Online Reviews, Incentives and Wi-Fi are Key to Customer Loyalty
More than 1,000 respondents were asked in a survey conducted in October by customer intelligence firm, PeriscopeIQ whether they use online incentives for hotels and/or restaurants and the vast majority said that often or occasionally do. Almost three quarters (71 percent) say online incentives and rewards are becoming increasingly important elements of hotel and restaurant customer loyalty and selection decision factors, according to the 2012 PeriscopeIQ T&E Intelligence Study. More than a quarter (29 percent) said that they rarely or never capitalize on these online rewards.
Similarly, online reviews are an important factor in decision making, according to the PeriscopeIQ 2012 T&E Survey respondents. These review sites include Yelp, Zagat and online travel sites, like Trip Advisor. Exactly two-fifths (40 percent) often access online reviews in making a selection, while a similar number only occasionally visit these sites for reviews.
Hotel guests across a wide range of incomes, expressed very specific preferences in amenities and freebies that enhance their loyalty to a hotel chain. When queried about elements that make a traveler more loyal to a hotel chain, 67% replied: free Interenet access in rooms.
Like many industries, hotels and restaurants are racing to stay abreast of mobile technologies for marketing and customer loyalty benefits. In the travel industry, QR codes have been printed on everything from hotel and restaurant ads, to menus and information cards providing access to events and activity recommendations online. However, an astounding number of respondents, 59 percent claimed not to know what a QR code is and only 18 percent had used one in a retail environment such as a restaurant.
It is recommended that hotels and restaurants use QR codes at the concierge desk and elsewhere in the lobby to provide information on restaurant, entertainment and shopping venues. They can also be used to direct people to various social media platforms providing a stronger customer linkage.