Implementing a rewards program into your business, designed to reward customers who frequent your business and make large purchases (or spend a lot over time), can positively reinforce customer interaction with your business and motivate customers to return. By encouraging and rewarding customers to frequent your business, a reward program can encourage customers to spend more, cultivate brand loyalty and give a business owner multiple opportunities to interact with the same customers. If treated right, these customers are likely to become word-of-mouth brand ambassadors telling their friends and family about their preference for your products or services over those of your competitors.

In addition to simply driving more customer visits, a well-managed rewards program can increase spend per visit, give a business an additional channel to market and promote through, prompt additional purchases, yield valuable customer insights, facilitate communication between the business and customers and more. Businesses can get very creative in how they interact with customers enrolled in their rewards program and in how they use the data they collect. Supermarkets, for example, use aggregate purchasing habits to better utilize highly competitive shelf-space by modeling habits across demographics. Data isn’t only useful at a macro level, but often is also used to customize anything from when certain customers receive coupons to what those coupons are actually for. While these are only individual examples, the benefits are well-established and a rewards program can be useful to almost any business provided the program is implemented correctly, managed well and collected data is analyzed for insights into behavior, preferences and more.

One under-utilized way to leverage a rewards program is to identify your most loyal customers when starting an online review and reputation management campaign. Since you already have contact information for your customers, and they’ve opted-in to receive communications from your business, you can immediately start campaigning to grow and/or improve your online reputation. In addition, your rewards program customers, by their very nature, are more likely to have higher response rates than an average, random sample of customers. To ensure high response rates, segment your customers to target your most loyal customers first. These types of customers are most likely to have only positive things to say about your business. Even if some individuals in the group have had a negative experience at some point, chances are it was resolved to their satisfaction, strengthening their trust in and loyalty to the business. It is doubtful that they would continue to frequent your business if this wasn’t the case. Customer data beyond just a list of names and emails, like the data provided by a rewards program, can be analyzed to determine the best customer segments to target with a reputation management campaign.

Given the data and analytical tools that rewards programs already have available, selecting a sample to test your reputation management program with could be as simple as filtering your overall customer database by your ideal customer’s traits. Some common filters include people who recently completed a transaction, people who visit your business above the average number of times, people who spend above the average amount of money and customers who have redeemed the most rewards. If you already have a customer loyalty or rewards program in place, attracting new customers by leveraging the past positive experiences of your existing customers can be easy.

Contact SmartRep today to learn how we can help you grow your online reputation and increase positive reviews. If you already have customer data available, we’ll help you determine how to best structure your reputation management campaign utilizing your existing data. Otherwise, our existing data and experience can help guide your campaign and start collecting customer data for you.