Friday, September 19, 2008

How does your loyalty program greet new customers?

There’s nothing like a loyalty program that greets you with a warm hello. Take the Hyatt hotel chain’s Gold Passport program.

It had been a number of years since I had been to a Hyatt and upon check-in at the Grand Hyatt in New York City I was greeted with the obligatory: “Are you a member of our loyalty program?” I replied “no”.

But instead of the hotel clerk handing me an application or moving on to my check-in, she asked me if I had a business card I could spare. “I’ll fill out the enrollment form for you.” was her reply. I was in a hurry, so handed her my card and moved on.

Sure enough, 2 or 3 weeks later I received a Hyatt Gold Passport welcome kit in the mail. Nice package. Pretty brochure with enticing photos and a clean, concise list of benefits. Not to mention, an honest-to-goodness credit card-thick membership card. (Nothing worse than those ultra-thin cards you can fold in two.)

I also received a welcome e-mail from Hyatt. Same crisp and clean presentation. And with a few mouse clicks, I can personalize future e-mails by Hyatt location—and also set my hotel room preferences, including smoking/non-smoking, King bed/two double beds, high floor/low floor, etc.

Bottom line: Thanks to the warm greeting, I’d gladly stay at a Hyatt hotel again in the future. They’re now in my consideration set. And that’s the best first impression a loyalty program can make.

Tom Rapsas, Associate Creative Director, MRM Worldwide,

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