Why most customers are ready to switch hotel loyalty programs

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by Wandering Aramean, Aug 28, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    A recent study out of Asia suggests that more that 50% of hotel program members are ready to abandon their program. Why? Because the program is missing the target in its communications and value proposition. Does that sound like your loyalty program?

    While writing about this story I did a quick bit of research, checking the details on how many emails I've received recently from one program. On average it was one per day from Hilton and virtually none of them were relevant.

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    Combine that with the fact that neither HHonors points nor status are worth much to me and I can easily justify having left the program behind a few years back. Apparently others are feeling the same way.

    More significantly, however, I realized that none of the program in their current incarnations are of value to me. Just switching to another one - as many of the respondents in the survey claim they are ready to do - would have me facing the same problem, just with a different program name. So I gave up on them nearly completely. I'm spending less on hotel stays and getting more value for my dollars. And, based on this report, it would seem I'm not alone.
     
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  2. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Indulging in a bit of rationalization here are we?.
    Is this about Hilton or chain hotels in general?.

    I dont know about you but I like to know what I am getting in terms of amenities etc when I book it might not be boutique but I wont be surprised either. Sure I could play the priceline Russian roulette but I just cant be bothered with that.

    I in fact I for one find the HH program quite valuable a HGI is best and most convenient property when I visit my parents in South Floridaon a rcent visit to north California ( Mendecino, Eureka) the best available chain properties were Hamptons, when I visit London I find the Paddington Hilton by far the the most convenient to/from LHR.

    For more upscale properties I use SPG and over the past decade I have had some wonderful award stays too numerous to mention, compliments of my normal credit card spend.

    First off I set my preferences as such that I bet I get less than one e-mail a month from HH and you could do the same.:)

    Hey to each his own.. any survey can be tailored to fit the desired result.
     
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  3. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    This sort of opinion piece always seems specious to me. I always equate one to those folks who would come in here every once in a while and rail against US airlines because they had just been on an SQ flight on which the FAs did everything but kiss their behinds. Most people abandon a program for another only to find out that the other program has its own set of problems. So, do they just quit such programs altogether or do they decide to take the "good" along with the "bad". Each one of us, consciously or not, does a little bit of "calculus of felicity" all the time, where we assign the "bad" the unit of "frustrons" and the "good" the unit of "hedons". We are constantly weighing the frustrons vs. the hedons, and if the balance tilts too much in favor of frustrons, we may feel that it is time to go. I am a HH member and for me the hedons far outweigh the frustrons for this program, so that I am not likely to quit it any time soon. Frankly, I would go into withdrawal while on the road without the hedons that I get from the attention at, e.g., Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund where as a HH Diamond, I get the "cheapest" room on the property but get upgraded to a riverview room or suite, with someone specifically assigned for the stay to see to my every need...well, almost all.:)

    In my opinion, the news of the demise of hotel loyalty programs is greatly exaggerated...
     
  4. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    In my case, all of them. I used the Hilton emails list as an easy example because I think they're one of the worst offenders but the others aren't all that much better IME.

    Who said anything about not knowing what you're going to get when you book?? :confused: I'm not advocating a wholesale switch to opaque bidding sites, but there is a very large space in between those two extremes.

    If it works for you, great. I looked at my stay patterns and none of the chains can offer a reasonable return to my loyalty.
    Agreed. And most are. In this case, however, the number of disappointed customers appears to be rather higher than what I've seen elsewhere. Either the survey was written particularly badly or it started asking more pointed questions which uncovered frustrations in the customer base. Hard to know for certain.

    Or plan C: Give up on the schemes completely. That's what I did and I'm a much happier person for it. Plus my hotel spend lasts a lot longer.

    Absolutely. And if the survey was about any single program then I'd probably question the importance of the results more. But when most customers across all brands feel that way that says to me that perhaps the issue is a bit broader.
    If that's what works for you, great. I wouldn't likely pay that lowest rate to begin with as I don't think that it would be worthwhile to be relative rates at other hotels in the area. And neither the suite upgrade nor the "butler" are of significant value to me.

    I don't think the programs are falling apart anytime soon. But I do think that surveys like this should be somewhat worrisome to the CMOs running them.
     
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  5. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I would bet that if we searched the archives of TOBB, going back several years, we'd find statements such as these, and years from now, we'll still be seeing similar statements...

    I should add that your responses above really state what things such as these ultimately are: highly personal choices.
     
  6. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    And we'll also see that the benefits the programs offer have changed, just like they have over the past several years.;)

    The programs are evolving, changing to meet the demands of their customers. That process won't slow down and I'm betting it accelerates.
     
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  7. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I, for one like change, so if it is change for the better then we're looking forward to it. With the world changing quite rapidly and globalization having taken over, the modern economic Darwinism can be stated as "adapt or perish" because the "fittest" are now those companies that can best adapt to circumstances in a rapidly changing world...
     
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  8. circi

    circi Silver Member

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    I currently have top status with Marriott, PriorityClub, and HHonors. My experience is though their email offers are fairly useless to me (you can opt out if you don't want the emails), the on property benefits with HHonors are better and though I've had a few frustrations, as a general rule I get better treatment. I can't speak to SPG, they don't have enough properties that I've found it worthwhile to pursue status with them.
     

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