Six Strategies for Using Reward Cards to Improve the Customer Experience

By Richard Gonzalez

The energy industry landscape is always changing. In 2018, over $45.8 billion worth of merger and acquisition transactions were completed in the energy, mining, and utility sector. M&A activity is executed to allow businesses access to new markets, acquire a book of customers or both. After the M&A activity is complete, the real work starts. But how do you build a strong customer partnership, increase brand recognition and motivate your retention and sales teams? Reward card programs are a great way to support these initiatives.

A recent study found that 75% of consumers say they feel more favorable toward a company that provides incentives. While some REP’s are considering home automation and energy efficient product offers, flexible rewards from well-known brands can be more impactful. These rewards can be used by the consumers when, where, and how they want. The best part about a reward card is the ability to offer them throughout the customer’s enrollment lifespan.

Rewards can also be used to drive new levels of success among your sales and customer service teams. With door-to-door reps and call center strategies in place, incentivizing employees to hit their targets and achieve their goals can help your organization stand out in the highly competitive energy market.

No matter who you are looking to reward, here are a few ways reward cards can help your brand reach its potential:

Customer Acquisition

Consider offering unique easy-to-redeem reward cards to acquire new customers. A small reward, even a $25 gift card offered upon enrollment may do more for acquiring new customers than one large reward at the end of their enrollment term.

Customer Loyalty

Acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. That means nurturing your current customers will illicit true engagement and stronger brand loyalty without the lofty price tag. Consider offering your customers a reward card after six or nine months of their original 12-month program as a way to thank them for choosing your brand for their energy supply.

Customer Retention

Rewards offered at time of renewal shows that you value your customers and it encourages them to continue being serviced by your brand. Offering a reward card when a customer enrolls for a second term is a great way to build a long-term customer relationship.

Demand Response Offer

Demand response programs are great for increasing energy efficiency, but how can you encourage customers to participate in these efforts? Flexible rewards cards are an excellent motivator for those who might be interested in getting involved but need the extra nudge of encouragement to commit.

Door-to-Door Representative Offer

There is nothing more impactful to a business than having an energized sales team. What better way to motivate your sales team to connect meaningfully with potential customers than with an easy-to-redeem reward for achieving their specified goals?

Call Center Representative Offer 

Do you have a retention team working to ensure your new customers are happy with their service and helping your current customers with renewal questions? Offering incentives to teams for reaching their retention goals can boost their engagement efforts and support a more productive work environment.

Whichever strategies apply to your organization, personalizing rewards and making them accessible on any device will greatly enhance the user experience. Need proof? Sixty-nine percent of consumers said they feel more favorable towards companies that deliver personalized messages. Another 69% of loyalty members said that they’re more likely to participate in customer rewards programs if a mobile app is available.

How you structure your rewards programs will depend on who you are trying to reach. But whether you want to connect with your customers, your sales teams, or both, it’s important to offer rewards that are meaningful and valuable to the recipient.

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Richard Gonzalez is Vice President of Business Development at Virtual Incentives