The inaugural J.D. Power 2014 Hotel Loyalty/Rewards Program Satisfaction Report has revealed top hotel rewards programs.
The report measures customer satisfaction by examining five factors (in order of importance): account maintenance/management (23%); ease of redeeming points/miles (22%); ease of earning points/miles (18%); reward program terms and ease of earning points/miles (16%); and customer service (5%)
Marriott Rewards ranks highest among hotel loyalty/rewards programs with an overall customer satisfaction score of 707 on a 1,000 point scale.
Following Marriott Rewards in the rankings are IHG Rewards Club (704) and Canada-based Delta Hotels' Delta Privilege (703).
Account maintenance/management and ease of redeeming points/miles are the two most heavily weighted factors in determining loyalty/rewards program satisfaction; together, they account for nearly half of the overall index weight (45%).
Recommendation of friends and family plays an important role in loyalty/rewards program selection. When asked why they chose one particular loyalty/rewards program over another, 19 percent of customers cite recommendation of a friend or family member as the reason.
On average, customers who rate their loyalty/rewards program 10 on a 10-point scale provide twice as many word-of-mouth recommendations (4.0), compared to those that give any other satisfaction rating (1.8).
When asked how they became aware of loyalty/rewards programs, customers cite the hotel employee during check-in/check-out (43%), followed by the hotel's website (25%) and promotional material received directly from the hotel (14%).
"While many hotels focus on advertising and marketing to create awareness of their loyalty programs, there is no better recruiting tool than word of mouth," said Rick Garlick, global travel and hospitality practice lead at J.D. Power. "We find that 43 percent of customers learn about a particular loyalty program from a hotel employee at the point of check-in or check-out. This is significantly higher than the next most frequent source of awareness, which is the hotel brand website at 25 percent."