I’ve been thinking about reward programs lately because I: A. qualified for a Starbucks gold card, B. Got a note that my profile on LinkedIn was in the top 5% viewed in 2012 and C. there was a post at the check out at the grocery store there are changes to the fuel perks program. Why is this important?
Reward and recognition programs make your clients feel special. Sure – all my gold card means is I spent enough money to get one and I teach LinkedIn so each time we do those classes people go look – but at the end of the day I feel closer to the companies and tell my friends. So how can you incorporate these strategies into your company?
Set aside a group of clients as your “premium” clients. Give it a name and make sure they get something extra. Letting them know they are part of a group or club gives them stronger ties to your organization. And if the rewards are good, the customers will brag on it. Don’t believe me? Check out the Giant Eagle fuel perks Facebook page with all the pictures of how much people are paying for a tank of gas.
Don’t want to create a whole group? Invite a select few to a special event where you buy their tickets or host. At one point in business this kind of thing was commonplace but anymore, most companies aren’t offering it any longer. You can set yourself apart by doing so.
Want a technology solution? Set up an area on your website or a social media tool just for them. This one takes more time as you have to provide content worth their time to go look at on a regular basis. This will definitely be the most labor-intensive option, but if you can create a community, also the most rewarding.
At the end of the day a reward program is only as good as the users think it is. If carrying a gold piece of plastic in their wallet will be fun, do that. If attending a special event with a cool speaker will make them remember you when their friends ask who to use, do that. What’s the best way to know? ASK THEM!