Loyal customers are like sports fans—they wear their “team’s” colors. That’s why loyalty programs have names that sound prestigious, like Continental’s “Elite Pass” program or American’s “Executive Platinum” program. Loyal customers also want to be recognized for their loyalty. Hampton Inn, which is part of the Hilton family of hotels, is one company that could do a better of job of recognizing its customers—literally. One of the authors stays regularly at the same Hampton Inn, only to be greeted every time on arrival with the question, “Is this your first stay with us?” The author is not only a regular guest at that hotel but a member of Hilton Honors, the hotel’s loyalty program. But apparently the Hampton Inn’s reservation system doesn’t provide that information to its front desk clerks. If you fail to recognize customers who are loyal, you are essentially telling them that their business isn’t that important to you.
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