What is a rewards program?

Retaining a customer is much easier than acquiring a new one. It is also more cost effective. And if you have a rewards program as a part of your customer retention program, you are in for bonus points. Having a rewards program not only helps retain your regular customers but it is also makes way for new customers through referrals and word of mouth.

The secret to a cutting-edge reward program is to make it such that it meets the needs of the customers. One of the biggest reasons for having a rewards program is that it will help retain your existing customers, who will further bring in more clients. This ensures more customers at minimum cost or investment.

Why is it important?

Loyal customers are more important than one-time purchase customers. They know your product well, trust your product, and do not need to be advertised to. They are usually more receptive to your communication and will be more interested in buying or trying your product than anyone else. They are also more likely to endorse your product to others – without you having to spend a penny! Then why would you not want to harp on to this group of customers that adds value to your brand with their loyalty.

Having said that, what all do you need to make your rewards program successful and effective?

Here are a few elements that make your rewards program successful:

  • Custom rewards

The first thing a person looks for in a reward program is ‘What is in it for me’? One program will not suit all. You have to recognize the needs and requirements of your customers and tailor-make offers that meet their needs. Customers are more likely to respond to a brand that understands them and gives them offers that are well suited to their needs.

  • Make your reward program tiered

Instead of having a loyalty program that is stagnant at one tier, try to add levels to the program. Give customers points for signing up. Set levels. Increase the rewards at every stage. Increasing reward points at every stage will induce more purchases, which in turn helps increase loyalty.

  • Make an exclusive/aspirational club

Apart from having a loyalty program that offers people great benefits, you can also look at making an exclusive/VIP group that comes at a certain fee. Give them additional benefits like pre-launch offers or trials, discounts, and even free samples. Regular customers who enjoy your products wouldn’t have a problem spending a little extra to be the first purchasers of your product.

  • Give them options

Instead of having a single program, you can also look at introducing multiple reward programs. These could differ in terms of offerings, products, area, frequency of purchase, etc. While one could be an exclusive program that comes at a price and gives you VIP benefits, the other could be free to join and has relatively lesser benefits. The switch from one program to another should be easy. This will not only help you get more people to sign-up for your program but will also help you track the purchase behaviour and interests of your customer.

  • Good service

What good is a loyalty program if the services offered aren’t good enough for the customer? A customer will always appreciate and return to a brand more if the customer service is good. Make sure your employees are helpful and welcoming. While you might a brilliant reward program in place, if it isn’t easily comprehendible or accessible, you will eventually lose out on customers.

While there is no ground rule to ensure the success of a reward program, you can keep measuring its progress by regularly monitoring how it is faring. Keep re-modelling if need be. By employing different permutations and combinations you are likely to succeed.

nth Rewards is potentially the largest multi-brand loyalty platform designed by NPCI, to help brands engage & retain customers. You too can become a partner and ensure great visibility for your brand.