Loyalty programs: tactics to boost results in 2014
Already planning ahead for Q2 and Q3, hotel brands should also consider new ways to put their guests front and center of improved loyalty programs, utilize data more effectively and implement creative strategies that turn infrequent travelers into frequent guests.
With March just around the corner, it's "business as usual" for the hospitality industry. Brazil is building 25,000 new hotel rooms in preparation for the 2014 World Cup while in the US, research firm STR has projected a decrease in revenue per available room (RevPAR) for 2014. For hotel managers worldwide, RevPAR is critical: how many people are traveling and what price will they pay for a room?
Loyalty, too, is crucial in helping hotel brands attract and retain customers, generate revenue and remain competitive. Brands have found that, rather than raise program reward thresholds - a 2013 tactic that created "mattress runners" and did little for guest loyalty - they should genuinely invest in their guests.
In order to do this, hotels should focus more on data analysis, understanding customer segments, and measuring behaviors before, during and after program participation. Only then can hotel brands consider specific loyalty tactics to boost program results - including tiered rewards structures, marketing to Millennials, targeting potential brand ambassadors with exclusive offers for area residents and incorporating augmented reality (AR) into the customer experience.
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