What makes a rewards programme successful?
HILE many rewards programmes in South Africa are founded in retail with the purpose of encouraging repeat business, financial institutions are now taking their share of the market as consumers wise up to how programmes work, how to gain the best advantage from them, and importantly, who they can trust with the information they are sharing by engaging with them. So says Jaco Oosthuizen, CEO of Multiply, the wellness and rewards programme offered by Momentum.
“It’s becoming more important to reward programme members for more than just making purchases. By providing incentives and rewards for on-going engagement outside of specific campaigns or related directly to purchases, you are contributing to loyalty built through a relationship with a customer who trusts you to provide valuable and relevant information, about topics that are relevant to their life, and to your business.”
Oosthuizen cites Momentum’s Financial Wellness Assessment solution as an example of online engagement that encourages and rewards repeat visits to its website, without expecting members to make any purchases. Notably, the solution is available to all South Africans – even those who do not hold a Momentum product.
Multiply members earn points on
Wthe programme for registering on the Momentum website and completing the survey, which generates an action plan for them towards achieving financial wellness. These points contribute to their status on the programme which in turn determines the discount they can enjoy from the programme’s partners which include Virgin Active, Planet Fitness, Dis-Chem Pharmacies and Mango among others.
“What’s important about the Financial Wellness Assessment solution is that engaging with it results in a reward for taking action that adds value to the user’s life, and not just for making a purchase. If consumers use the report generated by the online solution to take remedial action by engaging with a Momentum financial adviser they will earn even more points toward their status on the programme.”
Members who participate in the online solution also benefit from a greater sense of wellness, achieved through feeling more in control of their finances.
“Financial stress often impacts negatively on health and wellbeing, and giving Multiply members the power to take control of their financial wellness is just another way we provide meaningful rewards.”
Another aspect which contributes to the success of rewards programmes in general is to understand that one-off rewards are likely to result in one-off customers says Oosthuizen.
“Customers tend to prefer building relationships, and they respond well to patterns of positive behaviour. Therefore it’s essential to engage with programme members frequently, adding regular and meaningful value, rather than just offering occasional benefits.”
This could include encouraging the regular completion of online personal health, fitness or financial wellness reviews, as well as regular special offers or discounts with retail partners.
The more structure a programme has, the more members will trust it, and incorporate it into their daily lives. Rewards programmes also need to be approachable, and offer achievable benefits says Oosthuizen.
“If you make it too difficult to earn rewards or navigating through different reward levels seems too complicated, consumers may be hesitant to engage with your programme – they may be more likely to turn to programmes that offer accessible, meaningful and tangible rewards.
“If you have a tiered system, make it simple. Make it easy to earn points, quickly, and make the rewards relevant and meaningful. If a programme member can see immediate benefit, they are likely to engage with the programme again and again.”
Ultimately, Oosthuizen says the thread that holds rewards programmes together is putting the customer at the centre of its marketing, product and company goals.
Jaco Oosthuizen, CEO of Multiply.