How often do we say “thank you” to loyal guests? It’s a great question to ask your team. After all, repeat customers are highly profitable and are likely to invite new guests to stay with you. But what form should that thank you take? Go beyond the typical automated email and show your guests some love with these guest appreciation tactics.
Food is the Way to a Guest’s Heart
One surefire way to show guests that you acknowledge their dedication is by feeding them. Everyone works up an appetite while traveling!
The JW Marriott In Grand Rapids Michigan uses food in a very creative way with their sugar cookie social media program (the real name of the program is probably a bit more imaginative). Basically the hotel places sugar cookies, decorated with social media logos, in the rooms of those who mention Marriott socially prior to arrival.
Other examples of hotels that use food effectively are the Blackstone Renaissance in Chicago which puts freshly popped, Spanish-style popcorn in the rooms of VIP guests and Hampton Hotels whose guests are treated with complimentary snack packages immediately at check-in.
While food may be an obvious indicator of guest appreciation, some hotels really go out of their way to make sure that brand loyalty is established and maintained amongst guests.
At Twin Farms in South Royalton Vermont, each room is equipped with a hand-made wooden puzzle featuring a local Vermont scene. These unique souvenirs can easily turn into collector’s items for repeat visitors!
Here at McConnell Marketing we have also worked on some pretty interesting guest gifts. A few years ago we helped Aloft Phoenix Airport add some unique bottle openers to their marketing efforts.
We also helped produce a number of luxury branded items for St. Regis New York (shown above) including a box of cigars, a sleeve of new tennis balls and high-end chocolates. Each of these items featured the hotel’s name and logo.
However, expressing customer appreciation isn’t just limited to a physical gift. At the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel in Maui, employees gather in the lobby to sing a traditional Hawaiian chant when guests leave to signify their adoption into the hotel’s extended ohana, or family.
You Help Me, I Help You
Showing guests that you appreciate them doesn’t have to be full of spending money on luxurious amenities. Some hotels treat their preferred guests while also getting something in return.
Take Marriott for example. A few years ago Marriott launched the social media campaign “#TravelBrilliantly”. Guests were encouraged to submit ideas about how to improve their travel experience and Marriott actually promised to implement some of the submitted ideas. This campaign gave guests a sense of empowerment and importance, while Marriott benefitted from fresh ideas on how to improve their services.
Similar to Marriott, the Atrium also ran a campaign that benefitted all involved. Coined “Guest Appreciation Days”, this program offered a variety of perks to loyal guests, including a discount promo code for when guests booked their next stay. The promo code gave guests a better price on a hotel room, while the incentive most likely increased the amount of stays booked for Atrium.
Whether it’s through food or a unique gift, taking the extra time and effort to show loyal customers that you appreciate them will pay off in the end.
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