Chris Reed
Aug 27, 2012

Are hotel loyalty schemes worth staying with?

54% of loyalty program members in a new study say that they feel so inundated by irrelevant messages and impersonal emails that they’re ready to unsubscribe to the program and switch brands. ...

Are hotel loyalty schemes worth staying with?

54% of loyalty program members in a new study say that they feel so inundated by irrelevant messages and impersonal emails that they’re ready to unsubscribe to the program and switch brands. Surely this is the opposite to what any good loyalty scheme should do for a loyal customer?

Have hotel loyalty schemes had their day? Is a new way of thinking needed that puts the customer first and conservative processdriven thinking last? Is it time there was a more personal approach or should hotel loyalty schemes be abandoned altogether and hotels should just focus on excelling in providing the customers with an experience to remember and to tell their friends about and make them want to come back? That would the ultimate in customer loyalty accentuation.

Most common complaints about hotel loyalty programs include:

  • "Too much spam and junk email" - 44%
  • "Too many conditions and restrictions" - 38%
  • "Rewards that lacked real value" - 37%

The findings were part of the Chief Marketing Officer Council’s full report about loyalty programs in general and don’t paint a pretty picture:

  • Consumers say they've become "promotion-weary." Only 40% say they bother to open loyalty program newsletter emails - emails that they themselves volunteered to receive.
  • More than 30% of marketers say they're using blogs, online communities or social networks to communicate with members, yet consumers describe them as three of the least popular ways they keep up with the programs.
  • More than 60% say they learn about programs at the place of business or while buying something.
  • Almost 20% of consumers say they've never received a personalized communication that factors in their preferences or behaviors. Nearly three-quarters (73%) say they've received one-size-fits-all promos for products or services they already have.

Here are the five loyalty programs voted tops: 1: American Express, 2: American Airlines, 3: Marriott , 4: CVS  and 5: Boots.

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