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Using Points and Miles to Take Customer Engagement and Rewards Farther

Posted, by Rachel (Merkin) Welt on 04/25/2016
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Almost everyone accrues points and miles one way or another. Whether it’s a credit card, an airline program, specific retailers, or an app, customer engagement and rewards elevate the relationships customers form with their vendors of choice. Here are three ways points or miles can help take customer engagement and rewards farther:

  1. Low-hanging fruit still holds value: While we think about how many paid flights we might have to take or payments we need to make on time until we can cash in points, vendors should consider the value that “low-hanging fruit” or small rewards can hold for customers. If a credit card holder could redeem their points for a $100 gift card every 6 months, instead of waiting years to redeem for a free vacation, shouldn’t you encourage them to cash in sooner? This costs the credit card company less, as well as consistently reminding the customer that rewards are always attainable. 71% of consumers surveyed regarding rewards programs in the travel industry think there is a lack of diversity in redemption options. It’s time to prove them wrong.
  2. Consider engagement: Reward programs are a means to an end for both customers and vendors. For vendors, they provide a way to maintain loyalty and retention. For customers, there is a sense of building towards a reward. Each purchase represents customer engagement and rewards. Even if a customer saves points for an extended period of time, and spends those points or miles on a smaller reward, the perceived value is still high. Even small freebies or discounts signal to a customer that they have built a rapport and standing with that vendor. The engagement that comes from that kind of long-term relationship builds long-term loyalty.
  3. Focus on the journey: They say it’s about the journey, not the destination, right? So focus your promotion and communication on the journey customers take toward engagement and rewards, rather than the destination of cashing in the points. Providing loyalty bonuses and smaller rewards along a journey toward elite status or a free night could be the difference between maintaining the customers’ hunger to achieve the goal and the customer losing interest.

How do you use your points? What’s your favorite program and why? These are good places to start to figure out your engagement and reward strategy. Use your own customer instincts to kick-start your program.


Topics: customer engagement, Incentives & Rewards, miles programs, points programs, Retailers & Merchants, Rewards & Loyalty

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