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Hilton builds customer loyalty with votes on promotion, charity donation

Members of the Hilton HHonors loyalty program can use their votes to choose either Double HHonors Points, beginning on their second stay, or 1,000 Bonus Points for every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday night stay. Hilton also is inviting HHonors members to choose which charity during the Christmas-New Year’s holiday season should receive a $200,000 donation and which two should receive donations of $50,000 each.

The vote is an example of a hotel brand using mobile to enhance a hotel stay while building customer loyalty.

“We value our members’ feedback and want to include them in the ongoing development of our loyalty program,” said Mark Weinstein, Hilton’s global head of loyalty and partnerships. “We have been listening to them and know that they want to have more input in the HHonors promotions so we wanted to bring that feedback to life this year.

“We’re also looking to give our members more options across all facets of their experience with us,” he said. “For example, members can choose their room when they check-in via the Hilton HHonors app and now we’re giving them even more choice and control by enabling them to choose their preferred bonus offer as well.”

Official promotion
The bonus offer that receives the most votes through Oct. 4 will serve as the official promotion from Nov. 1 through Jan. 31. It will be available to registered Hilton HHonors members who stay at participating Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations properties.

Members can vote on the offers at Results will be announced around Oct. 29. The site includes live voting updates.

The three charities members can choose from are Mercy Corps, a leading global humanitarian agency saving and improving lives in the world’s toughest places; Oxfam, a world-wide development organization that mobilizes the power of people against poverty; and Save the Children, which aims to give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm.

Hilton is changing how guests engage with our brand by empowering them to dream, book, stay, check-out and follow up on the platforms they prefer most, with mobile at the forefront.

In July, the company unveiled new mobile advances such as the ability to check-in and choose exact rooms from digital floor plans, make a purchase upgrade and submit special requests for room service.

In response to data and feedback from more than 40 million members, Hilton recognized that guest preferences are changing as choices expand while brand loyalty is becoming more important than ever but harder to win. To meet these challenges, the hotelier is thinking and acting for the long term on all digital fronts, with mobile playing an important role in delivering the kinds of experiences that guests are looking for.

Leading hotel brands are under pressure to embrace innovation and technology to better meet the customer’s demands for comfort, choice, control and efficiency.

The increased demands stem from consumers’ ability at home to fulfill their exact needs when they want something. They expect the same service while traveling, as they seek to maximize personal preferences and personalized services by leveraging mobile and Web tools to save precious time and tap into the latest convenience offerings.

Empowering guests
“Knowing that our guests are tied to their digital devices, Hilton’s mobile strategy centers on empowering guests with choice and control over the entire stay experience – from check-in to check-out,” Mr. Weinstein said.

“Taking this into consideration, it was a natural fit for us to launch a voting period for our end-of-year promotion to give our guests more choice and control and allow them to do this from their mobile device,” he said. “The voting period of our end-of-year promotion furthers our mobile strategy by allowing guests to take advantage of more travel options and shaping the HHonors program with just a few clicks on their phone.

“We have been listening to our members’ feedback for some time now and we know they want more options,” Mr. Weinstein said.  “The end-of-year promotion voting period is a direct result of our member feedback and we’re looking to implement more programs based on what we know our members are looking for.”

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York.