What is the purpose of a reward program?
Some say to increase customer loyalty. Others want to show their appreciation for their best customers. And some probably think it's just a great marketing tactic.
So why would lots of money, time and energy be invested in these programs only to have service reps point to policy manuals with a no-can-do attitude? All that work quickly unravels when the organization frustrates [or even angers] their most precious audience [loyal advocates] they've worked so hard to win over.
During my high travel seasons, it's not uncommon for me to fly every week... all through United Airlines. [lots of miles & upgrade certificates piled up] But I ran into some problems trying to upgrade my 13 yr old daughter's one-way ticket using my "rewards." I escalated the call to speak with a supervisor. Surely, they'd understand the reason the reason I wanted her upgraded was because she was flying solo & it was her second time flying. Apparently, this can't be done unless I'm on the flight as well. [Which defeats the purpose of the upgrade]
It gets better. The attitude of the supervisor was unbelievable. Snotty, condescending, "How dare I make such a ridiculous request" tonality and just kept pointing to the blanket, no-exceptions policy for how members are allowed to be rewarded. [Felt more like a punishment than a reward]
It seems the role of a supervisor would be to assess the situation and make a judgment call. If an organization's policy doesn't allow for this, why employ supervisors?
Reward programs should do just that. Reward your audience & encourage their continued loyalty to your organization. Ministry or marketplace--how are we encouraging people to be even more involved and more committed to our organizations?
If we're not delivering on that assumption, [or worse, turning people against us] why bother?