Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I thought this essay from Denise Wymore was amusing and true.

The Showdown by Denise Wymore

Are your rewards out of reach?

One of the biggest mistakes people make when designing a reward program, is making the reward not worth the effort. Or teasing me with stuff, only to discover I would have to spend $100 an hour for 5 years to get that flat screen television - it begs the question Who does that? Who are they targeting?

The answer: no one. Some of these programs are just jumping on the loyalty band wagon hoping that if they build it - they will come.

Case in point. Dunkin' Donuts announced a new reward program. The DD card must be registered online. It's only valid at participating outlets (I put in three different zip codes that I know have stores and none of them were playing yet) and the perks were, well, lame. For example - if you spend between $25.00 and $49.99 a MONTH at participating DD stores AND remember to present your card they will MAIL you a coupon for a free medium coffee and donut. If you go over $50 per month you have your choice of the free coffee and donut OR a coupon for $4.00 off (which will also be mailed). Reading the fine print - you do not get both - you must choose. I can only imagine there's a form involved.

Now is a good time to review your loyalty program to make sure that:

  1. It is free of all deception (fine print) and does not involve a chart listing things like "If it's a full moon and a Tuesday you have a chance at 1/4% off of a new loan (VISAs, used car and signature loans excluded).
  2. An MSR can explain it without using a cheat sheet.
  3. The reward is worth the effort. Put yourself in the member's place when reading your rules. Would you care about the reward? Is it fairly easy to get?
  4. You thank them for their business when redeeming rewards.
  5. You constantly update them on the balance of their reward program.

I'm gonna go get my free pastry at Starbucks now. I guess I just have to "show up" before 10am.