Businesses that earn customer loyalty have a much easier road to sustainability and profitability. Here are six customer loyalty signals that can tell you you’re on the right path.

6 Customer Loyalty Signals that Show Your Strategy is Working

Brands that earn customer loyalty reap the benefits in repeat purchases, referrals and more. Earning loyalty is easier said than done, and once won can still be lost – but it’s worth it! Here some loyalty marketing strategies that can help you identify customer loyalty signals when you see them in your business.

It’s possible that lot of the marketing effort and resources that get invested on customer acquisition efforts could be saved if brands would focus more on customer retention and loyalty and learned to spot the customer loyalty signals that prove ROI. While retention is one marker of customer loyalty, it’s no guarantee that your customer loyalty marketing strategy is actually doing the job. Here are six customer loyalty signals you should be looking for as proof that your loyalty marketing plan is working.

6 Customer Loyalty Signals You Should Be Looking For

You might also like: 8 Baselines for Meeting Customer Expectations

6 Customer Loyalty Signals You Should Be Looking For

63% – Customer Comes Back to Buy Again, Subscribes, or Signs on to a Long Term Contract

When clients sign on for the long term or come back to buy on a regular basis it’s a pretty good sign that your products or services are meeting their needs. While this is the top marker of customer loyalty, it’s important to remember that repeat buying is not necessarily a signal of customer loyalty, it could simply be a signal that customers haven’t found a better option. If they do, minus real brand affinity and a sense of loyalty, chances are they will jump ship. When looking at repeat buying and retention, best to consider this as a marker of customer loyalty only when other signals are also present.

57% – Customer Refers Friends and Colleagues to the Business

Repeat buying behavior accompanied by referrals are a clear sign that your customer feels like they have found a good thing and want everyone to know about it. Even though loyalty implies a relationship over the long term, don’t forget that new customers might actually be most enthusiastic about recommending your business to their friends and colleagues at the beginning of your relationship, when they first realize how awesome your business is, and make sure that your loyalty marketing strategy encourages referrals at every phase of the customer life cycle.

Review sites and social networks make it possible for customers to refer total strangers as well as friends, family or colleagues to your business. As you consider referral rewards or incentives, don’t overlook the value of social proof in creating word of mouth referrals.

53% – Customer is Emotionally Invested in the Relationship

The word ‘loyalty’ itself is invested with emotional connotations, which is one reason why repeat buying behaviors alone may not be indicative of true customer loyalty: Loyalty; noun, a strong feeling of support or allegiance. When people are loyal to you, you can trust them to have your back. They will give you the benefit of the doubt if something goes wrong. They will give you second chances. They will defend you; they may even fight for you.

The fact is, the things we spend most of our time focused on when it comes to marketing (e.g., pricings, features and benefits) don’t inspire this type of emotional connection. Loyalty marketing strategies must speak to the customer experience and look for ways to create emotional connections based on things that really matter to people, like vision, values, causes, and guiding principles.

45% – Customers are Highly Satisfied

When was the last time you actually took some type of measurement when it comes to levels of customer satisfaction? Businesses that are serious about customer loyalty marketing must be obsessed with customer satisfaction, and they must find ways to measure and track it over time, with the launch of new programs and products, with the implementation of changes to the customer experience, and so on.

44% – Customers Perceive They Are Getting a High Value

When customers perceive they are receiving a high value in return for their investment, it’s not just about price. All wrapped up in this concept is the idea that you could be charging more but you aren’t because you care about the customer as much—or more—as you do making a buck.

Not only does this perception stimulate repeat buying behavior and referrals, it also encourages emotional investment. Customers that perceive they are receiving a high value from your business are much more likely to feel a vested interest in keeping your business in business and helping to make it profitable, so that they can keep on receiving the high value they perceive you provide.

31% – Customers Spend More Over Time

When customers don’t just come back to buy from you on a regular basis but also increase the number of items, services or upgrade to more expensive options, it’s a good indication that you have laid the foundation for loyalty. In particular, it may speak to the trust they have in your business because of the value they perceive as well as their satisfaction with the relationship so far.

As customers demonstrate an interest in deepening their relationship with your business by purchasing more items, more expensive items or items they haven’t purchased from your business before, take the time to reach out with questions about the customer experience, a customer satisfaction survey, and incentives that could encourage them to refer friends or colleagues to your business.

***

Tying customer loyalty programs to the point of sale increases your ability to get customers to come back more often, spend more on impulse purchases and get more referrals and reviews. Ask us about POS software that enables you to manage your customer loyalty program seamlessly, trigger automated marketing and strengthen your relationships with customers:

First Name
Last Name
Email Address
Phone Number:
Most Interested In:

 

The end of room service? Not so fast! Reignite traveler demand for your hotel and its room service with these four hotel marketing strategies.

Hotel Marketing Strategies – 5 Types of Travelers Can Revive Hotel Room Service Revenues

While some hotels have decided that the sun has set on room service as one aspect of the service they provide to travelers, others are taking a closer look before deciding to follow suit. Before you decide to discard room service at your hotel, try turning it into a profit center by catering your room service menu to these five different types of travelers.

Like any other tactical part of your operations, room service should be viewed as a tool you can leverage to achieve your overall hotel marketing strategy. Since some hotels are calling it quits as far as room service for travelers, you may be able to carve out a competitive advantage for your hotel and improve your ability to attract new guests and ensure repeat guest visits by coming up with a creative approach to room service.

One size may fit all (or at least most) when it comes to the room at your hotel, but thinking one-dimensionally about your hotel’s room service will not fit all of your guests. Travelers come in all shapes and sizes and numbers, and not everyone is looking for chocolate covered strawberries and champagne. Use these entrepreneur.com-inspired ideas to tweak your hotel room service, turn it into a profit center and create a strategic competitive advantage.

Hotel Marketing – 5 Types of Hotel Guests Turn Room Service into Revenue

Instead of taking a “one-size-fits-all” approach, think about ALL the reasons people might want room service and create segmented room service options tailored to meet their needs, such as room service menu items for these five different types of traveler stays.

1. People who aren’t feeling well

Often the reason that hotel guests stay in and order hotel room service is because they aren’t feeling well or are recuperating from common effects of travel (not sleeping well, staying out too late, attending parties, etc.) These travelers are not looking for exotic, rich room service menu items – they need something simple.

Create a menu of room service options just for recuperating travelers with items like chicken soup, saltines and 7-up that comes with a side of antacid, Tylenol or Tylenol PM.

2. People traveling with small children

Hotel guests traveling with children may prefer room service to corralling kids who are weary from travel or tourist activities, especially if your room service options are perfectly chosen and perfectly sized for them. Think about creating room service options for travelers with kids like peanut butter and jelly picnic trays, pizza and ice cream or even kid-friendly meals bundled with an in-room family movie and fresh-popped popcorn.

3. Couples in search of romance and privacy

Attract more honeymooners to your hotel by creating room service packages with room service menu choices geared just for them. Here is where you will find those chocolate-covered-strawberries and champagne, but you can also think in terms of omelets for 2 and other room service menu options designed for couples.

4. People traveling for work

Your room service items for people traveling for work (or who may even be using your hotel rooms as temporary work spaces, meeting rooms, etc.) should be designed for quick delivery. Beyond food and beverages that you could have delivered within 15 minutes (like bagels, cream cheese and yogurt, or cheese, meat and cracker platters, veggie trays and other options that could easily be scaled for one or two or even a larger group of people) you could also put some non-edibles on the room service menu. Those traveling for work may appreciate being able to order pens, legal pads, and zip drives along with bottled coffee and energy drinks.

5. Hotel guests with special nutrition needs

It’s hard enough to “eat right” at home where people can be sure to include all they need and exclude things they cannot or should not consume; it’s doubly hard to do so while traveling! Think about guests who have special dietary needs due to allergies or who may want to subscribe to various types of vegetarian, gluten-free, low carb, high protein or other weight loss, gain or maintenance diets.

You might also like: 3 Room Service Reboots that Generate Revenue

***

If you need a hotel point of sale solution to more-efficiently capture guest’s room service, restaurant and other hotel credit card transactions, we can help. Get a free, no-risk quote for restaurant merchant services, even if you just want to compare it against your current card processing fees.

Interested in (check all that apply)

From restaurants, salons, co-working spaces, fitness classes and more, new hotel marketing strategies prove hotels aren’t just for travel anymore.  

Hotel Marketing Strategies – Not Just for Travel Anymore

Hoteliers realize that today’s travelers are looking for more than a place to lay their head at night. Improving guest amenities makes them more competitive and turns hotels themselves into a destination not just for distant travelers, but local residents as well.

Hotel marketing strategies that create profit centers in the hotel can help bring in revenue during the off-season and provides the type of diversification that can help them weather economic lulls.

Previously we reported on the ways hotels were transforming public spaces in order to attract business professionals as well as travelers. Not only has that trend continued, but hotels are adding more and more guest amenities that can help them competitively with guests from both near and afar.

4 Hotel Marketing Strategies Turn Hotels into Destinations for Locals and Travelers Alike

  1. World Class Fitness Centers

Marriott brand is building a massive fitness facility in downtown Chicago as “proof of concept” before expanding to additional locations. The center will have high-tech, modern fitness equipment and offer classes for families and children, including yoga, Pilates and more.

  • 90% + of luxury hotels have fitness centers
  • 85% of mid-priced hotels have fitness centers
  • 67% of economy hotels have fitness centers
  • 35% of budget hotels even have fitness centers

The world class fitness center Marriott is building in Chicago represents an evolution, in an attempt to differentiate Marriott from the majority of hotels, since 84% of US hotels had a fitness center as of 2014. In 2004, only six in ten had fitness centers.

Why it works: The fitness center become a curiosity to people traveling to and through Chicago and a reason to prefer Marriott over other brands. The idea of offering classes and expertise also makes it a potential draw to local residents who want to join and enjoy the fitness center’s amenities year-round.

  1. Salons and Spas

Salons are practically recession-proof; after all, people will always need hair services. Hotels with thriving salons and spas have the advantage of a steady stream of revenue from services that take up a relatively small amount of space. Some hoteliers are taking the concept to the next level in order to create a competitive advantage, especially within the luxury hotel market.

There’s a new upscale, boutique hotel under construction in Buffalo, New York called the Curtiss Hotel that promises to do just that. Developer Mark Croce notes that the Curtiss Hotel “will be the most exclusive property in western New York… a full-service hotel in a boutique package.” In addition to its 68 rooms, the hotel will house a revolving bar, heated toilet seats and Roman baths. The spa will be the city’s first – and only – all-weather urban hot springs Roman bath facility, and will be located in a spa area near the entrance along with a fitness center, massage rooms and a men’s boutique hair salon.

Why it works: As an appeal to exclusivity and with only 68 rooms, the Curtiss Hotel offers guests an experience that few others will get to enjoy. Locating its Roman bath spa, massage rooms and a boutique men’s hair salon adjacent to public areas also makes it a desirable destination for local professionals.

  1. Co-Working Spaces

WeWork.com may be one of the most successful examples of co-working spaces done right in urban areas. Not only do they provide much-needed space for entrepreneurs, salespeople and startups, they don’t just provide co-working space, they sponsor events, publish resources and bring in expert speakers to inspire and mentor their members.

In the New Year you can expect more hotels in urban areas to build out co-working spaces, suites and meeting rooms to attract business travelers and local business professionals as well. In Predicting the Rise of the Smart Hotel on skift.com, Greg Oates describes this type of hotel this way:

The Smart Hotel of the future adapts to any building, and it’s plugged into a city’s open data platform to provide a new and untapped hospitality user experience that prioritizes efficiency, connectivity and mobility.”

The article goes on to define the smart hotel’s use of the IoT (internet of things) makes it a natural urban sharer – from everything to restaurant openings, public barbecues, social and professional connectivity and – yes – co-working spaces.

The Workshop Café in San Francisco is an excellent example of the type of urban hotels that will emerge in the years ahead. Located on the edge of the city’s Financial District, people can pay $2 an hour on their stored credit card to use the half of the hotel restaurant dedicated for paying co-workers. Their app even has an opt-in community page that facilitates professional introductions and even paves the way for entrepreneurial partnerships.

Why it works: The smart hotel of tomorrow appeals to business travelers and local business professionals who need office space in the city where they can work, conduct sales presentations, connect with prospects or colleagues worldwide via technology, and so on. Hotels that develop co-working services can even book out unused hotel rooms as private offices or convert surplus rooms to co-working spaces, meeting rooms and small conference areas, thereby establishing new and consistent streams of rental revenues.

  1. Signature Restaurants and Eateries

Hotels and restaurants have always made for good partnerships; everybody has to eat and for travelers, having the option to eat without venturing out onto unfamiliar streets often makes the hotel restaurant a natural first choice. However, convenience isn’t enough, especially for hotels that want to draw in local residents for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, whether their appeal is more to business or non-business guests.

In New Jersey, the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa is banking on celebrity. Michael Symon, who appears regularly on ABC’s daytime talk show The Chew and the Food Network will be heading up a new Italian restaurant at the Borgata in 2016. Ostensibly, it works. Symon will be joining a superstar culinary lineup that also includes Iron Chefs Bobby Flay and Geoffrey Zakarian as well as Wolfgang Puck.

Why it works: A signature restaurant has the ability to motivate travelers to stay and to attract local residents who are curious to find out what all the buzz is about. Having celebrities in the house also appeals to people who want to hobnob with the rich and famous or who are fans, personally.

That said, it’s worth noting that you don’t have to have the type of money a celebrity would need to build a signature hotel restaurant. What you do need is a buzz-worthy concept that is ground-breaking, unique, and has the ability to create intrigue. Many restaurants have become household names for travelers after appearing on travel and food shows, or being named as well-rated on travel apps and websites.

***

We offer hotel financing that can be ideal for renovating hotels and motels, or for adding amenities intrinsic to hotel marketing strategies like salons, restaurants and fitness centers to your list of restaurant guest amenities. In addition, we can partner with your hotel to create an efficient hotel credit card processing solution that boosts revenues through easy impulse buying and hotel loyalty marketing.

Get more information or request hotel financing rates using the quick quote form below.

 

Interested in (check all that apply)

They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. If that is true, then as hotel marketing strategies go, improving your hotel’s room service options could be the way to capture the affection and loyalty of guests, and help boost revenue, too.

Hotel Marketing Strategies – 3 Room Service Reboots for Hotel Loyalty and Referrals

In the second of two articles on hotel marketing strategies, we lay out three more tactics that can help you turn room service into a point of differentiation to grow a hospitality business.

In part one we gave the first of our four hotel marketing ideas that can help you reboot your hotel’s room service in order to make it cost effective and create a competitive advantage for you with travelers, which was to stop thinking about room service as an elaborate menu or as a one-size-fits-all menu. Instead, we advise that you think about five different types of hotel guests that might choose your hotel, and create room service options that are personalized based on guest personas.

Now we will continue the conversation with three more hotel marketing strategies based on improving room service in your hotel. And it’s worth pointing out that these same tactics could help you attract customers and boost revenue for a hotel restaurant, not just room service.

Hotel Marketing Strategies – 3 Room Service Reboots Spark Guest Loyalty and Referrals

Add Value

Travelers stuck in their rooms due to weather, fatigue, illness or who are traveling with others might want to watch a movie, read a book or surf the internet.

Create room service options bundled with selections, such as a continental breakfast and WiFi package for travelers or a movie, pizza and popcorn bundle for guests traveling with kids.

Buy copies of a book of the month based on popular reading lists. Or collect books left behind and set up a library where guests can leave something they finished reading and take something they haven’t.

Provide copies of local interest magazines (wineries, restaurants, museums, state parks or local attractions) and encourage local publishers to provide your guests with in-room copies featuring local tourist destinations, shopping and other destinations that will help boost the local economy.

Give Away Samples

Grocery stores, big box retailers and countless other types of retail businesses have been marketing products and even services using samples for decades. Why not promote your room service options the same way?

Set up a guest hospitality station right in the lobby with a few choice samples and photos of some of your most popular room service items. On your display, note how quickly you could have the menu item delivered to their room or point out cost and time benefits vs. local dining options.

Providing guests with a sample of one of your menu items upon check in or arrival in their room could set the stage for an order during their stay, especially if you have done your homework and attempted to provide them with an item personalized to the traveler persona they most represent.

Do the marketing needed to make using and ordering room service as convenient and appealing as possible.

If people don’t know that your room service is something special, you can’t blame them for disregarding it.

Promote services with strategically placed advertising in-room (perhaps by the phone and television), with posters on elevators, hallways and walkways, using digital displays, in engaging lobby displays, leaving pool areas, leaving fitness center, etc.

Don’t neglect digital options in the tactics of your hotel marketing strategies. Send emails featuring your guest-favorite room service items to registered guests a few days before their arrival or even during their stay. Allow them to pre-order and pre-pay for room service items at a discount, digitally. Feature your segmented room service options on your website and social networks.

Give desk staff scripts to deliver based on traveler persona at the time of check in noting the room service option most suitable to them and giving them a room service voucher featuring a special offer at the time of check in (especially for repeat visitors or those loyal to the chain.

If you have a display or samples in the lobby, set up computer (or even old-fashioned paper form and pen) to encourage guests to take advantage of a special offer and order right from the lobby for later.

Over the years hotels have provided room service as a standard, but many have done so without approaching room service as a strategic part of their hotel marketing mix or expecting it to be a profitable and important part of the hotel guest experience. With hotels discontinuing room service due to lack of ROI, the door is opened to others to turn it into a selling point that helps to differentiate their hotel and become more profitable.

***

We offer hotel financing that can be ideal for hotel renovations or improving room service as part of hotel guest amenities. In addition, we can partner with your hotel to create an efficient hotel credit card processing solution that boosts revenues through easy impulse buying and hotel loyalty marketing.

Get more information or request hotel financing rates using the quick quote form below.

 

Interested in (check all that apply)

Hotel Marketing Ideas – For hotels and motels, having a thriving loyalty program could bring serious business right to their doorstep, even during slow seasons.

Hotel Loyalty Programs Among Hotel Marketing Ideas that Bring Guests in More Often

A thriving loyalty program could be one of the key hotel marketing ideas you need to implement to grow. Recent data tells the tale, with some loyalty marketing programs accounting for nearly 80 percent of online bookings. If your hotel rewards or loyalty program is ho-hum, it’s not likely to do the job of maximizing occupancy and getting recommendations and word of mouth marketing from guests. On the other hand, some hotels are seeing big returns from even small investments in loyalty rewards; for instance:

  • TravelClick – loyalty program members account for almost 80% of all nights booked through a hotel’s website (hotelmarketing.com)
  • Starwood Hotels & Resorts – more than 50% of its occupancy during the second quarter came from its Starwood Preferred Guest program (HotelNewsNow.com)

6 Hotel Marketing Ideas for Loyalty Programs that Engage

These are six types of hotel loyalty rewards that can help increase brand awareness, and cultivate enthusiastic brand advocates and brand ambassadors for your hotel or motel.

1. Sign EVERYBODY up! This:

  • Opens up regular marketing communication for top of mind brand awareness
  • Creates opportunities for two-way dialogue and gaining valuable feedback
  • Enables social sharing and makes it easier for hotel loyalty members to make personal recommendations and share your emails and social updates with their own networks
  • Makes it much more likely that travelers will go to your website to check out room availability (vs. booking flight plus hotel on a travel website or simply looking for lowest cost room available)
  • Creates an implicit agreement or relationship

2. Go beyond the expected (and boring) “buy 9 get the 10th night free” punch card mentality.

“Programs used to be comprised of a simple points system, but as the number of programs grows, companies are finding they have to differentiate by offering personalized experiences or rewards,” (from “Loyalty Programs are Worth the Cost” on hotelnewsnow.com).

  • Use surveys, polls and other feedback to find out what individual travelers value and personalize their rewards accordingly
  • Don’t give away free rooms, give away free upgrades! Rewarding hotel loyalty members with automatic upgrades when better rooms are available makes a big impact without affecting your bottom line

3. Gain brand advocates by mixing convenience and luxury with loyalty; such as, 

  • VIP and exclusive “perks” make people feel special; people like to feel special!
  • Low cost, high impact loyalty rewards might include throwing in the WiFi and movie channels or gifting hotel loyalty program members with free salon and spa services, massages, yoga or fitness instruction and other personal services that people really appreciate – but don’t always indulge in
  • Free meals at your hotel’s restaurants or room service during their stay could save them a lot and cost your hotel very little, they also provide a valuable point of convenience for travelers
  • Partnering with a local car rental or limo service to make free or upgraded transportation available as a redemption reward could provide travelers not only with a convenient reward but may also satisfy a desire for prestige or luxury

4. Partner up and gift grab bags to your hotel loyalty program members with items such as:

  • Tickets to local concerts, plays and other cultural events
  • Passes to local movie theaters, comedy clubs, bowling alleys or other entertainment venues
  • Restaurants
  • Golf courses
  • Fitness centers
  • Independent boutiques and neighborhood stores
  • Salons and spas

5. Surprise them with something after the sale.

Cap off a great guest experience at your hotel with a post-stay thank you (such as a gift card to shop online on amazon.com or delivery of branded hat, shirt, etc. or another personalized gift) along with an invitation to leave feedback via survey, your social media networks or leave an online review or rating.

6. Last but not least, don’t take hotel loyalty program members for granted!

Even if you are giving away freebies and upgrades, it’s a mistake to think that you don’t need to exceed hotel guest expectations throughout their experience as your customer. Generating word of mouth marketing, referrals and repeat business depends on gaining top of mind awareness and building a strong affinity for your hotel brand among travelers.

“The hotel loyalty program’s value is derived from the intrinsic value of the brand of which it is a part, Barnello said. If guests value the brand, they will also value the loyalty program as an extension of that.” — Michael Barnello, CEO LaSalle Hotel Properties, as quoted on hotelnewsnow.com

You might also like: Hotel Trends – Renovations that Generate New Hotel Revenues

Coffee shops aren’t the only third spaces. Find out how hotel renovations — from low cost to large scale — are helping to boost hotel revenues and attract more guests.

Hotel Trends – Hospitality Spaces Working Hard to Become the Next Big Thing

With a little ‘third space thinking,’ you can make simple renovations in your hotel, motel or bed and breakfast in order to bring in new guests and increase profits and sales in your hospitality establishment.

Although only recently made part of the lexicon of the US consumer, third spaces existed long before the popularity of Starbucks® as a business or social flex space brought the term to the forefront. With a little ‘third space thinking,’ you can make simple renovations in your hotel, motel or bed and breakfast in order to bring in new guests and increase profits and sales in your hospitality establishment.

The third space (also called the third place) is a term which refers to social spaces separate from home (the first space) and work (the second space). These third spaces become gathering places and accommodate a variety of community building activities, from purely social affairs to business and networking groups, gatherings for people with common interests or hobbies, extended offices and more.

While modern US coffee shops like Starbucks® have adopted the phrase, third spaces existed decades before coffee houses monopolized the term. For years, the barber shop and salon served as an unofficial neighborhood meeting place; also, gathering places like country clubs and civic clubs (like Eagles and Elks organizations) and sometimes even neighborhood restaurants and bars have served as third spaces in US communities for hundreds of years.

Generally, third spaces share some or all of these characteristics:

  • Admittance is free or inexpensive
  • Though not essential, food and drink are often important
  • Highly accessible, often within walking distance
  • Patronized by “regulars” but also a place where new as well as old ‘friends’ can be found
  • Welcoming and comfortable

Hotels, motels and bed and breakfast type hospitality businesses that engage in third space thinking are boosting revenues by redesigning common areas to keep hotel guests from wandering outside for meals, meetings and entertainment, and using these same spaces to help bring in new hotel guests, too. It’s a great example of hotel trends that are helping hoteliers re-imagine the role of their facilities.

Here are a few of examples of hotels that created third spaces – and boosted bottom line revenues:

  • Marriott International© remodeled lobbies as “great rooms” with free Wi-Fi, comfortable seating and menus featuring small dishes and local craft beers.
  • Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide© revamped its Sheraton brand by remodeling Sheraton lobbies with communal areas, modern furnishings and décor, improved lighting, and upscale wine lists and flat screen TVs at the bar. Afterward, the Chicago Sheraton sold 24 percent more wine during the first six months than it did the previous year.
  • Sheraton© lobbies were first remodeled with guest amenities in mind way back in 2006, when, in partnership with Microsoft, it provided free computers for guests; soon after they found themselves also selling coffee and snacks. While 5.8 million Sheraton hotel guests use the gym, more than 15 million use the computers every year.

“As people spent more time in the lobby, they were more willing to purchase food and beverages.”—Hoyt Harper, Senior Vice President – Sheraton

Hyatt Regency hotels in Chicago, New York, Atlanta and San Francisco have added clusters of chairs and couches as well as a grab-and-go marketplace and restaurant that over flows into its lobbies.

Hotel Trends - Renovations that Generate New Hotel Revenues

“The lobby establishes the pricing of the hotel.” —Bjorn Hanson, dean of New York University’s hospitality school

It stands to reason that guests will pay more to stay at a hotel that offers better guest amenities – amenities that go beyond the hotel room into the common areas of the hotel itself. Not only will they pay more to receive more, but they will also be more likely to return as a loyal hotel patron, refer friends, family and colleagues to the hotel and leave positive reviews and ratings for the hotel online.

Hotel Trends - Renovations that Generate New Hotel Revenues

“People want to go where people are… If [people] are more comfortable in the space and surrounded by others, they will stay and spend more money.” —Michael Slosser, Destination Hotels and Resorts

Obviously when it comes to these hotel trends, hotel renovation and remodeling projects can be expensive – but they don’t have to be!

Here are four low-cost ways to quickly renovate your hotel lobby and common areas in order to attract new guests, garner repeat hotel stays and hotel guest loyalty and generate positive word of mouth, referrals and online reviews for your hotel:

Hotel Trends in Marketing: Generate New Revenues by Rethinking the Hotel Business

1. Create multi-purpose micro-lounges

Remodeling an entire room – or even an entire floor – within a hotel can be costly; creating conversation areas within a lobby can be done for a fraction of the price! Create conversation areas or mini-seating areas conducive to families, business meetings or computer use.

In the evening, turn these micro-lounges into a space where guests can enjoy a cocktail, wine or beer before going to your restaurant (or going out) for dinner, or where they can relax with a beverage prior to returning to their room for the night.

2. Provide for one meal a day – or more

Adding a grab-and-go marketplace, coffee or wine bar to your hotel can be done in a much smaller space – and for a smaller price tag – than trying to add or remodel a large hotel restaurant. Think about your guests in terms of segments (families, business travelers, etc.) and plan for a small buffet or grab-and-go type options that would be perfect for business breakfasts or lunches.

3. Accentuate local crafts, artists and artistry

Cities – and even neighborhoods – often have their own unique “flavor” in terms of local food and beverage favorites, art and music. Why not infuse some of the local ambiance into your hotel lobby in order to leave a lasting impression with guests? Feature the work of local artists, offer tastings of local craft beers and wines and feature live music – right in your lobby.

4. Think convenience

If you have a smartphone or tablet, you have the technology at your fingertips (literally) to make the one constant of every hotel much more convenient for your guests: The hotel check in process. Make it as easy as possible for guests to check in and offer up digital coupons for use in your hotel’s restaurants, bars and other guest amenities during their stay.

***

From hotel merchant services and credit card processing to hotel financing, we have great resources for growing a hotel business through renovations and revenue-boosting third space ideas.

Get a free, no-risk quote for hotel payment processing or a hotel cash advance: 

 

Interested in (check all that apply)

Loyalty marketing might result in repeat sales but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are creating lasting brand loyalty. Find out which 4 Ps of customer loyalty might be the real reasons why a small business owners claim that our customers love us might in fact be true.

Our Customers Love Us, Our Customers Love Us Not

Your customers might love the products you sell or the results they receive because they purchase your services, but this doesn’t mean they love your business or feel personally connected to your brand.

Even loyalty rewards programs, though desired by a large number of consumers, do not necessarily indicate real brand loyalty. A study done by Vanessa DiMauro and Don Bulmer with The Society For New Communications Research to find out how consumers form impressions about brands found that while quality and pricing of products and services laid the foundation for loyalty, the next three factors rounding out the top five were a brand’s customer care program, what friends or loved ones said about the brand and real customer reviews and ratings on social media. A brand’s actual reward program was very influential to only 18 percent of study respondents.

In fact, it’s possible for customers to have negative feelings about your brand or business even if they regularly purchase services and products from your organization. For instance, you could have a local monopoly, they could be locked in to a contract, or your business might be extending pricing that is compelling enough for them to put up with what they don’t like about your business – just long enough to get what they want from you.

That’s a sobering thought; or it should be. It’s possible that many business owners confuse repeat sales for customer affection, misinterpreting customer behavior that – if they looked beyond the surface – would reveal dissatisfaction and problems that could be addressed in order to make the brand one that customers would love just as much as they love the products or services they purchase from them.

Our Customers Love Us (But How Can We Tell for Sure?)

Most professionals are familiar with the concept of “buying signals” which are actions that prospects commonly take when they are entering the buying cycle, moving from stage to stage within the cycle or when they are ready to seal the deal. Just as there are signs that indicate someone is ready to buy, there are signs that indicate a customer feels loyal to a brand, beyond the products or services it sells:

  • Their patronage continues despite changes in pricing or product mix
  • They frequently open and read your brand emails
  • They follow and even interact with your brand on social channels
  • They refer colleagues, friends or loved ones to your business
  • They leave reviews about your business online
  • They complete customer satisfaction surveys at the point of sale
  • They ask questions and offer meaningful suggestions

Any one of these actions could be a sign of genuine customer love for your brand on their own; but it’s not uncommon to find that engaged customers will send a few or several of these signals. The question is, if products and services aren’t enough to garner customer affection for a brand on their own, what is? The “Four Ps of Marketing” are product, price, place and promotions so we came up with four more words that start with the letter P which lay the foundation for the type of loyalty that transcends the four Ps of marketing, turning customers into loyal brand patrons whose love for a brand can stand the tests of time.

Loyalty Marketing: 4 Ps Explain Why Our Customers Love Us

1. Passion

When a business’s employees are passionate about the work they do and the customers they serve, it shows up in a customer experience that cannot be replicated by competitors.

2. Personalities

The same business owners that say “our customers love us” often claim that their employees – not their products or services – set them apart. For better or worse, a brand’s ambassadors do set the business apart, and business owners that understand this appreciate the importance of each and every hiring decision they make.

3. Purpose

When doing business with you makes people feel that they are part of something special, and part of something that makes the world better in some way, it can move them to the next stage in the customer lifecycle, taking them from casual customer to loyal supporter.

4. Pleasures

Every customer touch point represents an opportunity for a brand to differentiate itself in a meaningful way from competitors. The better a customer feels about doing business with your brand, the more likely they are to identify with your brand personally beyond the products or services they purchase.

You might also like: Which Loyalty Perks Do Customers Really Want

Many businesses introduce loyalty programs to attract new customers and turn occasional customers into loyal brand advocates. Take a look at the loyalty program benefits that US consumers say motivate them more and compare it against your own marketing.

Is your loyalty marketing strategy getting the job done?

Nielsen study shows which loyalty program benefits are most effective in motivating consumers so that you can meet your business marketing and growth goals. How does your program measure up?

If you are considering a loyalty marketing program for your business or want your company’s program to do a better job in meeting customer-attraction and other marketing goals, you might want to check out a global study by the consumer opinion experts at Nielsen. This study details the types of benefits that work best in the US as well as other parts of the world.

Overwhelmingly, consumers indicated that discounted and free products are what they want most. The top five benefits desired by US consumers in a Nielsen loyalty study were:

  • 75% – Discounted or free products
  • 42% – Free shipping
  • 25% – Exclusive products or events
  • 24% – Enhanced customer service
  • 12% – Special shopping hours

In the same study, consumers were also asked what factors would make them opt-out of a brand’s loyalty program. These were the top six responses:

  • 50% – Program too expensive
  • 43% – Not shopping enough with the brand to receive the benefits
  • 37% – Program is too complicated
  • 30% – Didn’t like the benefits offered
  • 27% – Too many program communications
  • 25% – Did not want to give out personal information

Make Your Customer Loyalty Program More Effective

Do you know what you want your customer loyalty program to accomplish? If you want it to help increase profitability or margins, offering the discounts or freebies consumers said they want most in a brand loyalty program could hurt your bottom line.

Defining goals is essential to identifying and providing the types of rewards that will help you meet your targets. The benefits that help you convert occasional customers to more frequent shoppers could be different than the type of benefits that will help you attract new customers in the first place.

Here are some potential goals that could help you design a more effective customer loyalty program; should loyalty rewards help you:

  • attract new clients
  • motivate clients to shop more often
  • cause existing customers to shop with you on a greater number of channels (online as well as in-store, at an affiliate site, etc.)
  • incentivize customers to spend more per visit
  • stimulate referrals

If you answered “all of the above” or identified more than one goal for your loyalty program, you may wish to consider launching more than one type of program; at a minimum, you may need to offer different rewards in order to trigger different types of behaviors.

For instance, offering a Buy-One-Get-One offer may help you with new customer attraction or referrals, but it goes against the other goals which lead to bigger margins or profits per customer. One size simply may not fit all when it comes to customer loyalty incentives.

In addition, when designing (or re-tooling) your brand loyalty program, make sure that you try to avoid consumer turn offs:

  • If there is a cost associated for loyalty program members, make sure that benefits outweigh costs or add a money back or partial refund guarantee
  • Consider increasing benefits accrued (if customer’s aren’t shopping often enough to get benefits from the program) or offer increased benefits at tiered levels to incentivize customers to shop often enough to realize member benefits
  • Let customers choose from a range of rewards
  • Survey members to see whether their benefit preferences are changing on a regular basis, such as annually at the time of renewal
  • Let customers choose channels and type of communication they want to receive and make it easy to opt out or change their preferences online
  • Don’t require loyalty program members to reveal information they don’t want to share, and reduce information requested to only what is most necessary to administer the program

A loyalty program can help you meet your marketing goals, grow your business and become more profitable, especially if you take a strategic approach. Tailor your approach to reflect specific business goals and to reflect the preferences of your customers and you are far more likely to get the results that you desire.

Restaurant loyalty programs that offer deep discounts, 2-for-1 offers or daily deal marketing programs take note: A recent survey revealed the overwhelming majority of restaurant-goers will frequent their regular, favorite restaurants, regardless of price or promotion.

Are restaurant specials or special restaurants the key to restaurant loyalty?

They say “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach,” and apparently the same holds true when it comes to restaurant loyalty programs. When it comes to restaurant loyalty, it might be more effective restaurant marketing to offer customers a special restaurant, rather than reduce margins and profitability  through discounts and restaurant specials.

Since we provide restaurant POS (point of sale) terminals, software and mobile solutions, we hear about a variety of creative ideas from our customers. When small business owners come to us for restaurant POS equipment or software, it’s often to help fuel their growth. Putting effective restaurant marketing tactics into place is usually high on their list of priorities.

So we took note when a marketingcharts.com article pointed out that when it comes to customer loyalty to restaurants, only about one quarter of those surveyed in a new report from The NPD Group will switch restaurants because of a special promotion.  A wide majority of restaurant-goers said that regardless of promotions, they would continue to dine at their familiar, favorite restaurants, instead.

restaurant loyalty marketing - restaurant marketing ideas

Turns out, the best way to gain loyalty among restaurant customers isn’t by offering discounts and restaurant specials — it’s by making the restaurant special. So we came up with six ways you can make your restaurant more special in order to garner customer loyalty, repeat visits and referrals.

6 Ways to Improve Restaurant Loyalty Marketing

1. Train and empower staff to go the extra mile for customers in solving problems, righting wrongs or relieving dissatisfaction.

2. Infuse every customer visit with an unexpected, exclusive “gift;” be creative! This could be as simple and inexpensive as:

  • bringing a treat with the check that is different than delivered to adjacent tables
  • bringing a sample size of a new appetizer, entrée or drink and ask diners to taste and provide feedback (this might even spur new sales of that menu item!)
  • having hand-written thank you cards at the ready and asking wait staff to sign and deliver at the end of a customer’s visit

3.  Create a unique and impeccable atmosphere. Infuse elements of your brand identity into memory points throughout your restaurant. Install furnishings that reflect your brand and caters to customer comfort, privacy and other amenities.

4.  Solicit, act on and recognize customers who provide you with suggestions for improvements. People love to be recognized – why else would all those restaurants feature photo walls of sombrero-laden patrons?  Certainly not for the fashion statement!

5.  Be connected within your community in supporting causes and organizations that matter to your most valuable customers.  Host a local business networking group.  Support student car washes and fundraisers.  Recognize local community servants.

6.  Above all else, be known for the quality of experience that you deliver from end to end during the customer’s experience at your restaurant – especially, of course, the food!  Restaurants develop loyal patrons by delivering consistent quality of menu items and exceptional, unique levels of personalized service, time and time again.

The key to loyalty for restaurant customers must lie in delivering what the customer has come to expect – and want – over and over again. They want to know that they can count on their favorite restaurant, and their favorite menu item, when they’ve had a bad day, when they’re hosting an out of town guest, when they want to impress a boss or co-worker or they just want to relax with family or friends.

So forget restaurant specials!  Deliver quality of restaurant customer experience, and you will make your restaurant special – which produces a far greater return on restaurant loyalty.