Incentive and Rebate Fulfillment
Consumers are still looking for deals provided the promotional value is larger than the competitor’s product cost. A rebate offering will help a customer choose your product. Each year 70% or more Americans take advantage of a rebate offer at least once. No wonder half of all major retailers and manufacturers use rebates as part of their normal product promotions.
The days of businesses looking at rebate programs as a promotional opportunity to hook and draw customers in for an initial purchase and make the redemption process too cumbersome are gone. With growing dependence on social media and review sites, if customers are leery of a rebate program or had or heard of a negative experience they are going to tell their friends and anyone else who will listen. They will pay a few extra bucks more for a competitor’s products and get their savings immediately rather risk feeling cheated or participate in anything perceived as unnecessarily complicated. The result of rebate program misstep? A negative opinion of your product or company.
We believe that if the redemption process is easy, and the payment is quick that the long-term payoff is substantially higher than the cost savings of unclaimed rebates. In today’s electronic age, consumers are educated enough to know there is little reason most rebate claims can’t be submitted online. Companies should offer online redemption even though it will increase the number of submitted claims. The benefit to them is a reduction in data entry costs, turnaround time, and increased customer satisfaction. There is also an opportunity to market additional products or services to the customer while they are submitting their information on your website.
Understand the rebate laws of the how, where and what you want to promote. You need to have a strong understanding of rules in the locales of where the rebate program is run so it can be communicated clearly to consumers. A good understanding of where your companies’ consumers live; local legislation that may dictate the types of rebates you can offer.
A successful rebate program requires a central repository to simplify management. By creating a centralized database of all information regarding the rebate offer will help overcome the challenge of keeping track of the offers. And if issues were to arise, (and they will) data is readily available to ensure a positive outcome.
Communicate clearly redemption rules. There is no way to get around a rebate promotion fact: People hate rules. Rules are in the fine print, which many people do not read (or want to). This behavior is in direct conflict with driving higher redemptions to encourage people to act quickly. Rules need to be clearly communicated, readable and easily accessible to avoid any unnecessary confusion.
A rebate experience should not be a frustrating one. By simply streamlining the process you will produce happy advocates for your products and services. You need to ensure the redemption instructions are clearly stated, and the process is easily accessible to complete to claim their reward. In some cases providing the necessary documents at the time of purchase (some states require) and or providing them online is your first contact with your customer. Keeping it simple is always best.
Social networking and review sites are increasingly popular with today’s savvy consumer. Are you leveraging social media in your rebate programs? Smart companies integrate social media into their rebate offerings. People trust friends, and social promotion builds brand trust and loyalty. Companies have to embrace that people trust their friends and their judgments.
For more information on our rebate and fulfillment support services, and the proprietary the STACK™ program management SaaS applications that complement them, call us now at 866-415-7703, or click on the button below to schedule a demo.