Rewards programs are often hailed as a major way to increase direct bookings but, is a B&B loyalty program going to be the best option for your business?
What is a Rewards Program and How Does it Work?
A rewards program is a way to incentivize guests to continue to stay at your property, and to reward them for their long-term business. In most cases, guests who enroll in a loyalty program will receive discounts, promotional products or other rewards as a result of continued bookings or referrals. While the customer receives a direct benefit, the B&B should also enjoy a boost in direct bookings as well.
Types of Rewards Programs to Consider
- Economic reward programs
These types of reward programs provide guests with free or discounted products in exchange for their continued loyalty. For instance, a guest enrolled in an economic reward program may accumulate points with each night they stay in a particular property. After earning a specific number of points, they may receive a free meal, a free upgrade to a room with a view or a free night’s stay.
- Social reward programs
This type of reward program works in the same way, but the rewards the guests receive are different. For instance, a guest in a social reward program may be able to exchange their points for faster check-in services, complimentary room service or a private tour of the grounds.
How Effective are Rewards Programs?
These programs, when done right, can be highly effective. According to an article posted on GoGroupBooking.com, a recent survey found that guests enrolled in a loyalty program increased their stay frequency by more than 49%, resulting in a 57% booking revenue boost for the accommodation providers.
Tips for Creating a Successful B&B Loyalty Program
- Keep it simple
You need to be able to explain how your loyalty program works and the benefits that a guest will enjoy in a matter of moments, or else you will lose their attention. They need to realize they can easily earn rewards in a short amount of time, so avoid complex systems with too many layers. In most cases, the best way to start is to allow loyalty program members to earn points for each dollar they spend.
- Personalize the rewards
For example, a returning guest should be greeted with their favorite beverage in the lobby at the start of their next stay. Or, a loyalty member who has earned the next level of rewards could receive a discount for an activity or tour in the local area. These personalized rewards will impress guests and exceed their expectations.
- Make it easy to earn fast rewards
Guests who participate in loyalty programs often want instant gratification. For example, you could give them a free coffee simply for signing up, or deliver a complimentary tray of fruit to their room each time they stay at your B&B. Small, quick rewards will encourage them to work toward earning the larger benefits.