Here’s a tip to help you improve or develop your rewards program: Make sure everyone knows about the program and understands it.
Seems like a given, but many programs have faltered simply because the front-line service personnel were not aware of the program or not well-versed enough to communicate the value of it to their customers. This is most prevalent in industries where there is high turnover and limited training. However, we as marketers can take some blame. When we develop a program, we are not only responsible for customer adoption, we are also responsible for employee adoption!
Rewards programs have always been a polarizing marketing tactic. Some people love them and clearly see the value they bring. Others hate them and consider them a waste of money and a bad habit. However, once a rewards program is green-lighted, smart marketers realize that they need to sell the program through the organization as much as to customers and prospects.
Yes, we realize this is not the “fun part”, but the winners always take care of the details. So here are a few things to consider:
- Make sure your program development plan includes a well-designed and comprehensive internal communications and training program. One of our clients spends weeks at a time traveling all over the world advocating their program to field reps. She “trains the trainer”, holds member signup contests, conducts webinars, ensures signage is prominently displayed, and helps convert everyone into a program promoter. This is done as a proactive process in the development and ongoing management of the program.
- Focus on front-line personnel. These are the people who will make or break your program. Understand that they have a lot to do and many of them will not even be there is six month. So include a strategy for ensuring they know and understand the program. Make posters, games, videos, and anything that gets their attention. Remember to continuously have refreshers to keep the program top of mind.
- Do not rely on field managers to disseminate the information. They are busy and they sometimes “forget”. Try to develop a process where you have direct contact with the people who you need to make the program work. And if you need to go through an intermediary, make it super simple for them.
- “Gamify” the process. Reward your employees for program signups. Better yet, incentivize it further by providing bonuses for signing up customers who become high value members.
You can always tell when a company embraces their program. Just ask any Best Buy associate about their RewardZone program. You will get an enthusiastic and knowledgeable response.
For more tips on loyalty marketing, please download our presentation, 10 Tips to Improve Your Loyalty Program – Plus 5 Reasons to Kill it from our Resource Center.
– The JAY Group team