With the large amount of competition that is within the travel industry, one of the most important things to do is create loyal customers. It is a company’s objective to make their company favoured above the others by their clients, meaning that they chose to travel with them rather than with any other company. The best way to show that your company is superior to others and the best out there is by creating incentives for your clients, making them returning clients. This type of loyalty can be created by having a high level of satisfaction with your service, offering customers ease and convenience for choosing your company and from offering perks to those who are loyal. It costs a business around five to 10 per cent more to acquire a new customer, when it is current customers who tend to spend 67 per cent more than a newer customer would. It is better for a company to work towards keeping their current clients by creating and maintaining a loyalty program and offering perks to those who are dedicated customers.
One of the most common ways to keep a customer loyal is through different loyalty programs. As James Birchall mentioned in his post Are you a frequent-flyer? Add joining an airline loyalty program to the to-do list, it is not only beneficial for companies but for clients as well. Frequent flyer memberships and point systems offer something back to the customer for choosing a particular company to travel with. According to Web Flyer, there were 89 million members of airline frequent-flyer programs worldwide in 2009. These loyalty programs keep customers coming back and helps turn them into return customers for your company.
There are other ways that your company can keep customers loyal. Similar to the British Airways, there are upgrades for those who are members of their loyalty programs. Advanced and separate boarding is available for those frequent clients. Receiving a free upgrade from a coach seat to a business class seat, and being allowed to board the plane prior to the coach flyers, makes a client feel like they are appreciated. These upgrades allow customers a stress-free and quick boarding experience.
Several airlines and train companies, like Via Rail, offer a member’s lounge with beverages, food and pre-boarding relaxation. This perk is great for business travellers as it lets the individual feel not only comfortable, but special as well.
Showing your customers that you appreciate them is not only beneficial for them, but for your company as well. As public relations professionals, we know offering a loyalty program and special customer appreciation perks are important because, according to the statistics posted in Cross Channel Conversation Blog:
- 54 per cent would consider increasing the amount of business they do with a company for a loyalty program
- They discovered that 46 per cent say they already have increased their business because of a loyalty program
- 94 per cent of Canadians belong to a loyalty program