April 28, 2023

Loyalty Marketing In The Hospitality Industry


Loyalty is a two-way street when it comes to marketing. Not only does it benefit your customers by providing them with exclusive perks through personalised communications, but it can reap rewards for businesses by boosting customer retention and encouraging continued support. However, obtaining and keeping loyal customers is no easy feat. It takes long-term, data-driven nurture strategies , meaningful communications and engagement over a prolonged period of time to earn a loyal customer – not to mention providing an exceptional visitor experience that they will never forget in the first place.

In this piece, Cloudline will be exploring the ways to utilise loyalty marketing across your hospitality business to encourage repeat custom, boost lifetime customer value, and maximise your profits.

What Is Loyalty Marketing?

But firstly… what is loyalty marketing? Loyalty marketing revolves around gaining new customers and retaining existing ones, typically through the deployment of incentives that encourage your visitors to return to your business time and time again. 

Loyalty cards and collecting stamps to receive your tenth product free may spring to mind – however, loyalty marketing for the hospitality industry takes a variety of different forms, namely through personalising experiences, promoting positive reviews and successfully utilising your CRM

The Cloudline platform is an exceptional tool for boosting loyalty sentiment amongst your customer base, with our intuitive CRM being able to guide your data-driven decisions. Analyse your customers’ behaviours, segment your customer data for targeted and personalised campaigns, and measure your performance to determine what is being received well by your customers. With a comprehensive, 360-degree view of your data, you’ll be able to make informed decisions across your business to boost brand loyalty and track your success over time.

Is Loyalty Marketing For Hospitality Worthwhile?

If you’re wondering whether pursuing loyalty marketing as a strategy to boost your business’ profits is worthwhile compared to acquiring entirely new customers, think again – studies indicate that 20% of your repeat visitors constitute 80% of your prospective income, demonstrating the value of regular customers to your business. What’s more, it costs five times more to acquire a new customer when compared to retaining an existing one, making loyalty marketing a far more cost-effective way to get visitors to your hospitality business through the door. After all, your existing customers certainly have the advantage – they have already demonstrated their willingness and ability to visit your site and are already aware of your hospitality business’ existence. This is a great foundation to build upon with the help of loyalty marketing techniques.

The Power Of CRM

If used properly, your CRM can be an invaluable tool to manage campaigns, boost loyalty to your business and keep your visitors coming back. As the primary hub for data on your visitors, your CRM provides you with the opportunity to contact your customers and incentivise their return to your venue. In just a few clicks, you can pinpoint the kind of customer you wish to contact via methods such as email or SMS and send them a marketing message encouraging them to come back to your site. This may constitute sending your contacts a “thank you for your visit” message, an exclusive discount for existing customers, or an update on your upcoming events. By nurturing guest relationships in this way, your visitors will familiarise themselves with your brand over a prolonged period of time by staying engaged with your business. Whatever message you wish to send, your CRM will help you to meaningfully target customers that would be interested in your offerings and manage your marketing output in a way that does not become overwhelming for your contacts. By utilising your data effectively, you can measure and monitor retention rates and determine where your challenges lie, which allows you to make informed decisions to optimise your business performance – after all, you can’t improve what you can’t measure.

Personalising Experiences

Personalised messages and experiences are an effective way to inspire loyalty within your customers by making them feel individually catered to. Gone are the days of generic mass-messages that make your customers feel unimportant – now, businesses are providing tailored marketing that resonates with each individual based on their preferences and prior activities. By personalising rewards and incentives by using visitor data available through your CRM, you can take the guesswork out of knowing what each of your customers is most likely to respond to. This is not only more engaging for your customer, but can reduce the time, effort and investment needed to get your visitors back through the door.

For example, did your customer visit you when they had an offer coupon? Send them a discount code on their next ticket. Did your customers visit your site to participate in your latest Halloween event? Send them a notification that lets them know about other seasonal events for Christmas or Easter. 

The Value Of Reviews

Listening to customer feedback and being attentive to your audience’s needs can be an effective way to provoke feelings of loyalty among your customer base. After all, the vast majority of consumers trust reviews, with 98% of customers consulting reviews for local businesses – it is evident that reviews are key shapers of opinion, and can determine the likelihood of a customer endeavouring to visit or return to your venue. As such, interacting with reviews can be an effective loyalty marketing technique. 

According to BrightLocal, 88% of consumers would be willing to use a business that responds to both positive and negative reviews. This is a significant uptick from businesses that would only respond to positive reviews, or no reviews at all, with 55% and 42% of consumers respectively being willing to utilise businesses that would behave that way. It can therefore be deduced that by directly interacting with your customers, whether to thank them for their praise or acknowledge their more critical feedback, you provide a ‘human touch’ that can inspire loyalty within your customer base.

Furthermore, reposting glowing reviews on your social media accounts and requesting reviews from past visitors can act as a part of the customer nurture process, thereby reminding visitors of the reasons they visited in the first place. This also serves as a form of free promotion that will undoubtedly appeal to new visitors as well as existing ones – after all, the opinions of peers are generally more trusted by consumers than brand marketing, with reviews from fellow visitors having a greater sense of authenticity. Both positive and negative reviews can directly inform your business strategy: negative feedback can provide valuable insight into where your business is underperforming and where you ought to focus your attention to boost retention and revenue. Similarly, positive reviews provide you with valuable insight into what your customers want and expect, and lets you know what impresses your customers so you can continue to implement this across your business.

At Cloudline, we understand the value of positive reviews, and have conducted extensive research to uncover the topics and trends that make up poor reviews. We discovered that delays and lengthy wait times made up a significant portion of poor reviews, which is why we created our world-class visitor experience tools to provide your guests with all the information they need to enjoy their time at your venue. With live updates on wait times, enhanced menu availability visibility, bookable time slots and interactive maps, your visitors are able to make the most out of their visit to your venue without the risk of unanticipated delays. Want to find out more about the impact reviews can have on your business? Check out the full research findings in How To Lose Revenue And Alienate Customers.

Transform Your Marketing With Cloudline

With the help of Cloudline’s innovative platform, you can transform your customer retention strategy with ease. With an intuitive CRM to help you understand, target and reach customers in just a few clicks, in-app promotional channels for enhanced personalisation, and intuitive modules to ease access to information and facilities – deploying a successful loyalty marketing strategy has never been easier. Want to know more about what Cloudline has to offer and start maximising your revenue? Contact our team of visitor experience and attraction management experts today using the form below:

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