Does your reward program need a kick in the pants?
The Pareto principle that says 80% of your business comes from a precious 20% of your customers. Logic says this 20% is the same customers who enroll in your reward program. But here are some sobering facts supplied by third party research companies such as Colloquy that highlight a hidden problem in the value proposition of many programs.
- The average consumer belongs to 14 different reward programs comprised of various industries including financial services, credit card programs, hospitality, and retail.
- They have redeemed points for cash, tangible merchandise or experiential services (like advance ticket purchase privileges) from just 1 or 2 of them.
- That means that less than 10% of the programs they belong to are actually delivering anything meaningful enough for members to engage.
Quantifying the problem is difficult because customers rarely voice their dissatisfaction. Attrition is not a common metric when evaluating reward program performance because members don’t opt out. Instead they become silent objectors. These silent objectors drain resources from the program without any possible hope of return on the investment.
What’s the problem? It is something known as reward program fatigue. It is the feeling members get when they realize the economic value of the program isn’t worth impacting their purchase decisions. The antidote for program fatigue and getting members to take another look is to sort of “kick them in the pants” by upping the ante. I call them Reward Accelerators. These are short term tactics that are used strategically to bring new life into existing benefits. They can be launched quickly, economically and without long term changes to the core value proposition.
Several examples include
- adding a sweepstakes to award high value prizes to get attention
- create a reward sale that temporarily increases the economic value of a point
- offer points earning opportunities that do not require purchase such as a survey to get feedback
If you test a variety of these ideas you will likely rekindle enthusiasm for the silent objectors and make the program that much more effective to all members. As far as industry statistics go; being the one reward program delivering value to customers is fine so long as it is your program.
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