In the face of a proliferation of online booking options and greater access to information, hotels are rethinking how they gain guests’ loyalty through partnerships and personalization.
Getting guests through the door on a regular basis is hard when many consumers make their choices based solely on price. So how do you get them to make decisions based on a relationship with a hotel brand?
We released our second e-book last month, Future of the Guest Experience — an unprecedented collection of 28 interviews with the CEOs of virtually all of the world’s top hotel groups including 11 global brands, 13 luxury and lifestyle brands, and four hotel marketing organizations.
By collecting their thoughts on a similar set of topics–from technology and marketing to fees and training–we have tackled the hospitality’s most pressing topics from every angle and gained a glimpse at what the future of hospitality will truly look like.
Below are quotes from the e-book that address the changing concept of hotel loyalty.
Sebastien Bazin, Accor
We know for a fact that customers today are going to be multi-brand and multi-segment so the level of loyalty to us or some of our competitors is getting lower and lower. They have multiple loyalty cards with multiple groups.
Loyalty isn’t going down because we’re making a very big effort towards being more disciplined and rigorous, offering better soft benefits, and having guests understand that they get the exact same price going through accorhotels.com as they would get otherwise. It’s about making them feel more and more identified, recognized, awaited-for.
Allen Smith, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Our focus, and we are very focused on it in terms of a “loyalty program,” is on recognition. Loyalty is associated with, “if I demonstrate my loyalty by staying with you, I accumulate points and get free things.”
Our feedback from our guests is they’re far less concerned about accumulating points to be redeemed for rewards as they are being in a position where they’re recognized and we understand their preferences and can serve them in that highly personalized way they’ve come to expect.
Jason Pomeranc, SIXTY Hotels
The way that guests are finding you is very different because of the same reasons. Brand loyalty is created so much through the virtual world as opposed to the way that it used to be.
Rob Katz, Vail Resorts
One of the unique things that we do here, it’s pretty unique in travel, is our season pass. Almost 40% of our lift ticket revenue comes from people who are buying a season pass. The travel industry kind of created loyalty programs so every time a guest went to a property, they would build points. Then every time the company, whether it was an airline or hotel company, added new properties or services, the new property would get these loyalty members.
Our company has kind of done the same thing where we have our own loyalty program with a focus on our season pass. We’ve said, “Look, if you buy all of your skiing from us in advance then we’ll give you a ridiculously great rate.”
We feel like we have kind unique twist on guest loyalty, and advanced booking. Because we sell our passes anywhere from two to nine months ahead of the season, we’re locking in that guest’s trip in revenue. The product has created the greatest amount of guest enthusiasm and loyalty that we have at the company.
Photo credit: A webpage promoting Hilton's HHonors program. Hilton Hotels