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Customer Rewards

How to Improve Your Loyalty Program
Friday, April 20, 2018

Customer Loyalty

What keeps customers engaged? With the average household belonging to at least 12 loyalty programs, lacking a solid customer loyalty program is a surefire way to have your customers go elsewhere. Not to fear! Out-engaging the competition could be closer than you think. Just follow the steps below.

Upfront Strategy

Before you undertake any customer loyalty efforts, you need to take a serious look at what your business's current strategy is and how effective it is. Ask questions like: Are we using the right technology? Is our current strategy measurable? Do our customers openly discuss our programs on social media and elsewhere? Once you have started answering some of these questions, you will be well-equipped to make some strategic changes.

Mobile First

If your business is still exclusively using a punch card to track loyalty activity, you are missing out on an invaluable amount of data that can be leveraged to engage your customers. A recent study found that 80% of customers used a mobile device inside physical stores to either look up product reviews or research prices. As marketers, we need to leverage that smartphone usage with a mobile loyalty experience that brings actionable data back to the business.

Experience Experiential Rewards

We already know that cash is not king when it comes to employee loyalty. The same rings true for customer loyalty. In a recent survey, travel customers responded that "breadth of products and services" and "improving the customer experience" were their top motivators when it came to loyalty. Offering a wide array of experiential rewards in addition to merchandise and gift cards is the best way to attract and retain good customers.

Personalize It

The last thing a customer wants to feel is that a product or service they purchased was not intended for them. 74% of customers are "annoyed" by non-personalized content. The messaging in your loyalty program needs to concisely and accurately address their needs, wants, and personality. Leveraging data you have collected to display targeted messaging is vital in these efforts.

It's All in the Game

One way to engage your customers is through fun, interactive games that demonstrate the value of your products. Let your customers spin a wheel to win additional rewards, implement fun product knowledge challenges, or add contests to your program that will keep your customers engaged.

Partner Up

At the end of the day, one of the best steps you can take when creating or revamping a customer loyalty program, is choosing the right strategic partner. Your business needs a vendor that can assess what you are currently doing, understand your customers' wants and needs, and provide a clearly attainable technology solution. Online Rewards' wide range of experience and diverse set of services makes us an ideal fit for many organizations.


Achieving customer loyalty is closer than you think. Taking a look at your current practices is a vital first step. Ensuring your business utilizes mobile technology is extremely important. Provide tangible experiences and rewards to your customers to keep them engaged. Personalization is one of the single most important challenges your program needs to solve. Encourage loyalty with fun games and challenges! Finally, and, perhaps most importantly, make sure you choose the right partner for any strategy and technology needs.

Six Strategies: Millennials and Rewards

How to Recognize the Largest Generation in the Workplace
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Employee Recognition

With millennials comprising the majority of today's workforce, it's more important than ever to recognize and reward their contributions. Doing so can help other employees improve their performance and ultimately strengthen your company's culture, drive the company vision, and increase the ROI on your Rewards investment. A recent survey by Glassdoor confirmed the enormous power of recognition: more than 80 percent of employees said they were motivated to work harder and stay at their jobs longer when they received appreciation for their work. Here are six approaches for how to implement a strategy for the growing millennial workforce:

1. Less Emphasis on Service Awards

By 2020, millennials will make up 50 percent of the workforce. With many programs offering the first milestone award at five years, the question is whether millennials will stay with an organization long enough to be recognized. Programs that begin recognizing anniversaries starting at five years miss significant opportunities to include, engage, and retain younger workers. Consider acknowledging contributions beginning at year one with mini-milestone awards in high-turnover organizations, as well as at year three.

2. Link to Organizational Values

Most HR professionals say their company's recognition practices have a positive effect not only on retention but also on engagement, culture, and overall employee happiness. And that's not all. When recognition programs were linked to organizational values--in other words, when they reinforced the outcomes and behaviors most associated with the company's guiding beliefs--the programs were more likely to lead to a higher perceived return on investment among employees.

3. Personalize the Recognition

Let the participant choose the reward. Most employees prefer gift cards over cash and want the freedom to choose an award that's relevant to their personal lives. This type of program shows your company values individuality and freedom of choice as well as the recipients themselves.

4. Recognize in All Directions

Recognition received from peers can be more meaningful for millennials because it's their peers who have a better understanding of the work that they are doing. Organizations like Online Rewards that leverage modern tools to make their recognition programs more social and peer-to-peer focused will win over millennials. Recognition from leaders is also important for millennials because it serves as an important indicator of the impact and direction of their work.

5. Recognize in Real Time

Millennials' upbringing in an on-demand world has given them an appetite and expectation for real-time recognition. Integrate processes that enable peers and managers to recognize teammates in real time. The recognition process needs to be effortless to ensure and encourage employees to participate frequently and in real time.

6. Rewards and Recognition Apps: An HR Essential

Fourteen percent of managers feel they have all the tools they need to acknowledge employees. Clearly there's a disconnect here; a result of misdirected efforts and investments. This is one of the main reasons why rewards and recognition tools are among the top draws in HR tech today--companies are eager to better harness resources and push engagement levels from the paltry 13 percent reported currently. In addition to being at the heart of modern rewards and recognitions best practices, technology also replaces cumbersome paper processes with hassle-free workflows.


Align desired outcomes. First and foremost, it is important to design the program to extract the desired organizational behaviors. This includes linking it with the values of the organization. Over and above this, recognition must be timely and it must be perceived as valuable. More than 80 percent of employees said they were motivated to work harder and stay at their jobs longer when they received appreciation for their work.



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