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Are You Making Disastrous Mistakes in your Reward Program?

Creating a useful and valuable reward program for customers can be a great perk for increasing loyalty. The keys to success lie in relevant high-value rewards coupled with personal engagement.1 This means you need to steer away from gimmicks and mass blasts. All too often loyalty programs really don’t offer much added value for a customer and worse, the customer is contacted too frequently with those low value offers.

So, what do customers really want to see in a reward program? According to a survey from the CMO council:1

Members want better financial rewards and more individualized communications:

  • 70% say they want to see more discounts and savings from loyalty programs.
  • 58% want better personal benefits and services.
  • 52% want more compelling personal offers as a reward for steering their business to loyalty-program operators.

What You Need to Do for a Successful Reward Program2

  • Understand who your best customers are and put your resources there
  • Treat your best customers differently with higher levels of service and benefits
  • Personalize rewards whenever possible
  • View your reward program as a long term strategy – part of your relationship with the customer
  • Make sure the Rewards are achievable – within the reach of the customers3
  • Recognition/rewards should be provided frequently enough to make performers feel valued for their efforts3

What You Must Avoid1

  • Sending too many messages – spam and junk email
  • Too many restrictions and conditions (think airlines here)
  • Rewards that lack true value

If you’ve ever initially enjoyed a company, only to get turned off over time, because of low value, spammy communication, then you know that poorly done rewards program can actually drive customers away, doing more damage than good. But if you create a rewards program that gives loyal customers real value at the right time, and is in line with your brand and strategies, you’ll have a great base for a solid program that helps both your company, and your customers.


  1. Disconnects Plague Loyalty Programs
  2. Customer Loyalty Dos and Don’ts
  3. The Do’s and Don’ts of Effective Reward Programs.
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