Friday, March 16, 2012

Hospitality Customer Loyalty 3.0!

Le Meridien in Panama City is one of 54 Starwood
 managed properties throughout Latin America 
Rainmakers know that investing in keeping great customers pays of handsomely, especially since their word of mouth in this social sharing world we live in can help more efficiently produce their next new customer. And customers appreciate when brands acknowledge their loyalty by becoming a strong brand advocate, meaning they share their experiences on their own social networks, post incentive offers, direct friends to online contests, special offers or simply let everyone know they've just interacted or checked-in with a favorite brand. Starwood Hotels and Resorts just literally made checking in to one of its more than 1,100 properties worldwide as easy as having a digital concierge. Its new third generation mobile app for iPhone, iPod and iPad extends a unique menu of services for its Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program members. A first in the industry and in business as a whole, the new app integrates Apple's FaceTime platform and includes fully integrated booking, member information, comprehensive hotel searches, lodging details, customer service and social media extensions. The company plans to promote its new app to SPG members and brand loyalists via a digital platforms and social network channels. The app's home-screen shows components such as hotel address in both English and the local language, weather, directions and hotel amenities. Upon arrival, the guest can use the app to show their room number, and it offers on- and off-property dining and activity suggestions, all with the built-in option to share via Foursquare and Facebook. Amazingly, since launching its first generation mobile app, Starwood has seen a 400 percent increase in traffic to its site with almost 60 percent of conversions being for stays within the next 24 hours. With results like that, it's no wonder that Starwood continues to provide its most elite customers with platforms that make it easy to experience its brands. Wouldn't you do the same if the top 2 percent of your customers accounted for more than 30 percent of your profits?

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