8 Ways to Optimize Your Consumer Incentive Program


Is your consumer incentive program working as well as you’d like? If not, optimize your program with these eight best practices.

Tip 1: Choose the right reward.

Since all good incentive programs rely on rewards, you need to know what your customers want. Here are a few helpful insights about the ever-evolving marketplace:

  • Cash is still king. Most people prefer cash equivalent rewards, such as merchant gift cards or prepaid cards.
  • Make sure your incentive program partner can provide multiple types of rewards-open-loop prepaid cards, closed-loop gift cards, digital payments and merchandise-so you can easily adapt your program as trends shift.

Tip 2: Market the value.

You can offer the best consumer incentives in the world, but it does no good if no one knows they exist. Learn how to effectively communicate your incentive programs as a tool to drive behaviors. For example, don’t make consumers do math; instead of 10% off, give them $15 back. And, as long as you’re at it, give that $15 on a branded prepaid card in a custom carrier-it’s the perfect vehicle to cross-sell or promote your business further.

Tip 3: Train your team.

Treat your in-house teams-sales, customer service and installation-like customers by engaging them, as well. Educate them on the program. Add in some internal incentives to motivate. And partner with an incentive provider that allows you to easily track team member performance (like Blackhawk Network, for example).

Tip 4: Keep it simple.

Time and time again, it’s been proven that in-market, customer engagement increases with a streamlined process. So, we suggest you:

  • Keep the program as simple as possible
  • Take advantage of today’s technology-automation simplifies the entire program and reduces errors
  • Work with an experienced partner

Tip 5: Communicate with customers.

To carry out an effective incentive program you need to be proactive with your communication. Loop your customers in to make sure they know if they’re eligible, how to participate and when to expect their rewards. A simple “your information has been received” or “we need some additional info from you” email can go a long way.

Tip 6: Meet (or exceed) expectations.

Industry practice indicates that a provider should be able to process and issue rewards within a few days. If you know you’re likely to run behind in fulfillment, add a little extra time to your expect-by day. And if there’s an unforeseen delay, acknowledge the mishap and make it up to them with some kind of bonus-plus, of course, a heartfelt apology.

Tip 7: Empower your program.

When customer issues arise (and they will), enable your front-line customer service team to take care of the problems. Give them a few pull from, depending on the situation and the customer relationship. And make sure your customer care team is educated about your promotions.

Tip 8: Keep improving.

Throughout the redemption process and post-fulfillment, keep talking to your customers to find out what worked and what didn’t.

  • Mine the data that you have and integrate the information into your CRM program.
  • Continue to use what works. Leverage the incentives that resonated with customers for additional behaviors, such as supplementary purchases, referrals and paperless and automatic bill pay.

Bonus Tip: Talk to Blackhawk Network

A proven incentive provider can develop referral and loyalty programs, from set-up to fulfillment. Blackhawk Network has the platform to handle the most complex programs, and the people to solve any problem. Whether you’re just starting your incentive journey, or optimizing your current program, we’re here to help. Just click here to get started or call 866.219.7533.

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