How Hilton Honors Its Loyal Customers
After you have taken care of customer service, what else can you do to show your customers that you care? Create a loyalty program that rewards best or frequent customers with bonuses, discounts or other goodies. Loyalty programs also present a great opportunity for partnering between non-competing brands.
"Loyalty programs were created with an eye toward having that opt-in contract from consumers so that we'd give them something of value for their permission to contact them with future offers," says Jim VonDerheide, senior director, database marketing, Hilton HHonors Worldwide. "That's why the Hilton HHonors program has been and continues to be a very successful customer retention tool."
Designed for the individual business traveler and launched in 1987, the program has enrolled just over 10 million members to date. Currently, the program has more than 6 million active members on its 18-month file.
That database is divided into tiers so that best customers are recognized as silver, gold or diamond members and rewarded with higher bonuses, double point bonuses or double mile bonuses. Epsilon is the database services provider for Hilton HHonors.
The Hilton HHonors program uses targeted, event-driven customer messaging to give different awards based on customer-specific activity. Here's how it works: Members are awarded points for stays in any of the more than 2,000 hotels in the Hilton family of hotels. Direct mail statements are sent monthly to active people. Those statements include about 14 messages on average (out of a database of about 80 to 130 available at any given time). The number on a given members' statement may vary due to space available, and the type of messages and offers will vary based on factors such as stay history, co-branded cards used and demographics. For instance, Senior HHonors members might get one special offer, while travelers who stay frequently in New York City, might get a different bonus related to a New York hotel location.