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Hotel Loyalty - How to defeat a werewolf

August 23, 2018


By Scott Brennan
Chief Growth Officer, RoomIt by CWT

Apparently, every business everywhere is completely unprepared to battle werewolves. In meetings, conferences, webinars, and emails we constantly come across the phrase: “There is no silver bullet,” which, unfortunately, is the only thing that kills werewolves.

“No silver bullet,” you say? Then what am I supposed to do: work myself to the bone in the hope that my werewolf of a boss – I mean – my werewolf of a problem just goes away?

Travel managers would certainly label untracked travelers as a werewolf of a problem. Over the course of a year, many travelers will book outside their corporate channels at least once due to better pricing, convenience or loyalty rewards. The average travel buyer will then waste over 40 hours reconciling travel and expense data each month.

Now tell me, who wouldn’t want to take a silver bullet to that big-ole, hairy time-waster of an activity?

When you consider that many travelers book directly on hotel websites for loyalty rewards, and that 60% of bookings made directly on hotel websites will go completely untracked – thus making travel reconciliation bigger and hairier – it’s easy to understand why hotel loyalty rewards are seen as monsters terrorizing corporate travel programs.

What’s more, when your travelers book outside of your program, it can lead to overspending. Despite the fact that pricing, as noted earlier, is another leading reason travelers book outside their corporate travel tools, non-compliant bookings have been found to increase travel spend by up to 15%.

So, where's the silver bullet? 

Ok, so we know non-compliant travel is bad, like, scary-bad, but a silver bullet was promised. What if I said hotel loyalty can be that silver bullet? Yes, we are talking about a “hair of the werewolf” sort of situation here (cue eye roll).

We work with clients and suppliers to improve traveler compliance using a one-of-a-kind Loyalty Booster program, a campaign-based program that awards travelers with additional points and miles just for booking preferred hotels within their program.

The additional points awarded are from the hotel brands your travelers already love, and we work with clients to ensure the right suppliers are chosen for campaigns. That way you can shift market share to a preferred hotel too. The program is free to join and requires no additional work from you.

Now you are probably wondering: What can I get for my hefty investment of zero dollars and zero effort?

Participating clients have seen a 12% increase in their travelers booking hotels within their program, with an additional 3% increase after the campaign ends. The sustained growth after these campaigns end shows a true behavioral change in travelers, and as anyone knows, a 15% uptick in compliance will go a long way in quashing your furry menace of a problem.

Another unique benefit is that this program acts as a carrot - rather than a stick -  to your hotel program. It's a way to entice travelers into travel programs.

Non-compliance is a werewolf for travel managers. Werewolves are scary, time-consuming, and expensive. Hotel loyalty rewards used to be a werewolf too, but now they can be the silver bullet for non-compliance, thus proving this proverb true: “The werewolf of my werewolf is my friend.”

Loyalty Booster is a win for travelers, because they get more points and miles for brands they love. It’s a win for travel managers because they get back hours of time while enjoying an improvement in the quality of their work and benefitting from an increase in traveler satisfaction; and it’s a win for companies, because they can save money while improving the security of their employees.

Ask a program manager or CWT representative about Loyalty Booster.   


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