A well-timed rebate offer can persuade a consumer to buy that new washing machine right now instead of “sometime soon.” It may lure customers away from their normal store to try the new franchise that just came to town. It can encourage someone to upgrade from that basic computer model to something a bit faster and a bit pricier. But what happens once the purchase is made? If the rebate isn’t quick and easy for your customers, it may end up doing more harm than good. What can you do to maximize the potential brand loyalty of your rebate offer and make sure you don’t leave your customers frustrated and dissatisfied?
Simplify the process. The Internet is littered with how-to articles to help consumers properly redeem rebate offers. Why is this? Because all too often consumers miss the opportunity to claim their rebates due to complicated forms, unclear directions or confusing requirements. They may end up feeling cheated and angry. Avoid frustrating your customers by streamlining the redemption process. Consider posting instructions online, complete with samples of the UPC codes, properly highlighted receipts, and other necessary items.
Speed it up. Or better yet, put as much of the process online as possible. Online forms, with the ability to provide instant feedback, will save time with redemption as well. Although consumers are conditioned to expect 4-8 weeks before receiving their rebates, the earlier you can get it to them, the happier they will be. By putting the process online, you’re able to shave time off the turn around, as well as some of the cost for fulfillment.
Upgrade from checks. Mailing paper rebate checks not only adds cost and time to the process, but your customers must have a bank account or visit a check-cashing facility to get their rebate. By switching to prepaid cards, you’re making things easier and faster – that’s something every consumer will appreciate. Better still, that rebate card can be co-branded with your company’s logo. You’re able to reinforce the connection to your brand when the consumer takes advantage of their quick and easy rebate, regardless of where they spend it.
Add it up. Looking for a solution that incorporates all of our tips? Consider virtual redemption. By making the entire process electronic, you can maximize the turnaround. Fulfillment will still take time, but everything else will be as quick as a mouse click or two. When the rebate clears, a virtual code is emailed to the consumer, who can redeem it online and immediately begin spending their rebate. What’s more, virtual redemption means no postage or material costs for you. With most online redemption services, consumers still have the choice to have a physical card mailed to them.
Time is of the essence when it comes to rebate offers. A customer’s perception of your brand can quickly sour if they find it too complicated to get the rebate. Take advantage of new technology and new payment options to ensure your rebates are creating happy, satisfied customers looking to do more business with you.