Interview with Michael Toedt

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Interview with Michael Toedt

July 8, 2014, In All news, Fairmas hotel report

Customer Loyalty Programmes in the Hotel Industry

An interview with Michael Toedt, Managing Partner, CEO, Toedt, Dr. Selk & Coll. GmbH

SolutionsDotWG: How much did it cost to set the programme up? What sort of costs are we currently looking at (in terms of financial outlay and working hours)?

Michael Toedt: Businesses considerably underestimate the complexity and necessary outlay. You need to be aware that a customer loyalty programme makes sense only if it is a key component of communication strategy.

SolutionsDotWG: Every hotel chain has a customer loyalty programme. Is it still a competitive advantage?

Michael Toedt: No, on the contrary, it is definitely a competitive disadvantage not to have one. In today’s market, apart from the luxury segment, every hotel should have its own loyalty system. Whether you actually need a customer card as haptic medium is more than doubtful.

SolutionsDotWG: What does your company see as the three most important advantages of a customer loyalty programme?

Michael Toedt: In a multi-property set-up, the identity card function, the central guest profile and the possibility for intensive communication with the guest.

SolutionsDotWG: Are customer loyalty programmes a model which involves no risk for the guest and for the hotel itself? What dangers could there be for both sides?

Michael Toedt: For the company the risk exists in the often underestimated costs in terms of money and time. A further risk is that customer loyalty programmes often run independently of each other and are not sufficiently integrated into the existing IT structure.

SolutionsDotWG: Data security is a big and emotionally charged topic at the moment. To which aspects of this should hotels be paying particular attention?

Michael Toedt: To professional, accredited partners. In addition, every corporation should employ a data protection officer as well as a specialist lawyer.

SolutionsDotWG: How do you envisage the future? Where do you see the customer loyalty programmes in five years?

Michael Toedt: The market is so fast-moving that a time-frame of 5 years is too ambitious. Today’s planning should concentrate on for the next 24 months at the most.
Customer loyalty programmes will be more virtual in future and will dispense with the classical card. At the end of the day though success or failure will depend on the direct benefits the customer gains from their practical application.

SoltuionsDotWG thanks you for the interview.

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