Loyal customers are what every business hopes for, but in the competitive travel market, how do you make sure those customers keep coming back through your door? The best way is to show them you value their custom. Offering your customers rewards in the form of freebies, discounts and special offers is a great way to keep their loyalty in the future.
Loyalty programmes need to engage customers. Your travel business needs to offer customers relevant, personalised rewards, which are also flexible and cost-effective. Offering discounts on flights and hotel rooms will definitely keep your customers happy but it is not a sustainable option. Today's rewards systems are a much better way of maintaining – or even increasing – your market share.
With the success of sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial, consumers now want (and expect) discounts. While the concept of discounts is hardly a new one, the idea of offering them exclusively online is fairly recent. Offers you can use include codes that give customers discounts, or regular special offers sent to email subscribers. As well as rewarding customers, these also allow you to create a bigger, more receptive customer base.
Enter the portal
Creating a members' portal allows your customers to keep track of their bookings and other travel arrangements. Not only does this improve the customer experience but it also allows you to use a points system, when logged in customers can automatically earn and redeem points against transactions. Rewards/points system portals can also be tailored to individual business' needs and be integrated into your overall strategy.
Create achievable targets
Traditional rewards programmes have tended to create a gap between the points customers accrue and redeem. If the targets are too high customers will feel frustrated and lose interest in the scheme. Allowing customers to redeem points on a daily basis at low-cost, third-party providers is a far better alternative. Just make sure that rewards are tailored to customers' previous preference and behaviour indicators.
Word of mouth marketing is probably the most powerful way to build trust and loyalty. Give your existing customers a reason to recommend your business to friends and they will do so willingly. This could be a discount on their next booking which increases with every new customer introduced.
Hold a preview evening
In today's digital world, this can sound like an outdated idea, but opportunities to network with customers face-to-face should not be over-looked. Invite your best customers to the event, making sure it has an exclusive feel (and refreshments).
At Digital Trip we offer innovative rewards systems to help you build customer loyalty. Integrate them into your marketing strategy and see your customers return again and again.