Month: September 2013

Channel Sales Incentives and Free Parking – a Practical Lesson

Parking_clip_art_hightEase-of-use is an oft-cited and arguably overworked term.  But in my experience, ease-of-use can many times facilitate frequent use.  Here’s one example.

How often have you set out on a shopping expedition, errand, dining experience, etc., and been frustrated by the inability to find a parking space near your desired destination? Or, if you were able to locate a space, or a parking garage, the fee for temporarily storing your car was higher than you felt was fair? And in response to this, how often have you simply abandoned or, at minimum, deferred your planned activity?

In this situation, the immediate loser is the parking meter or garage owner. But the real loser is the establishment that stood to gain your business had you been able to get to it efficiently and cost-effectively. Not only did they lose your business this first time, but my guess is that, given the hassle, you would have thought twice about frequenting that business in the future.

The antidote to this situation is the growing trend of cities that are providing free parking in areas with high concentrations of shopping, restaurants and other entertainment venues. One of those cities is Culver City, CA, where, on a recent Friday night, the sidewalk cafes and restaurants were filled, people were doing window and actual shopping and the whole business environment was apparently thriving.

Clearly, businesses need to provide the goods and services that folks actually want to buy, but it stands to reason that ease-of-use through free parking is an incentive that contributes to their overall success.

There is a lesson here for channel sales incentives.  Many of these programs seek to motivate a participant that is one step removed from the program’s sponsor. Think of a manufacturer awarding points for purchases of its products by a contractor through that manufacturer’s independent dealer network.

One major challenge with these programs is obtaining information on the contractor’s purchases, since the buying relationship is between the contractor and the dealer. When determining exactly how to address this challenge, the mandate should be ease-of-use. For example, an online submission form may be perfect for relatively infrequent purchases of high-ticket items. But it may not be the right answer for a situation with high frequency of purchases of items with low individual price points.

Understanding the specific channel economics will go a long way toward designing a data collection process that is easy for the participant to use. And that, in turn, will lead to higher use and an overall more successful channel sales incentive program.

Employee Recognition and Incentive Programs … Mysterious or Meaningful?

The Voynich Manuscript … The Great Pyramids … Stonehenge – fascinating mysteries to be sure.  If you’re hesitant regarding the implementation of employee recognition, customer incentive, safety incentive or sales channel incentive programs because you view the task as mysterious as these … relax, rethink, and reconsider! Allen Schweyer, Principal and Partner at Human Capital… Read more »

When the Music Stops … Closing out Employee Recognition and Incentive Programs

Since we make our living at Quality Incentive Company designing and operating ongoing employee recognition and incentive programs, we try not to spend a lot of time thinking about what happens when a program reaches the end of its life cycle. But the fact is that most programs have an endpoint. A recent article by… Read more »

Embedding Core Values is Foundational to Employee Recognition

When constructing the correct employee recognition program it is critical to strike a proper balance between the “what” and the “why.”  Properly designed and executed, employee recognition should also address how employees are recognized and rewarded … and it is critical. Check out Derek Irvine’s post which discusses how important it is to embed corporate… Read more »

C.Y.A. … Communicate Your Actions Prior to Implementing Changes to Incentive or Recognition Programs

Allow me to open this post with a disclaimer. I have been a loyal Delta Air Lines customer for many years and generally have a high regard for their service. With that in mind, please read on. As a loyal Delta customer, I am also an active member of their SkyMiles program and am very… Read more »