Anyone who travels frequently knows the benefits of being in the various airline, hotel and rental car ‘rewards’ programs. And while sometimes it takes many stays to reap the bigger benefits of these programs, there is a lot small business owners following the boutique business model can learn from these programs.
In a typical hotel or airline loyalty program, not only do you earn points toward free hotel stays, but you also get other special perks, like your favorite snacks in your room upon check in, priority check in that lets you avoid long lines, coupons for free movies or WiFi, unexpected upgrades in service (so a suite instead of a regular room) and more. The reason these programs were created was to keep you from shopping exclusively on price. If you know you can rack up loyalty points for flying with one airline versus another that may be $50 cheaper per flight, most people will choose to stick with the airline where they have the most frequent flier miles (provided the loyalty program benefits are good enough).
These client loyalty programs work well for huge corporations faced with stiff competition. They have hundreds of thousands of customers, so loyalty programs help them determine who they need to treat a little nicer. But as small business owners following the boutique business model, ALL of our customers should get the same treatment a platinum level frequent traveler gets. That’s why our customers choose to do business with us! They want (and are willing to pay for) the white glove treatment. It’s not about discounting. It’s about knowing what they like and providing it to them before they even realize they want it.
What are you doing to keep loyal clients?
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