A repeating customer is a future investment, but we live in a time where people can compare prices on the go, and collaborative economy is gaining ground, so it seems logical to wonder what travellers feel about loyalty programs. Now, more than ever, hotels need to promote loyalty, to do so they need to know what will attract travellers.
Hotels today have more chances of success in creating client loyalty, if they offer personalised experiences. This trend isn’t exclusive to the hotel sector. According to an MBLM (2015) enquiry, travel brands deal with less loyal consumers than other industries. In other words, consumers don’t feel as much loyalty towards hotel brands.
A recent PwC study focused on some fundamental features related to loyalty programs, highlighting the behaviour of Millenials and differentiating between the two main client blocks: business and pleasure travellers.
- Do Millenials think differently from other travellers? Are they less loyal?
The answer is that both groups have a lot in common and it depends more on the trip or stay than the generation. Loyalty schemes attract Millenials as much as travellers from other generations when dealing with business travel. It’s only when they are travelling for pleasure that younger travellers are more likely to try new experiences and types of accommodation.
– When focusing on what motivates travellers to choose a specific loyalty scheme, we see that the value of each point obtained and the price are priority for both business and pleasure travellers.
First and foremost, it’s about boosting brand participation, taking into account that more than half of leisure travellers who are part of a loyalty scheme have not used their points. Maybe it is because loyalty schemes focus on business travellers, but each chain or hotel must decide which segment they want to be loyal, and then adapt their promotions and schemes, as most travellers would pay a little more to stay in their favourite hotel chain. Loyalty therefore is transformed into income.
- So, what is a hotel client looking for?
Whether for business or pleasure, they say room quality is the main reason to choose a hotel. Then they add personal preferences such as accessibility, promotions or services. Leisure travellers are less tied to schemes as they focus more on prices in their search, looking for the best offers within the requirements they have.
Undoubtedly, loyalty schemes are essential, but they are only part of the strategy, an added extra, a reward for clients that love your brand, both because of what it offers and what it represents. Earning a client’s loyalty is complicated, but there are always certain recommendations that can help us and are a starting point to create bonds. It is essential that your brand be in line with the values of the clients that we want to be loyal, you need to show that you practice what you preach and make this known so as to attract clients that share the same values.
Apart from this, you need to offer an experience that satisfies your clients, offer them something different, exceptional, something that meets and, even better, surpasses all their expectations. And if on top of all this we add an extra benefit such as a loyalty scheme, it is another incentive for someone who is now more than just a client.