Increasing perceived value through enhancing reward program depth: by Marketing Manager

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Within venue redemptions

Here at Pit Stop Rewards we encounter many loyalty program models. There are elements of similarity across all the programs, yet some stand out as performers while others are left wanting.

So, what makes for a standout loyalty/rewards program? Let's examine this together.

Across the club sector these programs typically begin with reward points that are assigned a dollar value e.g. 1 point = 100 or 1 point = 10. The value is really irrelevant, so long as your members clearly understand your reward currency conversion.

Tiering and hooks

The next dimension that clubs frequently add to the mix is a membership tiering system. Tiered loyalty programs increase the value of the rewards as the customer moves through the tiers, sometimes exponentially. Tiered loyalty programs reward repeat and frequent transactions and often have an initial 'hook' of bonus points to help consumers realise rewards are within reach.

This approach is even more effective when new members are encouraged to take an 'action' to receive the 'hook' soon after first contact. For example; Velocity Frequent Flyer (with BP) is currently offering a 'bonus 500 points' if a new member engages by activating (providing member data) within the first 48 hours.

Expanding the offering

As already mentioned, the more repetitive and narrow the offerings of rewards programs, the faster your members will become apathetic and less engaged in your program. Providing members with value outside of what your venue can offer also demonstrates that you understand them.

Standout loyalty programs all have one thing in common - a diverse and always fresh set of offerings. Large clubs often draw upon their facilities and services to enhance their reward programs. From gyms and travel agents, to hair and spa treatments, the larger venues seem to have the advantage, right? Not necessarily.

Enhanced reward program offerings are no longer exclusively the domain of larger venues. With Pit Stop's innovative solutions, even small community clubs can have access to gift cards representing over 45 big name retailers and services - effectively levelling the playing field.

Our gift cards cover a wide range including groceries, accommodation, fashion, kids, home and garden, hardware and the outdoors, as well as experiences and even airfares!

Amplification, reinforcement and analytics

What other factors contribute to a standout loyalty program?

The most successful loyalty programs amplify and reinforce their benefits using social media and sharing. Having happy customers promote the benefits of your reward program to their network is a valuable customer acquisition tool.

Some loyalty programs reward actions, not just transactions. This may be rewarding a new member referral or leaving a review. Whatever the action, it helps to show your members their input is valuable, not just their transactions.

Additionally, the best programs are adopted by the 'whole company', not just the marketing department, and its virtues are communicated by frontline employees. It's critical for the program to be considered an investment, not a cost. With this in mind, the most successful programs are treated as a 'slow burn' with ROI a long-term goal.

Finally, to have a truly successful loyalty program, venues must be able to gauge its success and monitor member engagement. This is a feature that gives Pit Stop customers a distinct advantage. Our innovative solutions provide an easy way for your business to track and manage reward points expenditure - in real time.

To sum up, the best reward programs across the hospitality sector go beyond food and beverage offers and discounts. These programs can include tiering but they always include a wide offering of avenues for point redemption and reward actions, not just transactions. To achieve best practice, clubs embed a program's benefits within their social media voice - this is viewed as a long-term investment, not an expense. Lastly, the ability to track, measure, and report on a program's success is a vital ingredient in achieving a "best in class" rewards/ loyalty program.

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