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Inbound Marketing Blog

    Why Your #SMB Needs a Reward Program - Yesterday!

    Posted by Pat Owings

    5 Reasons to Reward Your Customers

    If you have ever used frequent flyer miles, checked the reward points on your credit card, or became the major of your favorite restaurant on FourSquare, you’ve participated in a reward program. Still considered in the experimental phase, reward systems are expected to change the way we live and shop.

    According to a report at Huffington Post, business models that utilize reward points are expected to be used by 70% of the world’s 2000 largest companies in some form by 2014 and generate $2.8 billion in consumer spending by 2016.

    Below are a few reasons why you might want to consider bringing a reward system to your organization.

    External Benefits

    1. Reward Programs will Expand Your Marketing Abilities

    Reward programs, or customer loyalty programs, are all about motivating your customers to take specific actions. Often these include experiencing greater engagement with your brand. Discovering what inspires people to take these actions can be a challenge but the engagement safe has been swung open with the outcomes associated with customer reward programs - increased ROI and long-term engagement. According to The Huffington Post, after implementing a successful customer reward program, organizations experience increased usage of their product or service by 40% and conversion rates by 15%.

    Do you need more reasons for why it’s time to master rewards?

    2. Expect Increased Customer Engagement

    In short, reward programs work and they are just getting started.

    It’s true that rank and reputation motivate participation, inspire action, and define reward programs. This has created a new tool for customer engagement and motivation for desired online usage behaviors. Additionally, reward systems that are integrated into social media are a win-win for marketers. For example, users receive points and/or badges for performing a variety of actions, including spreading links to questions and answers via Facebook and Twitter. Although, rewards come in different forms, they always provide the user with virtual currency and/or greater brand engagement opportunities. This is where organizations can begin to find and cultivate relationships with brand ambassadors.

    Internal Benefits

    3. Efficiently Train and Educate Employees

    Reward programs can be used for ore than customer engagement. Many of the top enterprise companies in the world have begun using reward programs to train and engage employees. For example, according to Forbes Magazine, many leadership companies, including Unilever, Microsoft, Khan Academy and others, utilize online reward programs to introduce new platforms and software to employees. This is because at the heart of these programs is the ability to inform, engage and challenge users. By providing these continuous opportunities where abilities are challenged and tasks are directly matched with productivity or the understanding of new platforms, users are introduced to new ideas by learning through tougher challenges and the need for increased efficiencies.

    4. Increase Productivity and Create Leaders

    Competition is inherent in rewards programs, and that creates a culture of uplifting productivity, especially if rewards for accomplishing tasks are visible to other players as a way of encouraging players to compete. Additionally, rewards programs are meant to build skills needed for leadership, which include negotiation, communication, time management, change management and problem solving.  Games can provide managers with the opportunity to identify potential leaders in these areas based upon their game play.

    5. Improved Corporate Culture

    The purpose of applying a rewards program to an aspect of your organization is to create a collaboration strategy, fueled by individual engagement that enhances the entire work experience and creates positive behavioral changes. Additionally, by only rewarding individuals based on accomplishments, a successful reward strategy will confirm and enhance a corporate culture built on progress and achievement.

    Before you begin, consider what a reward program can do for your business. From there, the sky is the limit. Beginning rewarding your best customers and employees, now!

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    Topics: Inbound Marketing