If you thought that loyalty programmes were a thing of the past, think again!
If possible, loyalty programmes today are more important than ever before as the hospitality industry is trying to recuperate the losses incurred over the past two years as a result of COVID-19.
To illustrate the importance of loyalty with a few numbers:
- Loyalty programme members account for three-fourths of hotel website bookings. (Phocuswright)
- Hotel loyalty programmes account for a 57% increase in room revenue (The Centre for Hospitality Research)
The value of hotel loyalty programmes is indisputable. However, for many hotels, it can feel daunting to design a profitable and successful loyalty programme.
Guy Stehlik, CEO BON Hotels, shares four ways for hotels to make the most of their loyalty programme:
Think ‘instant gratification’
Who doesn’t like a freebie? Make sure your loyalty programme plays into people’s love for instant gratification.
At BON Hotels we’ve developed an instantly-accessible, no-fuss hospitality rewards programme, BONami, with immediate benefits and discounts.
As soon as hotel guests sign up (with an annual membership fee of just R690), they receive reduced rates as well as vouchers to the value of R16,000 for complimentary stays and complimentary breakfast.
Keep it simple
The last thing hotel guests want to do is perform complicated calculations to figure out if they have earned a reward yet. Collecting and redeeming points needs to be simple, straightforward and quick.
In addition to an impressive number of freebies (like free Wi-Fi and free parking) and vouchers, the BONami concept is simple: for every stay at a participating BON Hotel, BONami members will earn BONami bonus crowns. Once a card has been filled with 20 crowns, the BONami card can be exchanged for a complimentary two-night stay voucher for two people sharing at any BON Hotel in Africa.
Make it personal
Why do loyalty programmes work? Customers want to feel appreciated and be rewarded with valuable perks that are customised to their preferences.
At BON Hotels, we have found that room upgrades, early check-in, late check-outs and personalised requests are a great way to reward customers. Just let
the Hotel know how they can make your stay extra special, and they’ll get the room ready … just the way you like it.
All BONami members are also entitled to a complimentary room upgrade at no additional cost, subject to availability. They may also request an early check-in from 12h00 or a late checkout up until 16h00 – which is important to many travellers.
Make it worthwhile
During a time where most customers have become extremely price-sensitive, offering discounted rates in return for loyalty remains a winner. BONami members all receive 20% off the available rate-of-the-day at all BON Hotels in Africa, 5% off any advertised accommodation special and dining discounts of up to 50%.
With demand snapping back for both leisure and business travel, loyalty programme members are leading the way. We expect that loyalty will continue to evolve in the months and years to come, but one thing to remember is that you need to own – and nurture – the relationship with your customer in order to develop a ‘guest for life’.