Understanding Customer Loyalty for Online Travel Agency (OTA) Services

The Challenge

The OTA needed to understand the key drivers of loyalty program usage, the best approach for an OTA loyalty program, and to test different potential loyalty programs to find the most viable program for the OTA before they invested in the development of the program.


What They Did

They contracted with Gordian Knot to develop and implement a comprehensive Qualitative and Quantitative research project to determine the best combination of program elements.

Identified perceptions of customer loyalty programs in general, specifically for travel, and specifically in the context of OTAs:

  • Identified improvements that could be made to existing programs today to make them better
  • Tested potential programs with respondents to get initial reactions and opportunities to refine and improve them

Tested assumptions and refined programs in a quantitative setting to validate findings from the qualitative work.


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The Results

  • Features that were tested and the concepts tested, the analysis validated they had a very strong value proposition for consumers.
  • Overall, very few features were seen as a requirement; most of them were seen as delighters, satisfiers (the more the better), or a combination of delighter / satisfier – this helped guide the development of their loyalty program elements.
  • Loyalty program concepts were well-received by respondents with roughly a third of respondents being top box (extremely likely) across most major measures – this saved them significant development time and investment before they rolled out programs that were not relevant or interesting to their customer base.

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