The hotel industry is a competitive one and guests will easily switch from one hotel to another chasing a better deal, better service or an incentive to stay. Loyalty schemes are popular in this sector and provide an effective way to increase guest retention and improve profitability. BON Hotels launched BONami in March, a rewards programme with immediate benefits and discounts for their guests to enjoy at any BON Hotel property throughout South Africa. BONami Africa will go to market later this year.
The high cost of bringing in new business compared to retaining existing customers is irrefutable, so increasing guest retention can considerably improve bottom-line profits. If hotels are to build a loyal clientele, keeping the guest happy isn’t always enough, so in order to increase loyalty they need to recognise, incentivise, reward and delight customers.
Loyalty programmes enable hotels to focus on their best (and worst) clients and improve overall customer satisfaction levels. These programmes will also assist them in getting to know their guests, their likes and dislikes and what is important to them – and, in some instances, enable them to win back lapsed clients just by knowing how to reach them.
Guy Stehlik, CEO of Bon Hotels, says, “Loyal customers buy more and are often willing to pay more – they will stay longer, and in turn are good for business because they become our best promoters and ‘’apostles for BON’’ by recommending us to others, and we then can save on marketing and publicity costs.” He goes on to say that guests also like loyalty schemes because they feel they are getting rewarded for talking about and recommending you, and are appreciative of the instant rewards and discounts they receive.
• Discounts on accommodation rates, including specials
• Up to 50% discount on meals
• Complimentary vouchers
• Early arrival/late check out privileges
• Room upgrades
• Room preferences and special requests
• Free wi-fi
• Free parking
Ultimately, the main focus of BONami is to say thank you to valued guests, to welcome new clients and reward them for staying and talking about BON Hotels. Adds Stehlik, “Think of BONami as ‘your friend with benefits’.”