Driving Guest Loyalty a Focus for La Quinta
La Quinta Inn & Suites is in the business of putting people up for a good night’s rest at any of its 800 mid-scale hotels. It has been building new hotels at a steady rate, more than 80 in 2008 and 2009, before slowing down to a projected 50 this year as the economy stalled. The firm is also in the business of making sure travelers—particularly frequent travelers—are aware of and actively participate in its loyalty program, La Quinta Returns.
La Quinta has undergone a total evolution in how customer loyalty is regarded, starting with the revenue growth generated by the Returns program, which put a new focus on driving guest loyalty at every level within the company from the COO down to to the front desk reps.
Mike Case, the vice president of marketing for the hotelier, spoke about building membership.
As a mid-scale hotel chain, how do you attract members to La Quinta Rewards over the larger hotel programs?
We’ve put a lot of emphasis in the last two years in particular on the program, which now drives 45% more contribution to the brand revenue than it did even two years ago. We purposely do a couple of things in order to compete against the big brands. We set our program up with faster ways to accumulate points so we are more aggressive on bonus points. And each month we also set groups of 100 to 150 of our properties and communicate to our members that they can earn double or triple points for stays at those hotels. This is a nice way to get members to try the new properties. We’re trying to be more generous than our competitors.
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