Many businesses all over the world have some sort of loyalty program to get customers back. Sometimes they give you points to exchange for items, others give you family holidays, but essentially the goal is the same ….. get you to spend your hard earned cash with them. These programs have been around for ages, but some businesses are starting to question if they are worth the hassle.
Let’s be honest, as consumers we have all used these at some point. Maybe your local supermarket gives you a store card to add points to exchange them for discounts or free in-store currency. What about the coffee shop down the road that gives you a free coffee after you have bought a few. They generally work, as we usually return to these establishments to get these points and get the rewards. Sounds great doesn’t it? Well they are, as they are almost a guaranteed return of a satisfied customer, but what happens when shit hits the fan? Yep … things get messy!
Usually when we take something out, it comes with some Terms & Conditions. But like a guest at a 5 star hotel once told one of my ex-colleagues, “Who reads those anyways?”. Well … maybe you should have before making a complete idiot of yourself. These loyalty program have been bringing out the darkness of people and one of the capital sins … GREED. Only that this time, it’s not from the business, but from the consumer itself. It has turned people of all ages into 5 year old spoiled brats having a tantrum at the toy store when their parents tell them they cannot buy the toy for them.
Hotels in particular use these loyalty programs to offer a few extra perks to their regular guests like for example: Early Check-Ins, Late Check-Outs, complimentary Continental Breakfast, and Free Upgrade of room category. All of these are SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY, but don’t you dare not give it to the regular guest. Guests keep “forgetting” that hotels are also businesses and yes …. the idea is to fill the ENTIRE hotel, so guess what …. the hotel may actually be full! Even though all their preferences were respected except one of the perks, they treat staff like if you told them to fuck off in their face. They complain until someone in the higher management has to make the decision of screwing over another guest just to give this little baby his sweetie. Does it stop there? LOL .. of course not. After they get what they want, they tell you how you ruined their stay and that they will destroy you on social media. It is very frustrating as due to these type of guests, it may take a few hours to resolve allocations for other guests that usually are paying higher rates and/or are even more regular than the one that caused all the issues.
I have worked in a few sectors, but I think the hospitality (hotels) and travel/tourism (airlines) sectors have the hardest type of consumers. What do you think? I would love to get your input and comments.