Which perk would you prefer?

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Madeleine's picture
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You're a long time repeat guest. Would you prefer that your B&B of choice:

  • gave you a discounted room price
  • upgraded you when possible
  • gave you passes to go to different events/destinations
  • gave you a gift that was targeted to what you like (your fav wine/beer/dinner gc)
  • let you check-out late/check-in early
  • delivered your breakfast to your room
  • other

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Iris's picture
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Discount for me as well.  I give my guests the cost of the tax for their stay. They love it

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In rewardsIn rewards

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I would prefer a discount on the room rate.  This falls in line with most lodging loyalty programs.

Let me pick my wine, restaurant, etc.  Plus, I really don't need some other item to clutter up my house.  Eye-wink

 

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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Since you've already given the token mug, trinket gifts to your long time repeats, I think doing something simple like a nice simple flower arrangement from the grocery store (nothing expensive) or a baked or sweet item from the store's bakery with a personalized card goes a long way.

If I'm a long time repeat guest, I'm there because I love what and who you are. I would be there if you offered nothing free. People do like to be made special, so something personalized I think is great.

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B

 

But maybe not. See I may love a room for its location, it may be a lesser priced room. So I say DISCOUNT. Return guest VIP discount, yes.

Hillbilly's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

B

 

But maybe not. See I may love a room for its location, it may be a lesser priced room. So I say DISCOUNT. Return guest VIP discount, yes.

I agree. Leave me in the room I booked. We had a repeat discount program years ago when we first opened. As we progressed with our business and started turning people away we stopped mentioning it. Things are still really busy but like everyone we do have our slow times. We thought about offering up for select times of the year. We had an idea of offering it if you stay within a year of your last stay. You keep your VIP status so to speak. After a year it expires and you will have to start over. This was just an idea I had. Anyone do anything like this? Do you feel it works or is worth the energy?

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Madeleine's picture
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We used to do a 'stay 10 get the 11th night free'. Stopped that when I realized the first full year we did that it was around $4000 out of pocket to people who would have come anyway. Not something we can afford. It wasn't building a new guest base but rewarding the long time guest base so I guess it was worth it to say thanks.

When we have guests who haven't been here in a few years but who used to get the discount, I have lowered the discount and they still got something off.

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The problem with a tix to a local attraction or a dinner gc is that I probably wouldn't use it if I hadn't already planned to go to a place like that.

Something that would be awesome would be a small gift bag of local foodie products - a bottle of wine from a local winery or some local jams/honey/jarred type foods.   If you serve special coffees or teas, some of that to take home perhaps.

Madeleine's picture
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SM101 wrote:

The problem with a tix to a local attraction or a dinner gc is that I probably wouldn't use it if I hadn't already planned to go to a place like that.

Something that would be awesome would be a small gift bag of local foodie products - a bottle of wine from a local winery or some local jams/honey/jarred type foods.   If you serve special coffees or teas, some of that to take home perhaps.

What I do is ask them what they are planning to do. If I have the passes for that attraction, Bob's yer uncle! So I try to find out in advance. If I can't, then I can do the local products (which I did yesterday).

Sometimes it's a spur of the moment. We'll have families here and they say they're going to the beach. OK, that's going to run them $25-$30 to get in. I give them a pass and they go for free. And the pass cost me $5.

I know what my 'best' discount rate is so I keep the gift level under that. In some cases it could be worth a $75 dinner.

Innkeep's picture
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I hate to say it, but I'd be the one to appreciate the discount on the room.  I know that's not what you wanted to hear.

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This is a great topic and one I feel I can answer from a guest's POV.  I am in agreement with Kathleen on most points.  Thing is, I frequent casinos (okay, you laugh Smiling, but depending on the loyalty program they have, you could get any one or all of the things listed here.  Free upgrade, nah.  Discounted rate, sure, but would definitely create an expectation.  Early check-in/late check-out, mmm, maybe, but I follow rules and I'm perfectly fine with the stated policies.  But, passes, tickets, targeted gifts, and breakfast delivered to my room - yep!  Those things are for me.  Why?  Because if I'm already going to buy the experience (I'm either paying for it with gambling dollars at a casino or paying for it in the room rate of my choosing), I'm thrilled to get what seems to be extra pampering.  Now, I guess I'm naive and inexperienced, but I don't understand why passes or the gift are cheaper to provide than a rate discount?

Madeleine's picture
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SecondAct wrote:

  Now, I guess I'm naive and inexperienced, but I don't understand why passes or the gift are cheaper to provide than a rate discount?

Most repeat guests stay 3-4 nights, some stay for a week. Giving them passes is a LOT less expensive than giving them a discount. For the ones where this is just a 'way stop' the discount makes more sense. But for the ones who are going to stay here and sightsee, the gift or passes makes more sense.

 

Madeleine's picture
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I'm doing a combo of perks right now. Easing out of the discounts as old timers stop coming.  Reducing the discount if the time frame between visits is longer. Moving toward tickets and local gifts.

As DH asked today, 'Which is easier or less expensive?' It's EASIER to give the discount. It's cheaper to give the tix or the gift. I'm not really sure most of our guests even notice the discount any longer. But they love the gifts.

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I really LOVE the personalized gesture ...... remembering something about them and incorporating it into the room.  It makes them feel "special".  I enjoy it and it costs nothing.  

Most recent example is an author (and I just deleted a lengthy rhapsody about him and his book).  One chapter talks about the fact he couldn't find a fossilized shark's tooth.  I had one (at least something that looked like one) ...... he found it.  

My guests that travel with their soft toys will find a welcome party of soft toys in their room (last time they were playing poker and drinking "whiskey").  

Madeleine's picture
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ukmaineiac wrote:

 

My guests that travel with their soft toys will find a welcome party of soft toys in their room (last time they were playing poker and drinking "whiskey").  

Hey, do you get that couple from north of the border staying with you, too??? Entire bed covered! I slipped a 'ringer' in last time they were here!

gillumhouse's picture
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Personally, I would like the passes or the dinner GC. I am weird so do not judge ny me. Room upgrades mean nothing to me - I want a bed & bathroom and DH wants a TV. We are done.Early check-in  (I have a rep for finding something interesting to see on the way so would be more likely to be a late arrival and we like to get out to start seeing/doing so late check-out? nah. If you gave a room discount, it might be expect from then on.,

Passes or dinner for me.

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gillumhouse wrote:

Personally, I would like the passes or the dinner GC. I am weird so do not judge ny me. Room upgrades mean nothing to me - I want a bed & bathroom and DH wants a TV. We are done.Early check-in  (I have a rep for finding something interesting to see on the way so would be more likely to be a late arrival and we like to get out to start seeing/doing so late check-out? nah. If you gave a room discount, it might be expect from then on.,

Passes or dinner for me.

and so you should get them from then on, for returning and being a loyal guest. heart

gillumhouse's picture
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Actually, I think the dinner or the tix would be seen as a one time thing.

Madeleine's picture
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gillumhouse wrote:

Actually, I think the dinner or the tix would be seen as a one time thing.

Part of the problem is that I wonder if they expect 'something' every time? I start off pretty 'low key' with mugs and chocolates. But no one wants mugs the second time! Plus, you have to stay 3 times to get a gift. Guests who get a discount don't get a gift which is why I'm wondering which would be better.

I know some really, REALLY appreciate the lower price and some were reluctant to book online because they thought they had to call to 'remind' me. (I just say, 'As if I could forget YOU!') So, yes, once in the 'program,' guests DO expect the discount every stay.

OnTheShore's picture
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What if you offered the perk (whatever it is) only on every 5th stay, or only once per year, or some other scheme, so that guests don't come to expect a perk for every stay, but have something to look forward to in the future, and something to entice them back regularly in order to earn that future perk?

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Madeleine's picture
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Harborfields wrote:

What if you offered the perk (whatever it is) only on every 5th stay, or only once per year, or some other scheme, so that guests don't come to expect a perk for every stay, but have something to look forward to in the future, and something to entice them back regularly in order to earn that future perk?

Most of them come back yearly. For those who are here several times/year we do a discount. It's the once/year crowd who are getting gifts or passes.

And, seriously, I have had guests say they would come here without the special attention but there are those who need that little extra.

The other thing is the 'accounting' and keeping track. I am really not good at that. I do have it in the guest notes but I don't want to have to keep checking to see how many times they've been here after the first 3 stays.

Kay Nein's picture
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I was thinking along the same lines.  I liken it to dog training - you give the dog a treat when it successfully does something, but not every single time so they never really know when they will get the treat.  They'll keep doing the command when you ask because they know at some point they will get the treat.  Even if it's every 3rd or 5th time, they will continue to do the command knowing it's coming.

 

Arks's picture
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K9 wrote:

I was thinking along the same lines.  I liken it to dog training - you give the dog a treat when it successfully does something, but not every single time...

I can relate to that! We occasionally bribe the dogs with biscuits to get them to leave the house, but when I throw them out without a biscuit, I can see them looking up at me, asking "where's my biscuit?" So they keep cooperating to get them out the door as long as we occasionally give them a reward.

The trouble is, you can disappoint the dog occasionally and they don't run away from home over it, but humans are different, and I DO see a potential problem that once you start something, they'll notice if they don't get it every time, turning what should be a good situation into one with some resentment developing.

Smiles don't cost much. Give them your good cheer (even if you have to fake it) and make them know they're appreciated.

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Flower's picture
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I would love a pass on a local restaurant. Does not have to be fancy . But has to serve great food . Or love a bottle of wine left for us.

Iam  much like Gillumhouse I want to see every thing .Like to be one time . Out early to go sight seeing around the area. Or our favorite spot to go to.

If I have been at your place often I am likely the one to bring you a small gift for having us and serving us for many a year.

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