A customer loyalty or rewards program is an effective way to encourage positive customer behavior and improve the lifetime value of a client. Whether you intend to use a promotional gift card or a rebate promotion offering, a well-planned incentive program can provide high ROI whether for the short-term or the long haul.
But not all of these loyalty programs reap the desired objectives, whether in terms of stimulating customer motivation or enhancing business profitability. To help you devise an incentive program that works, here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid when planning one.
Designing the program to be just business-focused
Many business owners are so focused on sales improvement and profitability that they fail to take into account the most important factor in the entire incentive plan — the customers! One of the tragic mistakes that companies make is designing a program that only appears to offer something of value to their clients. Listing out company objectives and customer-related factors allows for the creation of an effective program that benefits both the business and the market.
Treating ALL customers the same way
Clearly, your top customers bring more business to your brand or product than your seasonal or bottom customers. A program that doesn’t make distinctions between your different customers can prove disastrous, especially in preventing customer defections. This is especially so if your biggest competition offers a rewards system that offers better incentives to their high-value customers. You may not realize it, but your best customers want to be rewarded differently. A simple effort in differentiation may bring better business to your company from these top customers in the years to come.
Making the program too complicated
Buyers crave convenience. So even if you have succeeded in piquing their interest through your customer loyalty program, they are bound to look the other way if the process is too complicated and convoluted.
Changing the program too frequently or not making improvements at all
If you must change the mechanics or guidelines of an existing program, such as the redemption of wholesale gift cards, don’t fail to inform your customers ahead of time. It is best to change your program only when necessary or if it doesn’t work at all. If you don’t have a stellar marketing team in place, you may choose work with a promotions company in devising a program that’s proven to deliver results.
Confining the campaign to just the marketing team
Lastly, don’t make the mistake of excluding the rest of your company when offering an incentive program. Every single one of your employees that interact with customers should be able to explain at least the basics of the program and its various benefits.
A customer loyalty program should be designed in a manner that provides long-term benefits to your business. However, to be truly effective, a rewards program also needs to make the customers a priority, offering them something of real value. Gift card promotions are a convenient, scalable, and customer-centric way to achieve this end.
Planning to use bulk gift cards as incentive rewards or as a way to convert leads to paying customers? Talk to us at Mpell Promotions today to learn more.