Give a little extra to loyal hotel customers – Get rewarded big-time!

When considering the resources available to the independent hotel, what immediately comes to mind? Room inventory, pricing, location… but what about the customer? It’s much more efficient to maintain a loyal customer base than to consistently be on the lookout for new sources of revenue. These days, customers like to feel an emotional connection to the businesses they invest their money into – after all, times are tough, time is money, and nobody has a second to waste! Giving a little extra to your loyal customers will keep them coming back to patronize your establishment… and will probably get them to spend a little more money each time too!

Of the ways to inspire customer loyalty, the rewards program sits right at the top. How many times have you purchased a footlong sandwich just so you could get the tenth one free? Loyalty rewards work equally well in the hospitality industry. From free stays to complimentary breakfast, parking, and other amenities offered once a certain dollar threshold is reached, when a customer believes they are getting something more from your business than they would elsewhere, it inspires devotion. Win their hearts (and their wallets) with a rewards program!

Sitting right beneath the rewards program is personalization. When guests stay at your hotel, you collect customer information. Use this information to your advantage by personalizing marketing materials with names, and if you really want to go the extra effort, learn a thing or two about loyal customers and mention it. A hobby, an interest, something that seems superfluous to you might be a customer’s passion. When you bring it up, you become associated with that passion in their mind, and they will return that passion with increased patronage and repeat business.

Ask your customers for feedback. Nothing is static, and improvement is always a possibility. When given the chance, ask your customers how you’re doing, or how they enjoyed their stay. What could you be doing better? Granted, there will be a subsection of customers who are unhappy for reasons beyond your control, but a reasonable percentage will provide you with valuable information you can then use to improve your efforts across the board. People like to feel valued – give them the chance through customer feedback. 

In the modern world, it’s nearly impossible to avoid social media. If you have leveraged your business’ social media efforts, interact with your customers. Customers who realize there is a person behind a corporate name are more forgiving of mistakes, and more likely to feel they are helping out. Establishing a rapport can give customers the feeling they are part of the mission, and they will emotionally invest in your organization. Emotional investment means monetary investment, and soon, they’ll even be referring their friends and family to you!

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