What’s the Best Way to Choose the Right Incentive Rewards Programs?

by: Steve Damerow May 10, 2017

Incentive award programs have become a must-have for any company that wants to grow, both through employee productivity and a customer base increase. For the employees, award programs can offer powerful incentives to drive better performance and deepen company loyalty. For customers, the hope of getting more reward points and saving money keeps them coming back for more, which is pretty good for your bottom line.

Whether the program is set up as a sales incentive, to track employee performance, to use as channel and distributor incentives, or to reward B2B loyalty, all participants enjoy watching their award dollars grow! An effective incentive program will influence future behavior as well, leading to even more benefits. When choosing the best incentive rewards program for your particular need, there are several different points to consider.

Considering the Cost of Incentive Programs

As with every business decision, cost may be the driving factor. And rightly so! The point of a good rewards program is not just to get more participants, but to strengthen your company and grow your bottom line. If you’re spending more than you’re getting back, the program is not beneficial, and it won’t last. Make the decisions up front that will ensure your program is inviting, effective and enduring.

The last thing any customer or employee wants is to be a participant in a reward program that fails, thereby losing whatever points they may have had. Even worse, you lose company credibility. Avoid this by putting the cost of the incentive program into perspective from the beginning. Design it in such a way that it fits into your budget. This should take into account not only the initial startup costs but maintenance and the price of the gifts you are rewarding as well.

Online incentive programs give the participant the option of using their rewards for buying merchandise such as toys, sporting goods and electronics via the internet. This doesn’t have to come only from reward points; it could also come from gift cards. For the buyer, it’s like getting stuff for free. Who doesn’t get a kick out of ordering an item on someone else's dime? This type of program requires setting up and implementing highly sophisticated technology. Do your research to be sure the program has the proper technical support to keep this arm of the project updated and working well, or make sure you have the right company managing the process for you.

Choosing the Types of Rewards for Incentive Programs

The type of rewards your offer needs to fall in line with the goals of the incentive plan and the cost to implement each type of reward. The beauty of any reward program is its ability to influence behavior. With that in mind, you might want to choose gift card rewards for popular retail outlets as a customer incentive. These carry with them the actual cost of producing and issuing the cards, but recurring expenses are low.

Rewards offering group travel can be extremely appealing to employees or business associates. Rather than buying a product from a store, group travel packages offer the promise of great adventure, which in turn encourages positive behavior. Online rewards, on the other hand, can be easily and quickly used, encouraging the participant – whether customer or employee – to earn more points. The instant gratification aspect goes a long way here.

Incentive Program Options

The best companies in the incentive industry will offer a range of services and provide all the technical and hands-on support necessary. One of the most important services they provide is up-to-date performance tracking. This includes a record of all sales and calculations to determine if your incentive programs are meeting your stated goals. The technology behind the program should also run multiple promotions at the same time and provide accurate feedback for each specific activity.

Besides the initial setup of the program, the rewards company should be technologically savvy to keep up with the advanced needs of the industry. This requires a technical team that monitors the existing market and develops new technology to address the needs of the future. This could mean innovative methods of accessing online rewards, easy-to-use mobile apps or online surveys and courses.

There are many uses for incentive reward programs, but they all begin with realizing your needs and setting goals. Choose an incentive company that will help you get started and organize your data flow so you can easily monitor its progress.

Get in touch with our team of experts at Incentive Solutions today. We are ready to help you create the perfect incentive rewards program to grow your business.


About Steve Damerow

Steve Damerow is the Founder of Incentive Solutions, an incentive program provider in Atlanta specializing in helping B2B companies increase distribution channel sales, establish customer loyalty and retention, and develop long-lasting channel partnerships.