Briefing: Convenience now key to customer loyalty

Author: Guy Lean

According to research from J.D. Power, 41% of loyalty members chose a program that was most convenient for the locations they travel to. The report also found that satisfaction with loyalty programs is highest among Gen Y members. However, in a separate survey Software Advice found that only 14% of Gen Y (18-34 year olds) participate in a hotel loyalty program. The industry is now finding new ways to define and encourage loyalty.

In these videos experts discuss how loyalty fits it into hospitality today:

Digital disruption has meant that loyalty is now lacking across many industries, not just hospitality. According to Accenture we now live in a “switching economy” that accounts for an estimated $6.2 trillion in revenue opportunity for providers across 17 key markets today.

Loyalty programs are still popular where the purchase is part of everyday routine i.e grocery shopping. Rewards that can be used routinely are also more popular. According to an Excentus consumer survey 37% of consumers prefer fuel saving rewards. Whereas only 17% prefer Airline miles and 14% prefer hotel points.

Staff communication is still driving much of loyalty participation in hotels. The J.D. Power 2015 Hotel Loyalty/Rewards Program Satisfaction Report found that 41% of members learned of their rewards program from a hotel employee during check-in/check-out.

Software Advice’s survey found that 51% of millennials who do participate in loyalty programs use their rewards on free or discounted stays. 51% said they would find a loyalty app useful, although 49% of respondents say they prefer to learn about their loyalty points via email.

The Switchfly Hotel Reward Payback Survey conducted by IdeaWorksCompany looked at “rewards payback”, reward value returned for every dollar spent on hotel rates. It looked at Starwood SPG, IHG Rewards, Hilton Hhonors and Marriott Rewards and found that Marriott Rewards had the highest average rewards payback at 9.4%. Value did vary depending on location and dates of the stay, and the highest payback result found in the survey was 24% for a stay in Hilton Beijing in February.

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Video clips produced by for the Hospitality Channel, including interview from industry conferences such as the IHIF conference as well as specific Hospitality Channel shoots.