Reservation Key property rewards Program?

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Hillbilly's picture
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Ok the last thread we started to ball up! Let's put our ideas together and come up with something big that will market us as truly a better way to stay! If it a rewards program for Rezkey properties, how are we going to do it? If we come up with a great idea, John will help us!

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This is an awesome idea! I love this forumSmiling

Hillbilly's picture
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I'm open to suggestions on this. Would this work better for innkeepers to pay to be on this program? Or the customer. I can see plus and minus to both. Maybe free to everyone until it gets going. Thoughts? Copperhead if you have any ideas let us know. I do think everyone here that is helping build this should be free either way we go.

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I have spoken with someone that may be interested in pursuing this endeavor.  He is going to speak with his partners.  He has ideas on how to make it across the board fair for all / any B&B to participate. 

Will report back when I get feedback.

Hillbilly's picture
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I have a complete searchable Data base program ready to be used. I paid over $8000 for it a few years ago. I started a business that never really took off so I shut it down. It would be perfect for this. I would be willing to foot the bill for this and let all of us be a part of it. I want this to work. I agree to let all Bed and Breakfast participate, I think this would be a great way to do it. Thoughts? I am really not interested in having properties have to pay to be on it. I think we pay enough to be listed on the sites we are all on now. Plus we would be giving away the rewards. If thats the route we take.  That said, CH bring on the ideas.  The more we get the better this will be.

Joey Camb's picture
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the only reason I would suggest paying is as I mentioned (not sure if it was on the other thread) as (1) to promote the idea do a bit of marketing and (2) to subsidize the  reward for inns that are being hit on a regular basis so they don't pull out due to being abused. ie for every reward given you would get a small amount out of the communial kitty therefore - cos lets face it some particiating bb's might not ever get a rewards person in a year - others might get lots but have earned their points somewhere else just seems unfair.

 

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Hillbilly's picture
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I did think of that. That was my thinking behind your choice of rewards. More rewards, more reservations. Less rewards, less reservations. Maybe the top rewards collected inn gets a free stay at the property with the inn that collected the least! That would be fun! (just kidding) If you would be having that much business from this, that would be a good thing. I agree, some kind of a kick back would be nice. Maybe free passes to join the rewards club! You could give these to your best customers. Or maybe to family.....I do think it will take a while for this to start having that problem. It's going to take all of us to get it going! Anyone have any good ideas for a name for it?

Hillbilly's picture
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So would any of you participate in a program like this?

Innkeep's picture
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I've been thinking about this discussion all day.  I think it's a grand idea.  Lots of good  ideas are being kicked around.  It's nice to think that there's enough impetus from just the ResKey users, but to garnish the most success it would probably take more properties. 

I'm not using ResKey at present, probably won't make the switch until Weberv gets more greedy, due to my personal inertia.  I can envision myself paying extra to be listed in that type of rewards program, especially if I could choose my reward.

Hillbilly's picture
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So do you see this as Just for RezKey or every Bed and Breakfast that would want to offer rewards? Or do we open this up to everyone? I do like the foundation of this idea. Rewards keep people coming back to the same place (In our case, B&B's) My wife keeps going back to Kohls all the time because of their program.

Madeleine's picture
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Bob wrote:
So do you see this as Just for RezKey or every Bed and Breakfast that would want to offer rewards? Or do we open this up to everyone? I do like the foundation of this idea. Rewards keep people coming back to the same place (In our case, B&B's) My wife keeps going back to Kohls all the time because of their program.

You'll get a lot more buy in if there are more B&B's participating. Maybe if RezKey is where it starts non-RezKey properties could pay to be added to the list. This is why I think it would be better if it is not tied to any other 'business'.

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No doubt that loyalty programs work.  I drive 40 miles to World Market to use my rewards!  smiley  But I do love their stores.  Went to KMart to buy Halloween candy on sale on 10/31 and my rewards program spit out a $5 gift card that had to be used within a short window of opportunity.  Did I go back?  Yep...these cats that I've inherited keep eating.  Haha!

It has to be user friendly too.  Having some of these linked to my phone number is a boon.  I never carry the dang cards....

 

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gillumhouse's picture
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I am not saying for or against - just asking a rhetorical question.

Doesn't offering rewards to someone just for booking with me sound as if I am desperate for the business? As if I cannot get people to stay at my B & B unless I "bribe" them with a "cookie" as kids are coerced into doing things.

Madeleine's picture
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gillumhouse wrote:

I am not saying for or against - just asking a rhetorical question.

Doesn't offering rewards to someone just for booking with me sound as if I am desperate for the business? As if I cannot get people to stay at my B & B unless I "bribe" them with a "cookie" as kids are coerced into doing things.

No it doesn't. No more than running any kind of special or promotion. Does it make the Hilton sound desperate for guests when they offer Hilton rewards? No.

People like to belong. In the parlance of social media they want a tribe they can call their own. Like the gecko says, 'Exclusivity, mate.' Guests like to get something extra and if it takes joining a club to get that some will. 

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Madeleine wrote:
No it doesn't.

Exactly. You would be hard-pressed to find a more tried and true marketing technique than a rewards program.  Grocery stores, hotels, airlines, drugstores, restaurants, bookstores, and on and on use them without distressing their product.  Select Registry uses it for member inns, and several state B&B associations have had passport programs.  It would be a challenge to craft it well to work for the distinct offerings of individual B&Bs; as we know, value is in the eye of the beholder and not very consistent among our guests.

Here's an article about it.

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Hillbilly's picture
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muirford wrote:

Madeleine wrote:
No it doesn't.

Exactly. You would be hard-pressed to find a more tried and true marketing technique than a rewards program.  Grocery stores, hotels, airlines, drugstores, restaurants, bookstores, and on and on use them without distressing their product.  Select Registry uses it for member inns, and several state B&B associations have had passport programs.  It would be a challenge to craft it well to work for the distinct offerings of individual B&Bs; as we know, value is in the eye of the beholder and not very consistent among our guests.

Here's an article about it.

That is a great article.  It could be that each property sets up their own rewards.  If they are really busy than they might only offer a Bottle of Sparkling Cider on ice with glasses.  If they are really slow and need the business, they might offer a BOGO or a massage pkg.  This would keep properties from feeling they need to offer some big discounts during peak season.  But have the ability to give a larger reward when they need the extra money.  So lets say im a rewards customer.  I can go to the city I want to visit.  Lets say Atlanta.  There are 10 properties listed.  I can go through those and decide what property is giving the greatest reward at that time.  Knowing that I will get some extra benefit from any of them.

The only way to  be able to view any of us will have to be by members only.  Any Bed and Breakfast could list for free, but have to give a reward to card holders. ( But Chefs choice so to speak on what that reward is)

Hillbilly's picture
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Great Idea! Something to build on.

Hillbilly's picture
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Just an idea. What if Reservation Key users (If they choose) are listed on a searchable website (Only RezKey properties at this time) and after staying a certain amount of nights or stays they get a RezKey gift code. After the code is received, they can enter that code in and view the properties that are excepting them. Each one of us donates a set amount. (Maybe we would also donate to a Charity of the guests choice as well could bring media exposure) After we are picked our name is removed from that list. We would still be listed on the website. Just not the treasure chest so to speak. Or something like that.

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Interesting idea, Bob.  Select Registry does a type of reward program for folks that frequent their member B&Bs.  This could/would be more far reaching and inclusive if a diverse group of B&Bs/inns signed up for it. 

How would it be promoted?  That's my main question. 

With the Groupon Getaways and Living Social Adventures and experiences out there, this sounds like it would be more of a marketing tool that could quite possibly cost less to the individual innkeeper. 

Keep brainstorming!

Hillbilly's picture
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I would be willing to pony up.

gillumhouse's picture
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Who will pony up for the rewards?

Madeleine's picture
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gillumhouse wrote:

Who will pony up for the rewards?

The way I would envision this is a 'B&B' rewards card. To participate (as a B&B, not as a guest) you'd have to opt in to provide a certain level of upgrading or discounting or rewards to a guest who was a member AFTER they reached a certain level of spending. The guest would say they are a member, give their member number and we'd be able to look them up somehow to see what level they were at.

Could be a $10 or 10% discount. Could be an upgraded room (as available, same as the hotels do). Could be some extra service like a gift basket.

Of course this means someone is going to be the first place they arrive at with their full points and that person 'gets' to give them something for attaining that level. A lot of B&B's do this now for their own repeats. Essentially what we would be doing is offering perks to 'repeat B&B goers' who may never have set foot in our place before.

It is no doubt a scary thing and why it has never been done. Everyone is going to be thinking they'll be the one giving things away. 'Oh sure, they paid full price at the other 10 B&B's and they saved ME up for when they get the discount!' (There, now everyone knows how I think!)

It's going to take an organization with some funding to start this. Or, someone with some spare time and a secure server who wants to do this for a fee from participating B&B's. But I wouldn't want to see it started by a directory that demands you pay a bazillion dollars to join and then requires you use their booking system. I think most of us can add questions to our booking system so I could add a line that asks for the 'B&B Rewards Card Number____________________'. If there were questions about this from guests then we could answer those and sign the guest up.

Those inns that participate could also sign guests up on the spot for some sort of consideration. ($1 toward their membership dues or some such.)

I really think it would work after the kinks were ironed out. But it can't cost us a fortune. Altho I understand that whoever runs the db needs to be paid.

The whole purpose is to encourage people to go to B&B's the way the glom onto hotels because of the perceived perks of 'belonging'. Sure, at first you get people who are going to go to a B&B anyway. But, with the right marketing, you start to get guests who are newbies who loved their stay with you and now want to try other places and here they have a 'rewards' card to encourage them.

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Great ideas Maddie!  I hear you loud and clear and agree about the inn that gets the 10th stay or what ever.  There has go to be a better way to handle that as there are inns that would possibly get the lions share of those and they should not be burdened with footing the lions share of the rewards. 

I am sure there is a way to make this work where it is fair for all the participating B&B's. 

Joey Camb's picture
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Id make it a small fee to participate (1) pays for advertising (2) if you hit a reward customer you get a set amount out of the kitty to go towards whatever the reward is.

This way say very busy inn's in town centers which are more likely to be hit on a regular basis for rewards will get a bit of compensation if they get repeated hits.

Hillbilly's picture
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I think if we come up with something it should start small. Work out all the problems and then go big with it. I think from the talks that I have had with John, this is something he could help with for sure. The rewards number is easy. Rezkey could track how many times this number is used. Im sure he could even set up a sign up field for them. Or in your idea M searchable. Do you think guests would pay a fee for this? Or is this a free thing and we pay for it? I kinda like the idea of having all of us listed on a searchable website.

Madeleine's picture
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There is a model out there for the consumer paying to join...Costco, Sam's Club, BJ's, Amazon Prime...all of those charge a fee to belong but the benefits have to be very obvious. And if the guest is paying an upfront fee then the perks have to start with the first stay, not after a certain number of stays has accumulated.

Hillbilly's picture
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Like a Bed and Breakfast members only club!

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