All of the mentioned leaders in the hospitality industry have well-established loyalty programs created to reward their customers. In most cases, it appears much more profitable for the customer to use the services of just one hotel because he gets large discounts by being a loyal customer. By launching efficient reward programs, hotels are likely to build a very successful relationship with their customers. For example, Marriott’s loyalty program is one of strongest sides of its relationship marketing strategy. Marriot’s loyalty program has proved to be the most efficient in the industry.
In the beginning, the company used its loyalty program to reward the most frequent guests of the hotel. With years, the loyalty program transformed into so many more benefits, because the management spent very much time developing rewards for its customers. Currently customers “earn points based on their monetary spending at our lodging operations, purchases of timeshare intervals, and, to a lesser degree, through participation in affiliated partners’ programs, such as those offered by airlines and credit card companies. ” (Marriott International, Inc. Annual Report. 2004.
Available at URL: http://www. marriott. com). Most of the customers currently consider it very prestigious to be a part of Marriott’s loyalty program. From the very beginning, the hotel was looking for ways to become a sort of a magnet for customers and make them never use the services of competitors. It could be achieved by giving outstanding service in the hotel and rewarding customers for choosing Marriott. According to J. W. Marriott, Jr. , chairman and CEO, Marriott International, the loyalty program introduced by the hotel was destined to be a great success.
“From the beginning, we knew this program was a perfect fit for our company. We have a rich tradition of taking care of our customers, and Marriott Rewards is all about rewarding our best customers for their business. ” (Marriott Rewards Celebrates 20 Years of Rewarding Loyalty. Available at URL: http://marriott. com/news/detail. mi? marrArticle=14760). Hyatt has also established a very efficient loyalty program called “Gold Passport”. Even though it is not considered the best in the industry, it greatly assists the company in retaining customers.
“Gold Passport, Hyatt’s global frequent guest program, is designed to provide you with the best in comfort, benefits and services. As a Gold Passport member, you can enjoy exclusive privileges including earning free nights with no blackout dates. ” (Introducing Hyatt Gold Passport Exclusives. Available at URL: http://goldpassport. hyatt. com/gp/index. jsp). Loyalty program of Radisson SAS which is called “Goldpoints” also serves as an efficient tool of retaining customers. “Goldpoints plusSM is excited to announce its expansion into Asia and the Pacific. Meeting clients in Tokyo?
Planning a once-in-a-lifetime trip? Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, now you can earn 10 points per U. S. dollar at participating properties in Asia and the Pacific. ” (Goldpoints Plus. Available at URL: http://www. goldpointsplus. com). A characteristic feature of hotels’ loyalty programs, as the examples show, is association of them with something valuable (such as gold) in order to attract the attention of consumers. Consumers need to know that they are going to benefit greatly from participating in the programs and being loyal to the hotel.
Many hotels also try to establish firm relationships with their customers due to the introduction of new exquisite services. For example, Hyatt has come up with an idea of improving breakfasts for its customers in order to make breakfast experience at Hyatt unforgettable for each one of their customers. “For the first time in company history, Hyatt’s breakfast menu will offer 15 exclusive, signature breakfast dishes at all of its restaurants. Plus, from Seattle to Sarasota and Palm Springs to Puerto Rico, every Hyatt hotel will offer guests four additional selections that reflect regional tastes and traditions.
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