How do you retain a hotel guest?

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When a guest stays in your hotel and is satisfied with it, you would like them to come back, wouldn't you? However, on a new stay, he may well book at another hotel if you do nothing to encourage him to return home. More attractive than before, loyalty programs now offer more value to the customer and are an integral part of the marketing strategy. But what exactly does it consist of? And why do you have to create a loyalty program? And what kinds of benefits do you need to offer?

What is a loyalty program?

A loyal guest is a guest who returns to the same hotel during his various stays for this destination. However, customer loyalty tends to decline from 38% in 2009 to 23% today. The Internet is largely responsible for this evolution by allowing customers to do their research and bookings directly online. A loyal customer is also a customer who has good reason to come back to the same place. Indeed, one does not go to a hotel for the property itself. You go there for professional reasons, for private reasons or for holidays. The average attendance rate is higher among customers on business trips. Leisure guests, although loyal, may only stay 2 to 3 times a year, or even once a year or even less. After being, for a time, abandoned, loyalty programs seem to be experiencing a resurgence of interest on the part of customers. Luxury hotels, in particular, are experiencing a significant increase in their attendance by membership card holders, as well as establishments in the economic segment.

Should we create a loyalty program?

The benefits for a hotel to offer a loyalty program to its guests are no longer to be demonstrated. This marketing tool allows to revive and maintain the activity, even and especially during the low season. It is common knowledge that it is easier to bring back an existing customer than to find new customers. In addition, the financial costs of a loyalty transaction are slightly lower for a better result. Indeed, unless he is a masochist, a returning customer was, in principle, satisfied during his previous stay. However, this retention is not automatic and, nevertheless, some effort is required to achieve results. Creating a loyalty program can therefore be a good idea to promote customer loyalty. However, for it to be effective, the customer must clearly feel the benefits.

List of examples/ideas for a loyalty program

There are many ways to make a loyalty program attractive. Here are some examples, simple to implement:

A privileged welcome

Identifying a loyal customer without having to report it themselves and treating them in a privileged way goes a long way to strengthening customer loyalty. The key is the quality of the service that is delivered.

Quick and efficient handling of claims

In the event of a complaint, careful listening and immediate responsiveness to compensate for reported malfunctions is a sign that customer satisfaction is the priority. This strengthens the customer's confidence in the establishment.

Thank you

Rewarding guests for their loyalty is a gesture that will be greatly appreciated by the guest who returns to a hotel. Thanking the customer for his loyalty in a natural way with small touches, during his stay, will impress the customer favorably and further reinforce his good impression.

Gifts and/or recognition

Some customers are more sensitive to personal gifts (discounts, discounts, breakfasts offered, trips, etc.). Others, on the other hand, such as CSPs, senior and senior executives and business leaders, will prefer special attention with an upgraded room, for example, a basket of fruit and drinks in the room, easy access to VIP services, free access to the hotel spa, quick chek-in/check-out, etc. In any case, to be truly attractive and appreciated, gifts and/or benefits must live up to the customer's level of loyalty.

VIP Rewards

VIP access offered for certain cultural, musical, sporting, culinary, etc. events. are also very popular with customers.

A points system

Rewards can also be directly chosen by the customer himself. By offering him the possibility to exchange points collected during previous stays for trips, concerts, festivals, VIP access, sporting events, etc. this allows him to enjoy an advantage that he will particularly appreciate since he has chosen it himself.

Seeking feedback from your most loyal customers

Ask your most loyal customers for advice in order to evolve your offer. They know your hotel well and their opinion can be valuable to you. Invite them to try new products: pastries, fruit juices for breakfast, new bedding, control room, etc. They will be very flattered to be considered for their opinion as part of the hotel improvement. Setting up a loyalty program is very important for a hotel. Not only does this allow it to ensure a regular occupancy rate for some customers, but it also keeps in touch with its customers. For its part, the loyal customer appreciates the benefits but, however, a loyalty program alone is not enough. Quality services must also be provided in order to maintain customer satisfaction at its highest level!

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