Loyalty To Go: How Mobile is Remaking Guest Allegiance
By Vanessa Horwell Founder & Chief Visibility Officer, ThinkInk & TravelInk'd | November 18, 2012
The ballots are in. The votes tallied. And President Barack Obama successfully avoided joining the more than 12 million unemployed. While pundits will argue his re-election was as much about an aggressive (and expensive) negative ad campaign as it was substance, there will be just as many supporters who will point to his recent speeches and swearing in address earlier and say they're loyal to the man who offered a list of promises – prevented financial meltdown, began an economic recovery, fixed healthcare, hunted down Osama Bin Laden – and delivered, and so on.
Yet supporters will say even more. Obama loyalty remains multi-faceted: from his cool, calm, demeanor, to his matter-of-fact style, to his reliance on tech-savvy youth to help get out the vote via smartphones and tablets, to his all-too-human human blunders, (remember the Beer Summit?) people were also loyal to the person for good or for worse, and not the politics. As President Obama placed his hand on the bible and swore to "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States," his immediate concerns over citizen loyalty came to a close.
But when it comes to industry loyalty, and specifically the hospitality sector, hotel operations don't run in four year cycles, and nor can they take presidential retreats to Camp David to collect their thoughts. Committing to loyalty is a constant process, where even the slightest misstep could impact occupancy rates and the equally important revenue per available room, (REVPAR). In these still-challenging economic times, for hotels as in other industries, retaining existing patrons – like voters – is vital. And to a large extent, mobile is the ideal medium to drive that engagement. While 2012 has proven to be a banner year for mobile and its incorporation into hotel hospitality and loyalty, 2013 is where hoteliers must get creative. They must move beyond mobile's low-hanging fruit e.g. mobile booking, checkout, trip itinerary planning and really break new ground.
Because the above mobile amenities list is becoming as standard (and unimpressive) as the placard boasts of "in-room color TV." As the New Year removes its training wheels, sobering itself from the parties and hoopla that closed out 2012, the new "loyalty party" is fast moving toward the realm of social media. Only through the combination loyalty programs and social media, and the ways in which guests are being empowered to become the next generation of brand ambassadors is where the as yet uncharted hotel loyalty territory lies.
The Rise of "Socialized Loyalty"
The Hotel Business Review articles are free to read on a weekly basis, but you must purchase a subscription to access
our library archives. We have more than 5000 best practice articles on hotel management and operations, so our
knowledge bank is an excellent investment! Subscribe today and access the articles in our archives.