Building Customer Loyalty Through Value-Added Programs

When it comes to building points and consumer loyalty, the timeshare industry hasn't been quick to engage the concept. Now it seems, the value is making itself known.  Here are but a few companies who have successfully incorporated a loyalty program into their business model.

Occidental Vacation Club

Occidental Vacation Club has integrated the Leisure Logistics platform into its Leisure Points program. Members can earn points for booking certain trips such as a Wine Tour next spring, and use those points to purchase a variety of travel and non-travel related items. Eventually, the plans call to roll the system out to include owner referral and other marketing programs.

International Cruise & Excursions, Inc. (I.C.E.)

International Cruise & Excursions, Inc. (I.C.E.) was one of the first companies to implement a program of innovative sales, marketing and loyalty programs. Partnering first with Carnival Cruise line they successfully delivered cruise vacations to vacationers worldwide through cruise packaging, incentives and fulfillment. In 1999, other major cruise lines came aboard, as did new partners in and out of the travel market. I.C.E's commitment to technology driven products and services led them to develop points-based currency conversion software and to deliver vacation benefits through an automated fulfillment platform for use by its business partners and its own operation.

I.C.E's Lifestyle Collection has allowed the company to expand further into the value-added area. The Lifestyle Collection provides a broad range of fully branded products and services to its partners including golf, ski, spa, wine, shopping/merchandise, entertainment, hotel, car, air, resort and more.

Westgate Resorts

In June of this year, Westgate Resorts launched Westgate Rewards MasterCard, their new co-brand credit card. With the new card, cardholders will receive full account service, including online account activation and management, flexible financing options, and marketing communications to support repeat purchases and enhance customer loyalty. New Westgate resort owners will even be able to put their timeshare down payment on the card, on a 6-month deferred interest promotion payment plan.

Westgate Rewards MasterCard features a points-based loyalty program for all card purchases and more incentives when using the card for transactions, on and off the property. Users can redeem every 2500 points earned for a $25 rewards certificate. The certificate can be used for discounts on resort amenities, accommodations, maintenance and tax fees, and other special offers.

"Our goal is to provide our owners tremendous value both during their vacation as well as all 52 weeks of the year," said Mark Waltrip, Chief Operating Officer of Westgate Resorts. "The Rewards MasterCard is the foundation of our loyalty program that will allow our owners to offset the cost of their timeshare ownership and enhance the quality of their future vacations at Westgate."

Loyalty 360

Perhaps the best way to end a blog on building customer loyalty is with a quote from a group that knows a thing or two about loyalty building, Loyalty 360, the Loyalty Marketer's Association:
"Loyalty marketing, engagement marketing, experiential matter what you call it, it's no secret that today, more than ever, companies need to create and nurture positive relationships with customers in order to thrive. Loyalty marketing today goes beyond traditional points and rewards programs. As companies continue to strive for the ultimate customer relationship, loyalty marketing is continually evolving to include engagement marketing, customer relationship management, experiential marketing, voice of the customer, data analytics and more. No matter the industry or size of a company, a loyalty strategy should be a top priority."

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