the best practices you need know to build the loyalty program you guests are going to love.
Most of consumers don’t really care about brands. There are plenty where to choose from. And in order to make a difference, the emotional factor is essential. In this case, consumers are no longer loyal to companies, but to beliefs. They will feel attached to what you stand for –your hotel’s added value.
We all know you purpose is to make money. But apart from that, the way you achieve this goal is one of the aspects that matters the most. If you want to build a genuine connection with you customers, you have to start by building a brand whose values they can admire and identify with.
That’s the reason why your brand has to compile everything your hotel’s want to be. That’s fundamental, because you cannot put the cart before the horse. Your brand is the way you are, the way you show it and communicate it. Then you need set up your identity, in order to know you and your potential customer’s needs well.
A great service experience is going to be, from now on, one of your guest’s most important priorities from the moment he is booking one of your hotel’s rooms. And what’s more, they will be willing to spend more if they are sure your service is up to hype. Because customers look for satisfying their needs and a satisfied guest is always going to be your best promoter.
On the other hand, bad reputation runs fast. That’s why you need to have in mind that your potential customer’s first encounter with your website and then, your guest’s first impression of your hotel’s service highly matter. Because consumers don’t think twice when it comes to shut you out, if they have proven your hotel has no good service.
If your hotel can manage to go one step further, been able to offer a personalized service is what can trigger the difference to build lasting loyalty, your guests will love. And just with a few small changes your hotel can cause a great impact.
One of the best examples is making feel your customers welcome. In this case, follow-up actions are a must: email marketing will work when your guest has already booked online, and with a form you will be able to offer personalized solutions during his stay.
When this guest finds you have a great service experience with personalized notes, he will be more willing to be engaged. From your website to your staff, your hotel can deliver a remarkable experience that encourages a deep connection.
Let’s face it. You won’t be able to avoid some mistake. We are all humans after all. And your hotel’s run by real people who make mistakes. So, in this cases, the way you are prepared to handle these things is crucial. Then again, your service is what is going to make the difference.
If you are able and willing to solve any problem right away, your complaining customer won’t be that complaining at the end. In this situations, the faster your hotel can act, the better. You will be giving them the right attention, so they won’t feel abandoned.
The same goes for your online support. Sometimes is not so easy for netizens to find everything they want on the Internet. When it comes to your hotel’s website, you need to make sure there is always going to be anyone to answer any question and solve any issue.
Is this so important for your loyalty program? Of course. Think that any customer comes to you with his homework done. If they have read not so flattering comments and reviews, they will not want to know much more about you, and even less about your loyalty program once their stay is over. Despite your efforts from the booking stage (for example, with email marketing), your guest may not decide to accept the loyalty program until after his holiday experience.
What would be of your hotel without satisfaction surveys. As you know these are fundamental, especially to improve your loyalty program. Your guests’ feedback is one of the basic elements when it comes to deeply knowing them, and analyzing which are the needs that your hotel can satisfy.
Email marketing can help you in this case, both to know how your customers stay has been, and to know if the service experience has been satisfactory. That way you can adjust your hotel’s methodology and make some improvements also on your website.
Allow all members of your hotel to be organized with those updates and don’t forget to train your employees in the values and good practices of work and service. They are the ones who are facing your guests, so they should know your products and how to handle the situation based on your type of customers.