Do you know who your best customers are? Do you know which ones are your most valuable? Part of building a customer base is finding new customers, however the best business people know that retaining current customers generates the real revenue. Inc. magazine estimates that it costs five to 10 times more money to acquire a new customer than it does to upsell an existing one. On top of that, existing customers spend up to 67 percent more than new customers. What we can conclude is that companies miss opportunities for enhancing their profits if they do not engage with returning customers.

The key to successful customer loyalty are customized offers that are tailored to individuals that offer ancillary products and services to provide value. Communicating with your customer at the right time and place, with the right offer shows them you’re paying attention to their needs and interests. We call this digital merchandising. When your  customers feel like you’re listening, it helps develop the relationship for long-term loyalty.

Airlines have invested heavily in retaining customers via rewards points, club tiers and special rewards for frequent flyers. However, not all airlines have taken advantage of offering ancillary products at check-in or the purchase point that are customized to their customers needs and previous travel history. Extra leg room, upgraded dining options, in-flight entertainment, priority seating, priority boarding and alcohol are all options that can be pitched to new and existing customers. Remembering customers’ preferences from previous flights and offering them the opportunity to upgrade to better options can improve your retention rate.

Travel distributors should consider how to make their customers’ travel experience better and easier with add-ons like ground transportation, event tickets, tours and more. Hotels can also get in the game with ancillary amenities to enhance the traveler’s experience, such as spa treatments, outdoor activities, and unique experiences.

A complementary product every now and then will also keep customers coming back. Offering your favorite customers special benefits helps to keep them loyal. Frequent flyers will continue to fly with a company because they have accumulated points, but capturing and retaining new customers with quality benefits is the best way to retain them.

Turning new customers into loyal customers can be as simple as offering  a seamless and stress-free way to shop for flights, while offering them customizable add-ons. This begins with the user interface and ends with customer service. The better a travel company understands their current customers, the more revenue they will be able to generate and the more beneficial the ongoing relationship.