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I think a point that often gets lost in all the discussion of points and miles is that loyalty programs are a two-way street. We, as consumers, give our time and money to certain brands, and in return, they reward us with discounts, perks and free things. In the best of circumstances, this involves a lot of talking and listening on both sides.
Consumers tell brands what they want, how they want it, and what they’ll pay for it; and brands tell consumers what they can do in terms of pricing, benefits and rewards.
Unfortunately, that’s not how things work a lot of times. Consumers end up focusing on the negative (my flight was terrible, my room smelled like smoke, my points expired) without acknowledging the positive aspects of loyalty programs, and it can sometimes feel like airlines, hotels and credit card programs are simply dictating terms that we are powerless to do anything about – especially with award chart devaluations and promos with no consumer input.
However, in my experience, loyalty programs are usually pretty good about listening to their consumers and reach out on a frequent basis to hear their opinions, whether it’s in targeted polls, sterling customer service, and 24-hour availability through various social media channels, and I for one take every opportunity possible to participate since I want my voice to be heard and any chance I get to tell a loyalty program what I want is one I’m willing to take.
That’s why I was interested to learn that Hyatt is launching what it calls the “World’s Largest Focus Group” today with a series of chats on Twitter throughout the day asking their guests, “How Do You Travel?”. The whole point is to engage with Hyatt’s business and leisure travelers all over the globe to find out how they travel and to get new ideas on how to make travel more productive, more relaxing and more enjoyable for them.
The chats will focus on what frequent travelers look for in a hotel experience, their habits and rituals on the road and what everyone can do to make their travel experience better. Anyone is invited to participate, just use the hashtag #HyattWLFG to join in the discussion.
Among the day’s scheduled chat topics will be:
5:00 – 6:00 am Central Time: “Seamless Travel” hosted by Matt Long (@LandLopers)
2:30 – 4:00 pm Central Time: “Traveling Like a Pro” hosted by Travelers’ Night (@flyingwithfish)
As if voicing your opinion wasn’t reason enough to join in, Hyatt will also be giving away prizes including free nights, so start Tweeting and see if you win anything!
I’ll be popping in and out of the chats throughout the day myself since Hyatt is one of my main brands (I’ve been a Diamond with them for a few years now and they have some of my favorite properties around the world), and as I said, any chance I get to give a brand I patronize feedback, I take. So hopefully I’ll see a lot of you out there today in the Twitter-sphere, and I can’t wait to hear what you think during the chats as well!