Archive for April, 2012

Loyalty Programs: Rewards Points vs. The Big Picture

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Loyalty360 brings us an interesting concept that loyalty programs are often misconstrued as the final parts of what should be considered the small pieces of their make-up, the points, rewards, and deals. In Changing Times by Phil Rubin, CEO of rDialgoue speaks with us about what’s really important in loyalty: the building of one-on-one relationships with customers. Most retailers and merchants think of points as so central to their customer loyalty, yet Amazon doesn’t have a standard points program, yet they have one of the most loyal customers in the industry.

How does Amazon do it? And, what can you learn from brands that go beyond points and rewards to engender loyalty and trust? Check out loyalty360’s article Changing Times and their 360 podcast.

Roadmap for Improving the Health of Employees and the Organization

Friday, April 27th, 2012

As GCP continues to expand our portfolio of gift cards we offer to corporate health and wellness incentive programs; we are always happy to provide you with information that helps pave your way to a healthier and more productive workforce.

The Change Agent Work Group published a comprehensive paper (a whopping 75 pages) called Employer Health Asset Management: A Roadmap for Improving the Health of Your Employees and Your Organization, which offers decision makers some great tools to meet the challenges of reducing healthcare costs for their organization.

It includes rationale to:

  • Develop and embrace an organizational vision for health
  • Secure senior management commitment and participation
  • Address workplace policies and the work environment
  • Employ diagnostics, informatics and metrics
  • Set health goals and tailor program elements to meet metrics
  • Create a value-based plan design
  • Integrate patient-centered medical home and chronic care
  • Get the portrait of a Phase 3 organization
  • And more…

Click to access the full Change Agent Work Group Roadmap

Control Healthcare Costs by Engaging Employees

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

According to the recently released 2012 PSILOS Outlook on Healthcare Economics & Innovation report, engaging and personalized employee health and wellness is key to controlling employers’ health care costs. The new report focuses on consumer engagement, and the report shows that employees who receive some kind of personalized engagement in their health care are more likely to take an active role in the day-to-day management of their health and wellness.

Active engagement in health care management and healthier employees are key to prevention of chronic and/or serious illness. These types of diseases and conditions make up 75% of the national health care spend. Healthier employees, who are engaged in their healthcare will keep costs down. Although the act of maintaining a healthy lifestyle should be enough to keep employees engaged, 80% of employees want to be compensated for their healthy behavior, weight loss, etc. Instead of supplying bonuses for these types of behavior, supplying rewards such as gift cards provides trophy value and a choice to employees that cash cannot offer.

For more information on controlling healthcare costs and engaging your employees check out this Private Equity Hub article.

Employee Morale vs. True Engagement

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Employee engagement is a proven way to raise employee morale, lower quit rates, and make your workforce more productive. Showing employees how their day to day work contributes to the bigger picture and helps the organization reach its goals leads to engagement. Conveying clear vision and providing a sense of importance is how managers can contribute to overall workforce engagement at an organizational level. Employees are the ultimate driver of an organization to its goals, so it is important to engage employees through training, professional development, and rewards ranging from useful gift cards to larger rewards such as vacation travel and extra time off.

It is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between high employee morale and true engagement. According to Ronald Sanders, a senior executive adviser and fellow at Booz Allen Hamilton, engagement entails innovation, commitment, and employees choosing to use their discretionary energy at work. Engagement goes beyond a happy workforce to a deeper level of commitment to work and understanding of the importance of the job employees do every day. It is important to reward employees who reach this level so that they not only feel the importance of their position but so they feel supported by their organization. Reinforcing desired behaviors and attitudes is crucial to maintaining the engagement cycle into the future of the organization.

For more information on deeply engaged employees check out this Federal Computer Week article. 

GCP’s Q1 2012 Gift Card Industry Trend Report is Here!

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

The first quarter of 2012 included GCP’s visits to and participation in many meetings, conferences and events, including the PrePaid Expo, the InComm Partner Alliance, the South Florida Success Expo (SWFL), and the Loyalty Expo. In Q1’s trend report, we captured a pulse on 2011 B2B gift card sales results, key gift card market expansion trends for 2012, and an update on the effects of New Jersey’s gift card laws to our industry.

Read the full B2B Gift Card Trend Report here.

 

 

 

Payment Wars and Loyalty Programs

Friday, April 20th, 2012

This  is quite possibly the most comprehensive infographic ever created around mobile payments. Our question for the prepaid industry, loyalty rewards program management companies, and gift card retailers and merchants:  Is our next loyalty program component in the area of mobile payments use?

Source: MostWanted via Prepaid Expo

Thank you MostWanted and Ptepaid Expo

Engaging B2B Customers

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

It is a proven and accepted reality in business today that engaged employees increase a company’s bottom line. However, new research from Gallup show that engaging B2B customers by establishing an emotional connection based on confidence, integrity, pride and passion is crucial to customer impact. Engaged customers deliver 23% more revenue than average customers in wallet-share, revenue, relationship growth, and profitability. According to the same Gallup research only 13% of B2B customers are fully engaged.

Engagement exists when customers go out of their way to favor a relationship over price. This deepens a relationship, and often customers  are rewarded for their loyalty with either a discount for services rendered or other perks from the company providing the service. Treating customer engagement and employee engagement similarly will garner similar outcomes. Reward customers for any business you gain, the way you would an employee. Provide spot rewards, such as a small gift card for small business gained and for a major expansion in business or formation of an industry partnership, provide a broader reward. Creating a 360 degree customer feedback loop provides opportunities for relationship growth. Putting constant work into the companies’ relationship is crucial. The time you spend ensuring that your employees are loyal should be equivalent to the time you ensure that your customers and partners are going to continue to drive your business.

 

For more information on B2B customer engagement check out this Business News Daily article.

Wellness Program Now Popular for Small Businesses

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Since health and wellness programs have shown impressive results in reducing employers’ health benefit costs, small businesses have prioritized space in their budgets for health and wellness programs. A new Towers Watson/National Business Group survey has shown that “high performing firms” engaged in health and wellness programs have reduced their cost growth to 1% per year. The same survey also revealed that employees pay 20% less on average for health benefits at “high performing firms” than at “low performing firms” with no health and wellness programs.

The return on investment of implementing these programs in companies of any size had proven consistent return on investment for both parties. As employers control health care costs; employees improve their health and engage in group programs and recieve rewards, such as small denomination gift cards, or preloaded debit cards. How does your small business use health and wellness programs?

For more information on small business use and benefits of health and wellness programs check out this Insurance News article.

NPR's: New Jersey Law Causes Companies To Pull Gift Cards by Joel Rose

Monday, April 16th, 2012

American Express has taken a landmark step in their fight to oppose the New Jersey law that would allow the state to claim unused gift card balances after two years. A recent National Public Radio (NPR) broadcast discussed Amex’s gift card product pull from shelves, and also noted Blackhawk’s threat to pull their 3rd party gift and prepaid cards. InComm, the other major 3rd party gift card play is also planning to follow suit.

Listen to NPR’s Morning Edition interview.

Listen to NPR’s: New Jersey Law Causes Companies to Pull Gift Cards

Industry Giants Combine for Contactless Payments during London 2012 Olympics

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Longtime Olympic sponsor Visa, and cell phone giant Samsung have combined forces to launch a mobile app that will allow for patrons at the 2012 London Olympics to pay for purchases with a wave of their hand. The Visa payWave technology uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to allow consumers to pay with a wave of their mobile phone, with an approved smartphone at a specially designed mobile payment terminal. Although the technology is limited to consumers who have the approved device, this technology is believed to take less time at POS than any credit card, debit card, or cash transaction. Additionally, statistics from credit card comapnies show that consumers tend to spend more per transaction at mobile payment terminals.

This technology, if it catches on from the global exposure at the 2012 Summer Games, could revolutionize payment systems. Imagine being able to redeem a gift card with a wave of your hand, instead of waiting in line to redeem your gift. The time efficiency and convenience of payment could revolutionize payments, as well as change the way consumers handle their smartphones. Phones could turn into a consumer’s, phone, computer, wallet, and bank all tucked safely into their pocket.

How do you see Contactless Payment affecting credit, debit, and gift card use going forward? For more information check out this Point of Sale News article.