The benefits of customer loyalty programs for tourism businesses

Dogs love treats. Children love stamps and stickers. Travellers love frequent flyer pointsWanting to be appreciated is human nature! And your tourism business can use this to your advantage by having a customer loyalty program in place.

Customer loyalty programs are a win-win for business and customers alike. Loyal customers are rewarded with special prizes, discount programs, and deals, while your business enjoys the benefits of repeat bookings. It’s a great way of building trust in and loyalty to your brand

 

What is a customer loyalty program?

A customer loyalty program is an initiative which encourages repeat business by offering rewards and incentives. Customers use a card or membership to track their purchases with your business, and you reward them with discounts, deals of freebies based on their level of support. Businesses of all shapes and sizes offer these kinds of programs. Think of frequent flyer points, FlyBuys or Woolies Rewards. 

So how do you implement a loyalty program? Here are some tips.  

 

Make a great first impression

To ensure your customers return, you need to give them a reason to come back. Every customer should have a great experience, at every stage, every time. From booking to providing feedback on their departure, every part of their experience should be easy and hassle-free

You’ll also need to make customers feel comfortable and safe in giving you their personal details. This is where having a good booking system, secure portal, and mobile-responsive website are vital 

There is also a range of easy-to-use online platforms you can use to keep track of your customers’ points and rewards.

 

Create a program with real, valuable incentives in a short amount of time

No one wants to spend a huge amount of money and wait for years just to earn a reward. You should always make it easy for your customers to earn and redeem their reward points. For example, you could offer a free drink with their first booking, free snacks or meal on the second booking, then a more significant discount on their third or fourth bookingBe creative in developing your offers and rewards.  

 

Encourage your customers to pass the message around  

One of the ways customer loyalty programs can benefit your business is through recommendations and word-of-mouth marketingThis may sound obvious, but it’s still one of the most efficient ways to promote your business. Why? Simple – people listen to someone they trust. If you routinely provide a good experience or service, your customers will want to let others know about it. And the cycle goes on and on. Before you know it, your customers are doing the promotion for you.  

You can ask customers to leave a review on your website, social media profiles, and review websites to earn loyalty points.  You can also give them incentives when they recommend your company to a friend  

 

The tourism industry is all about experience, so maximise your opportunity for repeat business with a customer loyalty program.  

 

Hayden Zammit

Hayden Zammit

Hayden is the Director of Tourism Accelerator and leads tourism strategy, digital marketing and online training for small businesses.