How do you keep hotel guests coming back for more?

You encourage them to become loyal to your brand – that’s how. It’s how the big boys like Starbucks, ASOS and even Amazon (Prime is a form of loyalty, after all) retain and grow their customer bases.

Loyalty schemes are still relevant in the digital age. And that’s great news, because they’re relatively easy to implement and won’t cost you a fortune to run.

They just need the right ingredients. So, here’s what your hotel guest loyalty scheme needs.

Simplicity

Above everything, the best loyalty programs are simple to get your head around. There are no long-winded terms and conditions and no imposed, awkward barriers you have to overcome to receive rewards.

Take the classic coffee chain loyalty program, for instance. They give you a card (yes, a real piece of cardboard), and stamp it when you buy a coffee. If you return and buy five more coffees, they’ll continue to stamp it and give you a seventh free.

Don’t force your loyalty program members to jump through hoops to sign-up or earn their rewards. Make yours as simple as gaining a free cup of coffee.

Value

In the coffee chain example, the value of being a loyalty member is simple (there’s that word again).

If you become a regular customer, you’ll get a free coffee every once in a while. 

You like coffee. It feels like a reward. 

Doesn’t take much figuring out that it’s worth it, does it?

Hotel guests will react if they’re given the impetus to do something. For example, a discounted second stay or free bottle of wine in the room during their next visit is probably enough in terms of value to tempt them back through the doors.

Consistency

That free cup of coffee will always be available, and the method by which you receive it will rarely – if ever – change.

The best loyalty systems are consistent and never serve up any nasty surprises. This works brilliantly in an age of instant gratification where consumers expect rewards to arrive quickly and as expected.

It’s why you need to follow up on all of the promises outlined during the sign-up phase of your hotel’s loyalty program. Avoid tweaking the rewards or methods by which members can grab them, unless it’s for their benefit.

Personalisation

We all know that hotel guests are unique; no two have the same exact requirements.

This means your loyalty scheme will need to be personal to each member. 

That might sound tricky on the face of it, but if you’re using the right property management software, you should have enough detail about past guest stays to tailor the rewards your loyalty program offers.

You don’t have to do this on a one-by-one basis, either. You can simply segment your guest database so that the most appropriate rewards end up with the right people. For instance, those who regularly book a certain type of room may be enticed by a free upgrade to a higher class room of that type.

Stay Connected

It shouldn’t be a time consuming manual process to work out what the rewards are. Connect your loyalty system to your PMS and let the system do the work.

Finally: never stop evolving the loyalty program

We mentioned earlier that your loyalty program needs consistency if it’s to be successful, but it still needs to evolve.

Keep an eye on how your loyalty scheme performs and what people are saying about it. Periodically run member surveys to find out what people do and don’t like about being a member.

Make strategic, sensible, considerate changes based on that feedback, and don’t stop doing so. Your loyalty program will never be ‘finished’, but it should evolve consistently to ensure the membership base expands rapidly.

CMS Hospitality holds over 30 years of experience in delivering hospitality software solutions. CMS offers the most complete solution in hospitality software, whether you’re running a hotel, a resort or a hostel. Our highly experienced support and installations team holds a unique understanding of the hospitality industry. We will aim to provide software that suits your property’s needs.

Call us today at (+61) 2 9440 9711, or email us at sales@cmshospitality.com. We will be happy to guide you to the CMS Hospitality solution that’s right for you.