Let’s face it. Consumers are not “Feeling the Love” from Rewards and Loyalty programs. And why would they?
Most Loyalty programs are nothing more than PR campaigns that fill email in-boxes with unimportant information based on minimal data gathered from guests during their stays. Most Loyalty programs look at meta information from a few systems, combine it with a sales directive, and then spam guests.
So what creates loyalty? How about an end-to-end experience — from presentation of offer to check-out — that matches the implied brand experience. Guests expectations are set based on how they are treated, and most brands have a very high standard. When guests are treated properly from an end-to-end experience, any Rewards offering that lands in their email in-box needs to meet this high standard.
According to a recent study by the CMO Council called “Feeling the Love from Loyalty Club,” 54 percent of the consumers surveyed are considering moving away from brands that that offer a barrage of irrelevant messages, low-value rewards and impersonal engagements. The study also reveals that many companies are not fully leveraging data analytics, insights and relationships drawn from their loyalty and rewards programs.
The two big takeaways from this study are that brands need to implement loyalty programs that are meaningful, and that data analytics needs to be the backbone for creating this connection.
So how can we solve the problem of erosion in Loyalty programs? The key is to capture guest data during every step of the engagement and apply “Predictive Guest Marketing” or PGM, which allows brands to build personas that anticipate needs and make targeted, timely and personalized offers to guests. When combined with new and innovative concierge services, hospitality providers can develop deep relationships with guests that enhance loyalty and increase referral business.
It does not surprise me that consumers are being turned off by low-end loyalty programs. Today’s consumers are very smart and savvy and by pushing a barrage of meaningless Rewards programs on them, they will run for the door with their wallets closed.