Winning Brand Loyalty by Exceeding Expectations

The days of earning loyalty from hotel guests through simple tactics like the option to earn a free night’s stay are quickly falling by the wayside. Consumers once carried wallets full of customer loyalty punch cards or even brand-specific major credit cards, but with the growing amount of options with enticing perks, consumers are quickly tiring of these methods for repeat business. Now, they’re looking for an experience that goes beyond their expectations, and companies who are genuinely interested in maintaining their customers’ loyalty will have to adapt.

Part of the reason travelers develop brand-loyalty to a particular hotel chain, for example, is ironically the same reason they’re increasingly more likely to look elsewhere. The lack of surprises from the accommodations in a far-flung vacation destination or during an important business trip was at the very heart of why guests would choose that hotel again. But with so many competitors offering identical solid experiences, it’s all too easy for a guest to venture to another brand, at least experimentally.

Companies who are making an intentional focus out of retaining their loyal customers will not only see the financial returns and the boosts to their reputations, but can also take steps to exceed expectations without having to invest in unproven or costly measures just to win a few repeat travelers. Sometimes the smallest touches can make an incredible impact, such as hotels that are able to virtually remember a former guest and do not require lengthy login steps to take advantage of in-room Wi-Fi. And while daily newspapers are pretty standard in the hospitality industry, offering a wide array of newspapers to their guests through a device compatible digital app during their stays will stand out to many travelers.

One option that more and more loyalty-focused hotels are adopting is the use of an app that lets guests take advantage of a wide variety of reading material while staying at the hotel. Apps like PressReader, which offers more than two thousand newspapers in over sixty languages, have the power to not only entertain and inform guests, but also to help both domestic and international travelers feel welcomed and at home. When a guest wakes up to find his hometown newspaper is available because of his status as a guest at the hotel—and in his native language, if he’s coming from abroad—the idea that this specific chain is his “home away from home” will become a lot less kitschy and a lot more realistic.

The irony is that offering perks like digital amenities to increase brand loyalty is far more cost effective and enticing to many travelers than things like expensive and inconvenient renovations. It’s a minor investment that makes a chain stand out, while still ensuring the resources are there to continue to provide an excellent experience.

Learn more about PressReader digital newspaper and magazine service for hotels.