In a bid to to drive revenue and stronger customer relationships, Guoman and Thistle hotels have launched their first loyalty programme called Signature with the assistance of loyalty experts ICLP. This article is copyright 2012 The Best Customer Guide.

Closely aligned with Guoman and Thistle's existing customer-centric service approach, and the personalised experience the company offers its guests, the programme was designed with added value and an improved customer experience in mind, rather than purely focusing on financial rewards.

The programme's launch was timed to complement an extensive refurbishment programme including the company's flagship hotels (The Grosvenor, a five star Guoman hotel at London's Victoria station, and a £130 million refurbishment programme across the Thistle estate over the past three years).

The Signature loyalty programme is now live across the five branded Guoman Hotels and the 32 Thistle Hotels throughout the UK, and is free for customers to join. It offers three different membership levels, each with their own benefits, depending on the frequency and length of stay. Upon joining, members receive their welcome packs including membership cards for the two premium tiers (Gold and Ruby), and online fulfilment for the entry-level Blue tier.

ICLP worked with the group's marketing and communication teams to set the strategic direction for the programme based on customer insight and commercial modelling, and is providing ongoing operational support across multiple channels.

"When we began considering a loyalty programme, our main aim was to improve our understanding of our existing customers and ensure we rewarded them through an improved guest experience wherever possible," said Gillian Harris, director of brand for Guoman and Thistle Hotels.