Customer rewards aren’t just a bribe to manufacture loyalty, it’s your chance to create better customers
Customer rewards aren’t just there to bribe your customers into staying with you. There’s an element of that, I won’t dance around it. But, if you look at customer rewards as a transaction you’re limiting their potential.
Any reward is an endorsement of what you want to see more of, it’s positive reinforcement. When you reward behaviour, you encourage more of it. Rewards are how you get attention. What you attach those rewards to is what you influence your customers to become.
Using customer rewards to create better customers
Here are six traits you could be building into your customers by thanking them for their positive behaviour.
We talked about it above, and we can’t pretend it isn’t there. Giving rewards out to customers makes them more likely to come back. It also builds a positive association between your brand and customers. Use rewards to show your customers gratitude for continually choosing your business.
Word of mouth and endorsements will always be an important method for generating new business. Reward customers who participate in case studies, speak on behalf of your brand, or refer high quality customers from their network of peers.
Your customers keep the doors open, so you need to know what they’re thinking. Solicit suggestions for new products, service improvements, or new features of your offering. Ask them what they think you do well, where you could improve, and reward high quality answers if you want to see more of them in the future.
Customer-facing staff are often asked to weather impatience, rudeness and even abuse with aplomb, because we often seem to just assume staff will be treated poorly. Customers are unfairly free from the expectation that they behave with empathy and patience when dealing with your staff.
When customers show exceptional understanding, patience, empathy and humanity to your staff, reward them. Then tell others about what you did, and why you did it. What’s the cost of some customer rewards against preserving the confidence, happiness and longevity of your customer service staff and support teams?
Many companies keep their charitable efforts close to the core values of an organisation. Reward customers who give their time, energy, money or voice to the things that matter to you. When customers see your company acts on its values, and rewards customers for taking part, they’re more likely to align themselves with those values. They’re also more likely to repeat that behaviour in the future.
Education customers are a net benefit to your company. They’re more likely to use your products well, reducing their reliance on your support teams. Customers using your products well are more likely to use them in ways that improve the public image your company. They’re also more likely to understand and get aligned with the values of your brand, helping you build engagement with your customer base. Reward your customers for being educated about what you do.
Bribing customers to stay with your company with customer rewards is the bare minimum. Think about creating better customers who do more to benefit your business. Think bigger, do better. It’s all about building better engagement and relationships through reinforcing positive behaviour.