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March 2015

Loyalty Program to Watch

The Goal

Red Lion Hotels Corp. wanted to close the door on the traditional loyalty model of points acquisition and tiered status, instead preferring a guest-recognition program to make guests feel special during every stay.

The solution was to retire the R&R Club and debut its Hello Rewards program in December 2014, which the company said flipped the relationship to one where it is earning the loyalty of its guests instead of essentially asking them to earn its loyalty.

The Initiative

Hello Rewards members don’t accumulate points; instead they earn recognition and special treatment with every stay and land perks and benefits more quickly than in the former loyalty program. The guiding tenets of Hello Rewards are to surprise and delight guests, to provide personalized attention and to fuel guests’ passions.

Members are surprised with recommendations and rewards tailored to their interests, including specials from Red Lion affiliates and partners and member-only offers. They book at the best available rates and get express check-in and check-out, plus late checkout and room upgrades when available. And their rooms are free every seventh stay.

The program also recognizes members regardless of how they book, instead of restricting them to certain booking channels as the old loyalty program did.

Another component of the new program is it recognizes meeting and event planners who book group business at Red Lion, awarding them Visa gift cards and master account credit based on business generated.

The Results

Hello Rewards is only in its infancy (2 months old at this writing), but Red Lion is pleased with preliminary results and is measuring several metrics. Those include measuring its market percentage against hotels with similar customer sentiment ratings.

Since the program launched, of the guests who have stayed two or more times at a Red Lion property, 45% are Hello Rewards members; and of those who have stayed at two or more different properties, 66% are members. The program already counts more than a half-million engaged members.