Best Practice Guide – Hotel Customer Loyalty Program

Thinking about creating a customer loyalty program for your hotel? But not sure how to create a program that will work?

What Is A Loyalty Program & What’s the Purpose?

You may be asking yourself this question, nowadays with the rise of customer loyalty programs. From large department stores to restaurants to hotels and so on, it seems like many businesses are working on a loyalty program.

So, a customer loyalty program is a strategy used to attract and retain customers. Thus, allowing companies to build and foster deeper relationships with their customers, while customers earn points as they shop with the company.

A company which invests in creating a customer loyalty program can gain benefits from long-term loyal customers, which will increase profits. As for customers, they benefit by receiving special rewards, such as free samples, early access to new products, or special sales/offers.

Customer Loyalty Programs can be challenging for any industry, especially in the hotel industry. Competition in today’s hotel industry never seems to end and it’s easy to get lost in the clutter. Creating a kick-butt loyalty program can help you stick out and keep your guests returning. Below is SailPlay’s Secret 7-Step Guide.

Step 1 – First off, decide who you are creating this customer loyalty program for. Is it for all your guests or your VIP guests? If you don’t know who you are creating the program for, then why are you creating it in the first place? Defining a target customer base helps you tailor your message and offerings.

Step 2 – Now that you know who you are targeting with your program, you need to figure out why you are creating the program. Every loyalty program needs a value proposition that resonates with your guests, enticing them to sign up immediately.

If the value proposition of your program is to illustrate safety and security, then choosing a quote like the one below could be a good fit.

“Wherever you are, we’ll always keep a room open for you.”

Remember your value proposition should be tailored to your target audience and simple to understand, so craft carefully before deciding.

Step 3 – So now you got your target customers and your value proposition defined, let’s jump to the fun part. How are your guests going to earn points for the program?  Deciding how your customers earn points is important to keeping customers engaged. Plus the easier it is to earn points, the more likely guests are to continue participating and potentially refer friends to the program.

The table below shows possible examples of how guests can earn points at your hotel.

Actions Earn Points
Hotel Night Stays 50 Points
Gift Store Purchases 20 Points
Room Service Purchases 25 Points
Like Hotel Facebook Page 10 Points
Share Hotel on Facebook 10 Points
Share Hotel on Twitter 10 Points
Review on Facebook 10 Points
Review on TripAdvisor 10 Points
Review on Hotel Website 10 Points
Refer a Friend 20 Points
Newsletter Subscription 10 Points

Step 4 – You are halfway done setting up your loyalty program, it’s time to set-up gifts for your customers to redeem their points with. Gifts are an important way to show your customers that their business is valuable to you.

In particular, providing your guests with targeted gifts shows that you actually understand their best interest. For example, if one of your loyalty guests, Christina usually purchases room service during each of her stays, offer her a free room service order in exchange for 75 of her points. This gift shows you understand her needs and makes her experience with the loyalty program positive.

For a list of potential gifts and the number of points they are, please see the table below.

Gifts Gift Value – Points
Free Weeknight Stay 200 Points
Free Weekend Night Stay 300 Points
Hotel Gift Card – $50 100 Points
Room Service Order – Up to $25 75 Points
Free Gift from Gift Store – Up to $25 75 Points
Limo Pick-Up from Airport 100 Points
Free Laundry Service 75 Points

Remember, you set what gifts to provide and how many points each gift is worth. Just remember, provide gifts that are valuable to your customers.

Step 5 – Alright, you must be thinking what’s left to do other than choosing a customer loyalty software and building out your program, well certain loyalty platforms, such as SailPlay, can create a more engaging experience through gamification. With gamification you can create incentives and increase engagement, through tactics traditionally found in video games, to reward your guests with badges for various actions or create competitions. For example, if your guest stays at your hotel 5 times, they earn a badge as a Silver Status member. And as your guests earn badges, there benefits should ideally increase as well.

Step 6 – And at last!!!!!!! You are at the final step! Now it’s time to choose which company will help you build your ideal customer loyalty program.

Choosing a customer loyalty software companies can seem overwhelming with all the different options in market. While there are many options, remember you want a software that seamlessly integrates with all your guests touchpoints, such as your website, in-hotel and mobile app. Customers are expecting an omni-channel experience whenever they are interacting with you. SailPlay provides an omni-channel customer loyalty software that seamlessly integrates with your touchpoints. In addition with SailPlay, you can customize your program, plus manage your guests, their activities, points and rewards from just one platform. And also you can easily create automated, customized marketing campaigns to keep connected with guests and them stay engaged.

Step 7 – Whoops, I got ahead of myself there. This is a 7-step guide after all. Now it’s time to notify your current customers about your new loyalty program. Email, text, call, advertise, or do whatever it takes to let your customers and new customers know what your program is all about.

When you are alerting your customers about your new loyalty program, be sure to create a splash page (landing page) for your loyalty program. The splash page should entice guests to sign up. We recommend including the following information:

  • Purpose Of The Loyalty Program
  • Sign-Up Instructions
  • How Bonus Points Are Earned
  • What Rewards Are Available
  • How To Redeem Rewards
  • How To Earn Badges

The easier you illustrate the key aspects of your loyalty program to your customers and new customers the more successful your program will be. And remember, this guide is a secret, but your program isn’t.

Alright enough reading now. Your guests are waiting for you to make a kick-butt loyalty program. Go out and get your loyalty program created! And remember if you have any more questions on customer loyalty programs, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We can be contacted at 800-277-2342 or support@saiplay.net.

P.S. Never forget that this is a customer loyalty program, so personalize the program for them.

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