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Rewards are all about connecting with your audience in a way that’s seamless, organic and tailored to individual preferences.


Advances in internet technology, mobile devices and SaaS (software as a service) have created opportunities and customer expectations for connected everything. Connected customer service, connected customer experiences, and for your incentive program audience, connected ways to redeem rewards.

To keep your rewards program up to speed with the ‘everything connected’ movement, you need to make sure you have a solid network of delivery channels. You know, the functional aspects of your rewards program that work hard behind the scenes to create seamless reward moments.

Multi-channel, multi-purpose

It used to be that efficient, door-to-door delivery and a help desk manned by living, breathing human beings was the gold standard of rewards fulfilment. It still is, when that’s the delivery channel you need, but digital has shifted the goal posts in more ways than one.

Digital rewards have become hugely popular (some would say preferred) and meet the current need for instant access to, well, anything we want or need to know in a day. The keyword here is ‘instant’. And for your rewards program audience, ‘access’ includes everything to do with their personal rewards program account – points balances, special offers, contact details, messages, updates – everything.

In short, you need to make sure that all the touchpoints and channels on the reward program journey function seamlessly, meet the needs and preferences of your audience and enhance the whole rewards experience.

Let’s look at what each delivery channel is all about, and briefly explore some ideas to help you connect with your rewards audience and take your rewards ecosystem to the next level.

Going digital

We live in a world transformed by digital. Thanks to mobile technology, you can interact with customers, channel partners and employees in ways that could never have been imagined just a few years ago. People are connected to multiple platforms, continually and simultaneously, which means that rewards can be experienced instantly and personally. And shared! Turning a personal reward experience into a shared moment of celebration.

Digital vouchers. When you need to surprise and delight, nothing does it like digital rewards. Immediate, versatile, scalable and affordable. No longer the generic ‘thought that counts’ gesture of days gone by, the right voucher, delivered at the right moment, generates a joyful spark of connection between giver and receiver.

Digital vouchers feed the human passion for instant gratification. Does a reward get any more immediate than SMS delivery in-store, redeemable at the till? Or how about the completely unexpected ‘great presentation this morning’ email with restaurant voucher attached? From airtime and data, to in-store shopping and unforgettable experiences, digital vouchers all but guarantee instant impact and high personal appeal.

Online shopping cards. For members of points-based reward programs, online shopping cards add an exciting, new dimension of spending opportunity. In addition to shopping at any South African e-commerce site, participants can book tickets for sports events, music festivals, stage productions, concerts and exhibitions. The spend opportunities are reason enough to include them in your rewards suite.

Also, thanks to advances in mobile payment technology, the online shopping card opens the world of informal trading. Apps like SnapScan and Zapper can be used at festivals, flea markets, spazas and pop-up shops.

Going mobile

According to the latest data from statista there are between 20 and 22 million smartphone users in South Africa. That’s 1/3 of the population. So you can see why mobile is an important rewards delivery channel.

Anywhere, anytime access to information has become such a regular part of day-to-day life that your participants expect to browse rewards, order and track delivery or check program updates, as easily as they check the time and weather. Build a truly responsive website, offer a rewards app, whatever way you go – make sure you cater for mobile.

Door-to-door delivery

From your perspective, delivering rewards is a logistics issue. But for your customers and program participants, receipt is a reward made real. And it can surprise and delight or disappoint and dismay. Amazon (who else?) gets it and their delivery logistics solutions are something to behold.

Forget same-day delivery, in the USA and Europe, the super brand will get you your order within the hour! What that means is that customers expect a similar delivery experience from your rewards program. But don’t be overly alarmed by the challenge, civil engineers in the US point out that “Today’s fast-delivery system is set up for customer convenience, not for the city’s transportation system or even overall efficiency.” (Wired) In other words, reality hasn’t yet caught up to the hype.

Nowhere is that truer than in South Africa, where our infrastructure can’t quite support ‘within the hour’ delivery. But you can find a fulfilment supplier ready and able to custom package and deliver any reward, large or small (livestock included) to the furthest corner of any province in the country. In just days.

Contact centre

While it’s not a delivery channel per se, the contact centre is on the front line of the customer / participant experience and ultimately, the rewards experience. Callers have questions, problems, concerns and this touchpoint is an opportunity to uphold your end of the brand loyalty bargain. Run correctly, a contact centre creates a ripple of positive vibes that boosts your reputation and brand relationships. And with service rated as a top business opportunity for 2020, this aspect of reward delivery is critical.

It’s all about delivery

When you develop your rewards strategy for 2020 (and beyond), make sure your team recognises
the value of creating a total experience. It’s about the reward, the delivery and making emotional connections with the people that matter to your business.


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