Loyalty pays

A loyal guest allows hotels to reduce acquisition costs if customers book directly

Loyalty programs: speeding up profits for hotels

Hotel profitability is very much dependant on customer loyalty and according to recent figures from Roiback, a specialist in the management of the direct channel of hotel sales, a loyal and regular customer can spend 67% more than a new one. A loyal guest allows the hotel to reduce the acquisition cost if the customer reserves through the direct channel instead from another platform.

Roiback managing director, Ms Rebeca González, said: "A customer will be satisfied when he feels comfortable, pleased and happy throughout his experience, which must be shown in all the touch points: from the very first moment when he searches the hotel on Google until he stays there, going through any questions he may ask, and of course throughout the stay and the post-stay."

"Customers want instant gratification, flexibility, simplicity and, above all, customisation, according to their preferences or expectations," she added. About 46% of consumers will consider that a loyalty program is not good if it does not offer economic advantages or incentives. According to an Oracle study, 86% of consumers would be willing to share personal data if they get bonuses adapted to their profile.

Mr Leonor de L'Hermite, Google's Business Travel lead in Southern Europe, said 54% of loyalty program members in the travel sector in the US are not active," so it is "key" to understand the audience and their intention to maximise the resources invested.

"Google has registered up to 74 points of contact on the customer's journey until they make a reservation and that is where machine learning allows us to understand the signals that work during trip planning to identify the user's intention," he said.

The company identified four profiles with different behaviours, from "traditional loyalty" or "experiential loyalty" to "opportunist" or "completely disenrolled" and highlighted the importance of allocating resources to attract the first two profiles.

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