Loyalty schemes are crucial in the current economic climate, say travel industry directors and managers in new research.
The report from GI Insight reveals that 95% of finance directors and managers in the sector consider loyalty programmes key in preventing customer defection, maintaining a competitive edge and supporting commercial health in the recession.
According to the study four out of five finance directors and managers in British firms believe companies with a loyalty scheme will come out of the current economic downturn with ‘significant competitive advantage’.
GI Insight managing director Andy Wood said: “Loyalty schemes are of great value to both value travel services providers and premium ones during a recession. The value end is experiencing an influx of custom from premium providers as customers tighten the purse strings and seek cheaper alternatives.
“If there is a loyalty scheme in operation new customers should be incentivised to sign up with the aim of identifying new customer profiles.
The research also revealed medium sized companies of between 51-249 employees, are most sceptical about the value of loyalty schemes in a recession.
Large firms with more than 1,000 employees view loyalty schemes as critical to their success in the coming months.
Research earlier this month from ancillary programme specialist Collinson Latitude showed non-core revenue programmes as a good way to drive loyalty and gain valuable data on customers.
Collinson Latitude has just unveiled an affiliate reward platform for Velocity Rewards, Virgin Blue’s loyalty programme.
The company, alongside sister firm ICLP, has developed ‘ShopAndEarn Store’ a branded online portal enabling members to earn additional Velocity Reward points when they shop at more than 100 partners online including iTunes and Dell.