Companies Doing Loyalty Right
You’ll see the brands pay attention to the entire experience, and on top of that, gather information about their customers and apply that knowledge to further enhance the experience.
Ritz-Carlton hotel staff take notes about guests preferences – likes and dislikes – from the choice of wine to how many pillows preferred, and they tailor the guest experience accordingly.
Starwood’s W Hotels have systems to document customer preferences. For example, if a guest expresses a love for a certain sports team, the Welcome Desk staff from property to property will provide a game schedule and list of local channels so the guest may watch the games.
And then there’s the Gold Standard in Loyalty Programs, the one everyone looks to as best in class, Harrah’s.
Between 2000 and 2010, several luxury casinos were built in Las Vegas, most notably the Bellagio (cost: $1.6 billion) and the Wynn (cost: $2.7 billion). These properties had the resources to create a luxury experience for every guest, and to bring in big name chefs to their restaurants. Harrah’s (which only cost a paltry $315 million to build back in 1973) just could not compete with the amenities of these new luxury casinos.
Amenities aside, the games at every casino are the same. So what causes customers to spend more money at one place versus another? Customers must be loyal to one casino or another for reasons outside of the gaming.
So, what was Harrah’s to do? They couldn’t start from scratch to renovate their building or add fancy restaurants. They had to work with what they had.
So, they began measuring the overall Harrah’s customer experience to figure out the key drivers of customer loyalty. They rewarded property management and staff for creating exemplary customer experiences, and began tracking the spending of their guests. Then, they identified and ranked their most profitable customers and learned about their likes and dislikes. They made sure these top spenders never had to wait for service. They gave them free tickets to shows, special reservations at hot restaurants, and they even comped their rooms once in awhile.
Soon, Harrah’s had become the Gold Standard for customer loyalty programs in the casino industry. Today, the Total Rewards Program earns Caesars Entertainment $6.4 billion per year from over 10 million members across 40 properties.
They created a fantastic loyalty program across the largest network of resorts and casinos. With seamless integration for rewards across these properties, rewards members never have to worry about being taken care of.
While these are more elaborate examples, there are ways for small businesses to do it too from Low Tech options to a great new digital option, Swipely.
Let’s take a look!