Sample Essay

Recently many companies are using customer-loyalty programs to keep their customers loyal to them. This approach is even more popular in hospitality business, but researchers point that using such programs, sellers should pay attention to attitudinal loyalty and frequency of actions (Baloglu 2002).  Frequent-user program allows customers to have various benefits when they return (Victorino, Verma, Plaschka and Dev 2005). Here we can talk about guest cards, with saving bonuses, cutting cost and sales for the guest and his family, special occasions and actions. In a coffee bar these can be stamp-cards with free drink and tasting days, with new coffee arrivals and recipes. In addition, some innovations can take place, for example, cash-cards, that allow experiencing coffee break without cash.

Another action that can take place – gifts for returning customers and after guest registration, birthday presents. However, these tactics are believed by various researchers can be ineffective as they can be used by other service providers and competitors.    The solution that is found in this scenario is actually building the trust and commitment between consumer and service provider (Bowen and Shoemaker 1998). Commitment is the fundamental part of relationship and it is defined as “commitment as the belief that an ongoing relationship is so important that the partners are willing to work at maintaining the relationship and are willing to make short-term sacrifices to realize long-term benefits” (Bowen and Shoemaker 1998 p. 22). Trust on the other hand is readiness to depend and rely on associate with faith and respect.

Voluntary partnership is an approach that can lead to loyalty as well. Here we are talking about customer voluntary activities that can take place in order to increase future satisfaction. For instance, questionnaires and filling forms can be designed to find out customers’ opinion and preferences as well as customer references. Very important loyalty creating factor is positive word-of-mouth, which can be even more effective than other marketing tools.

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