LEVELS AND TIERS
Our advanced rewards program software supports everything from a single rewards program comprised of a few levels to unlimited reward tiers comprised of unlimited levels. Implementing the right rewards scheme for your business, with easy management and advanced intelligence is par for the course, with Preferred Patron™.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
Think of reward levels like rungs of a ladder. Each rung represents a unique reward, with each higher rung representing a more attractive reward than the lower. As customers earn more points, they become eligible for those higher level rewards. This simple strategy accomplishes two goals. At the lower levels, those customers looking for immediate gratification can claim the lower, more attainable rewards rather quickly. This entices them to engage in the program, as they immediately can enjoy benefits! At the same time, the desire to receive one of the higher level, more attractive rewards, motivates customers to return to your business more often instead of diluting their rewards benefit with your competitors and spend more on each visit, as they work toward those higher goals. This is how rewards programs, when properly setup, positively influence consumer behaviors.
Reward tiers seek to exploit this power to influence consumer purchase behaviors even further! Now, not only do we have rewards offered at different levels of attractiveness and attainability, but we can add in tiered levels of recognition. Think of a reward tier as another rewards program (or, in our analogy, another, better ladder) that only select members can participate in. Depending on your business, you might choose to structure higher tiers as premium programs (requiring consumers to buy-in) or you may structure higher tiers as achievement programs (consumers must earn their elevated status). When choosing tiers based on achievement, you simply outline the advancement criteria, such as exceeding certain spend thresholds in defined periods of time, and the Preferred Patron™ rules engine automatically monitors consumer activity and advances (or demotes) members accordingly! This all happens transparently and effortlessly.
TYPES OF REWARDS
There are three types of rewards, internally fulfilled rewards, externally fulfilled rewards and monetary discounts. We recommend focus be placed on internally fulfilled rewards, as these make the most sense for most businesses, especially small businesses. However, this does not preclude you from mixing in a few monetary discounts and externally fulfilled rewards, when it makes sense.
INTERNALLY FULFILLED REWARDS
Internally fulfilled rewards are derived from your own products and services. This kind of reward has numerous benefits. First, they are the most economical reward options for you because your actual cost for them is far less than their perceived cost to customers. This helps keep the overall cost of your rewards program lower, increasing your ROI potential. Secondly, you're promoting your own products, services and brand (not someone else's); customers are more apt to spend their points to try your premium services, more so than buying them with cash for the first time. This gives you the unique opportunity to make an impression and, hopefully, influence those customers to purchase those premium services next time. Additionally, customers must claim internally fulfilled rewards, in person when visiting you, instead of at home. This is very important. Not only do your customers benefit from immediate in-store gratification, but it also serves to bounce customers back to you for additional visits! For these reasons, internally fulfilled rewards should be the core focus of your rewards schedule.
EXTERNALLY FULFILLED REWARDS
Externally fulfilled rewards are procured third-party. This kind of reward is expensive to you, as your procurement cost is likely the same as, or close to, the perceived cost to your customers. For this reason, incorporation of these should be done sparingly. Typical examples of these might be gift cards to big box retailers or tickets to a movie, sporting event or Broadway play. They should only be included with special consideration and placed at appropriate redemption levels, when broadening the appeal of your program is necessary.
Monetary rewards are common in rewards programs. Examples are 10% off or $5 cash back, etc. These generally make for a less interesting program than rewards comprised of products and services, but they do offer simplicity and they are perceived well, none-the-less, by your customers. Remember, you're not actually giving cash to your customers. $5.00 off does not really cost you $5.00. You're giving these rewards in terms of cash credits; credits on the items they are either purchasing now or will purchase in the future. Preferred Patron™ has special provisions for handling monetary discounts, whereby cash back or discount percentages are applied to the sale and banked in a customer-associated spending account for future use. Why do this as opposed to giving instant discounts at the point-of-purchase? While your customers won't complain, you lose significant bounce-back opportunities that would otherwise result!
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