Competition in the current business climate is tough. There’s so much choice and in the age of the Internet it’s hard to maintain customer loyalty, so it’s no wonder businesses are looking to reward programmes as a way to maintain their existing loyal customer base. It’s even hard for employers to keep hold of their staff when employee attrition is high and moving from one job to another is almost encouraged as a way to gain new life skills.
There’s a great deal of choice when it comes to deciding on how to recognise good work and drive the behaviours of your team but when it comes down to it, the biggest step is making the decision to jump in. With that in mind, here are the 5 W’s of Loyalty and Recognition Schemes to help you make up your mind.
Many businesses, small or large, reap the benefits of loyalty programmes on a daily basis simply by identifying the need within their company and implementing the scheme the right way and to the right people. You’d like to see increased productivity, brand loyalty and repeat custom and these schemes can make this happen.
Reward programmes can encourage accountability in your staff or distributors. By being rewarded for their efforts they will see how they can make a difference as an important cog in your business and this in turn will drive their behaviour and move them towards achieving the goals you’ve set out.
Of course you appreciate the efforts of your staff and partners and a rewards scheme will show them this. Sure, you can give them a little extra in their pay packet or a pay rise at the end of the year as thanks. You could give a loyal customer a discount to keep them coming back to you. But soon this become an expectation, could eat into your margins and no longer drives behaviour in the way it might have done at the start.
Studies have shown that if you were to offer your staff the choice of cash or a physical reward, let’s say an iPad for example, they’d more often than not take the iPad. Cash will often go towards debt or bills but a physical reward, or prize, creates a greater emotional response and higher levels of motivation and happiness. Not only does this exhibit your appreciation but it spurs people on, to work towards their next reward.
Reward and recognition programmes are aimed at anyone that you foresee becoming an ambassador of your brand. It could be your staff, your customers or your distributors. Fostering loyalty in your business’ users is the single most important driver of growth and profitability and research has shown it can cost up to ten times more to acquire a new customer than retaining an existing one. Loyal customers, on average, will visit twice as often and spend four times as much.
Motivation depends on the individual’s understanding of what’s being asked of them. With this in mind it’s important that performance measures are clearly set but with the company’s end goals in mind. Many reward programmes fail because the objectives set don’t link in with the company’s end game and as a result the targets don’t drive behaviour in a way that would further the business.
You want your staff to hit a certain SLA? Or you’d like your distributors to sell more of a certain product? These are the behaviours or performance that will reinforce your company’s goals. And by measuring these targets you can drive performance without creating envy within your business. Everyone starts from the same place and depending on how your scheme runs it can even foster friendly competition between teams or simply encourage increased productivity for the individual.
Determine how you’ll measure these achievements and use previous achievement of these goals as a benchmark, then reward on a regular weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. Your staff will to look forward to and expect this recognition as long as they’ve achieved. This in turn brings you closer to achieving the business goals required and also drives the behaviour of your staff.
Communication is paramount to a successful reward programme and it’s important to decide from where this is going to lead. Programmes like this can only achieve maximum success if they’re supported from the top down with buy-in from the very highest point of the management pyramid, and a clear focus on how it can further the business.
In a digital age, loyalty schemes often take an online format with communication coming via email, rewards being redeemed online and account management being taken care of via laptop or phone. It’s never been easier or faster to reward your team and give them that virtual pat on the back and thank you.
Right now! There’s no point waiting until you need the push. You can drive behaviour in your staff right from the get go, widen the goal posts and achieve what you need to further your business straight away.
There’s a reward programme out there suitable for you and your business that can create brand ambassadors from your existing customers and encourage loyalty from your new ones.
To find out exactly what loyalty and reward programmes can do for your business, visit incentivesmart.co.uk or contact us directly on 0845 003 8765