How Do Loyalty Programs Get Customers Talking?

by: Luke Kreitner August 5, 2015

In a 2013 article, Nielsen reported that advice from family and friends was the most trusted source for people looking for information about new products. In other words, the best way to promote a positive image for your brand is to create loyal customers and inspire them to talk about your products. According to Vala Ashfar, Chief Customer Officer and CMO at Enterasys, “Your brand is what people say about you when you leave the room.”

So how do you motivate customers to tell their family and friends about your brand? By giving them something to talk about—something that distinguishes your brand from the rest. Many organizations use customer rewards programs, like those offered by Incentive Solutions in Atlanta, to capture customers’ attention and create stronger, ongoing relationships with them. In this article, we’ll discuss ways that customer rewards programs keep your brand on the forefront of customers’ minds.


Facilitating Positive Brand Association

Online reward programs offer you the ability to develop a more positive reputation with your customers in these ways:

  • Positive Experience
    You already know you have a great product for customers to buy or distribute. With a rewards program, you can attach a positive experience to those products. Some loyalty program providers, like Incentive Solutions in Atlanta, offer 24-7 turn-around and customer support always available via email. They also offer a diverse range of rewards and fair prices due to direct dealings with vendors.
  • Rewards
    Everyone loves rewards. Being able to earn fun items like concert tickets, home furnishings, and sporting goods through your reward program will increase positivity associated with your brand. Contractors, for instance, will begin to look forward to receiving rewards whenever they push or upsale your products.
  • Branded Reward Program
    Many incentive companies set up your program in the form of an online rewards website. You can brand this site, or incorporate it into your company’s existing site, if the reward program’s coding is sophisticated enough.
  • Product Education
    In order to effectively promote your brand, channel partners need to be informed about your products. Sophisticated online reward technology often has the capability to act as both communication platform, educational training tool, and rewards system all in one. Mobile app technology allows you to send instant two-way push notifications to alert your customers to new promotions and products.

The more customers associate their enjoyment with your brand, the more likely they are to share these positive experiences with their friends and family.


Giving Customers Rewards Worth Talking About

People already prefer online environments for activities like shopping and social networking. Using robust reward program technology, users’ program points (or cyber currency) can be redeemed for merchandise items and event tickets in an extensive online catalog with millions of items. When customers’ shopping experience is as familiar and fun as a trip to Amazon or Overstock, they will want to accumulate more points and earn the most desired items on their wishlists. And what will they want to do when they finally receive a reward they purchased after months of saving up points? Talk with their friends and loved ones about that exciting reward and how your loyalty program helped them earn it.

Loyalty program rewards also allow opportunities for managers to reinforce positivity in their relationships with partners and customers with rewards. Jerry Ryan, Account Executive at Incentive Solutions, says, “One of my clients recently offered a contractor in his program enough points to earn a TV. He’d almost earned enough on his own; he just needed a few more points to make up the difference. Those are the kinds of interactions that endear customers to you and your brand.”

Not only are rewards themselves excellent conversation-starters, but they add further fuel to that vital fire that makes customers so talkative: positive brand association.


Reaching New Customers

For manufacturing brands that are involved in channel sales, you may have many customers (such as distributors and contractors) with whom you’ve never even communicated. They don’t talk about your brand because they don’t know who you are. With a customer loyalty program, however, you can market to dealers who have relationships with your distributors, end-consumers who have relationships with your contractors, and anyone else in your distribution channel.

By using reward program technology that offers open enrollment, you can reach customers who otherwise may not ever contact you. Open enrollment allows anyone to register into your program and begin receiving awards. Now, not only do you have a relationship with these previously unknown customers, but that relationship is already rewarding. These customers you didn’t even know you had can now earn discussion-worthy rewards and have a positive association with your brand.

 


In Conclusion—Ensure Customers Say Great Things Behind Your Back

When customers earn rewards for doing business with you, they share the responsibility for a lucrative relationship. Online reward programs help you build the kind of positive associations that are essential to having a loyal customer base. Loyal customers understand the value of working with your brand and will rave to others about the excellent experience you can provide.

Incentive Solutions

2299 Perimeter Park Drive
Suite 150
Atlanta, GA 30341
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About Luke Kreitner

Luke Kreitner is the VP of Sales at Incentive Solutions, an Atlanta-based incentive company that specializes in helping B2B businesses accelerate growth, increase sales, motivate channel partners and retain B2B customers.