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Loyalty and Rewards

A Word on the Customer Rewards Industry

John Donnelly, founder and CEO of the loyalty rewards division of TravelFlo, has something to say about loyalty programs and how they should be implemented.

John Donnelly

CEO of Loyalty Rewards Division, TravelFlo

How do you think the rewards industry will change within the next three years?

Offering a loyalty rewards program will be a must, not a choice, for a business to survive and succeed in the marketplace. Reward programs will place more of a focus on rewarding VIP customers, ones who will become advocates of their brand. They will also help bring in new customers and pay premiums for additional services.

Knowing these VIP relationships are paramount to future success and profitability, businesses will strive to make these customers happy by offering a wide variety of valuable and memorable redemption choices. Reward programs will no longer be effective or generate the desired results if it is just a feckless thank you based on worthless reward points.

Loyalty reward programs will become a pivotal component to successful marketing strategies and growth, requiring businesses to allocate a fair share of their budget to this segment of their customer base. The cost of a loyalty reward program will be factored into pricing strategies along with service offerings. A well-designed and implemented customer engagement strategy will be a key component to any successful loyalty rewards program.

Based on your previous client experiences, what has been the common theme for success?

Rewarding behavior that you want repeated is essential for any successful business. Therefore, the question isn’t whether or not you reward customers, but rather, “What behavior do you want to reward, and what will the reward look like?” So, designing the correct program is the first step in creating a successful rewards program. TravelFlo offers a turnkey customized rewards program. Our solution utilizes and builds around our customers brand identity and logo.

Second, the redemption choices need to be meaningful and have value. This is how TravelFlo has separated ourselves from other reward programs. The value of our programs has always been transparent and easy to understand because our reward credits are valued dollar for dollar. We do not bury the point value. The reward participants love them because the redemption process is simple and they can redeem for individual travel, name-brand merchandise or gift cards.

A successful campaign launch and consistent, personalized and timely communications are keys to the success of our reward programs. Our platform and technology are the power and magic behind our success. We handle the up-front and ongoing marketing support.

TravelFlo’s platform and process provide our employees with unique opportunities to engage in dialogue with their best customers regarding their monthly activity. Our technology provides alerts and valuable metrics so they can engage and follow up timely with their best clients. Our process has proven effective, as it allows unique, relevant and meaningful reason to reach out to top customers on a regular basis.

Our customers should expect a net revenue growth of $6.27 per every $1.00 invested in their rewards program.

What’s your advice for companies considering how they can personalize their one-to-one customer and employee relationships?

We know the relationships between a business and their customers and employees is the lifeblood of every good company. We also know solid, loyal relationships with these individuals make for a strong bottom line. We believe personalization and current account information are just table stakes. Reward programs in and of themselves, regardless of how personalized, are not going to drive business results alone. A reward program that drives lasting results must first be integrated into all aspects of the business’s strategy, especially into customer engagement. It needs to be a top-down approach supported by management and promoted through all levels of a company. The reward program must tell the company offering the program how their customers are trending and how likely is it that they’re also using a competitor. Does their recent activity necessitate a one-on-one meeting, email or text? The reward program is the process that organizes, targets and alerts the business, allowing their sales team to step in at the most opportune time with the most appropriate customer message. Our process drives results so our customers can build profitable relationships.

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