You’re in search of a new loyalty rewards provider. You’re probably putting out an RFP, including all the typical questions about products, current clients and cost. But is that all you need?
Consider expanding your standard RFP. Give vendors an opportunity to analyze your brand and program. Some may come back with cookie-cutter responses, but others will likely surprise you with a custom solution that aligns your brand, goals and customers.
Think big picture.
Travel rewards are just part of the customer loyalty puzzle.
Take a step back from the program itself and think about the bigger picture, the reason you have a rewards program in the first place: to create loyal customers.
Lay your broader loyalty strategy out on the table. Be clear about what your brand stands for, what makes you different from competitors. How else are you striving to drive loyalty? Maybe your brand prides itself on being innovative and having best-in-class technology. That information is crucial to share with a potential vendor.
The result: a tailor-made program and content offerings that helps achieve your broader business goals and loyalty objectives.
Once you’ve told potential vendor partners what your goals are, be open to their suggestions. Try to stay away from too much self-prescribing (i.e. telling potential partners exactly what products or solutions you want or think you need).
Staying open minded will encourage respondents to create customized programs and solutions. They may bring something to the table you hadn’t previously thought of – something that’s an even better fit for your business and your customers.
Get specific when it matters most – “The 3 P’s”
To ensure you get an accurate picture of each vendor’s offerings and are comparing them on an equal playing field, be explicit about:
- Pricing – Define the pricing structure you’re looking for, or ask vendors to define what their pricing structure does (and doesn’t) include. For example: What’s included in the end price? Does the customer price include taxes and fees?
- Properties – In searching for travel rewards, you want to be sure you’re giving customers access to as much inventory as possible. If hotel stays are part of your travel rewards program, ask specifically about how many unique properties are offered. This will help ensure there aren’t any duplicates in the number that vendors give you.
- Product roadmaps – Before you choose that vendor, ask what the future of their products and solutions looks like. When will you be able to take advantage of new features? Is there a team in place within the company that is communicating with you regularly about new products and features to ensure your program doesn’t become stale?
Especially for travel rewards RFPs, make sure everyone is speaking the same language. It’s the only way to ensure you’re comparing apples to apples early in the RFP game.
At Connexions, we pride ourselves in being a loyalty travel provider – not just a travel provider. In other words, our No. 1 goal is loyalty. We understand customer loyalty from multiple lenses and how important a travel solution is in driving brand loyalty, increasing NPS and driving advocacy for our clients’ brands.