What Is a Customer Incentive?

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A customer incentive is a reward that motivates your customer to take an action that benefits your brand. When your business is looking to increase online reviews, close a sale, cross-promote, build brand awareness, encourage repeat business, a customer incentive is the carrot you dangle to get results.

Discounts and allowances on the cost of a subscription, service, or product may be familiar incentives to some audiences, but today’s customers — whether they’re B2B, B2C, or traditional retail — increasingly respond well to receiving incentives as part of a loyalty program.

How Do You Choose the Right Customer Incentive?

Because customer incentives are designed to build loyalty, consider your customers’ demographics, purchase history, and personal preferences before deciding what kind of incentive to offer. The more data you can gather, the better educated guess you can make.

Digital gift cards and prepaid cards are more popular than ever for rewards programs, since they’re flexible and easy to send and redeem. But even beyond that, your choices can be tailored for your audience.

For example, younger customers may respond well to digital rewards for streaming or gaming platforms, while civic-minded consumers may respond more strongly to getting an opportunity to donate their reward to a charitable organization.

Here’s how to fine-tune your customer incentive choices for optimal results:

  • Offer options. Research consistently shows that reward recipients prefer getting to choose their reward, and especially like flexibility.
  • Ask for feedback. Find out how you can improve your program with a customer feedback survey.
  • Consider time spent. Be sure to give an incentive whose value matches the level of effort.

How Does Gamification Influence the Effectiveness of a Customer Incentive?

There’s no question that you can experience better results when your loyalty program generates excitement. A points-to-rewards program, themed campaigns, and social media shout-outs can help increase customer engagement, create a sense of community, and boost brand loyalty.

What’s the Best Way to Simplify Customer Incentive Management?

As your loyalty program grows, it’s important to scale intelligently. Look for a rewards platform that allows you to send campaigns to a global audience and streamlines tracking and delivery by connecting with other helpful marketing tools.

BHN Rewards, for example, is designed to integrate with more than 25 tools, including HubSpot, Marketo, and SurveyMonkey, as well as community platforms such as Krealinks. You can even specify a reward value and let the platform auto-curate the selection of digital gift cards, showing your recipients only the rewards that work in their country. The right platform can save your team time and effort, so optimizing your program’s retention and lead generation becomes seamless.

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