“A reward is, a thing given in recognition of service, effort, or achievement”

A reward can mean different things to different people, and can generate very different reactions depending on why it has been awarded, however the fundamentals behind what makes a ‘good’ reward are always the same.  A good reward should always be engaging and is made up of three key areas; Perceived value, Need/want and user experience. 

To begin with the perceived value of a reward is imperative to its success. This doesn’t mean that every item being offered has to have a high price tag, so don’t fear that you need to find the budget for the latest Mulberry handbag! However there needs to be a relevant and a personal value that the customer can place on the item. This perceived value could be a sense of achievement in getting the latest technology item to show to their peers; alternatively it could be having an experience day to share with their loved ones thus enabling them to make a direct link between the reward received and an emotion/experience, or equally it could be a monetary value especially when rewarding with gift cards. All of these are demonstrations of how people can ‘value’ a reward differently, this inevitably comes down to how the rewards are being awarded and the positioning of them as to how people will engage and attach their personal perceived value.

Happy Employees

Another important element in creating a good reward is to recognising that as with any other transaction the customer will still go through the normal buying process; need, information search, evaluation, purchase, evaluation. It is key to consider the first part of this process – Need, is the reward on offer something that the customer needs? This doesn’t mean it must be a practical item but moreover can the customer attach a need to it, can the reward make some aspect of that person’s life easier or more enjoyable? The item could fill a practical or an emotional need, either way it will allow the customer to make an informed decision and result in a successful reward process.

The final piece in the jigsaw is the overall experience, the item itself could be perfect for the customer however if they have a bad experience during the order process then this will replace any positive feelings with negativity towards the product and completely disengage the customer. In order to ensure a good experience is received accurate expectations must be set for the customer. If the product is being delivered then it is important to ensure that a realistic and achievable delivery time is advised. There is now a growing trend for digital rewards as the benefit of these is the near immediate delivery, therefore once the customer has selected the item they can be making use of it within a very small timescale, obviously this doesn’t work for all products! As long as the customers’ expectations are managed and they are kept informed throughout the process of their order then there should be a seamless and inevitably positive experience.

By getting these elements right and positioning the item correctly it allows the customer to engage with the reward, associate a personal sense of value which immediately creates a ‘good’ reward. That end product will meet the customers end needs and inevitably complete the buying process successfully. If all of these areas are considered then the overall feeling will be a positive and engaging one.

It is key to keep these elements in mind when proposing rewards. What is your desired outcome? Is there a need? What could the perceived value be? If all of these are considered then the ultimate end goal of a Good Reward will be achieved.

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