Three Creative Ways to Use Gift Cards as Incentives

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

We all know and love gift cards. Used as a perfect reward and loyalty tool amongst various industries, it’s a commodity that has become widely used and appreciated. When we think gift card, we often associate it with employee recognition programs, customer retention strategies, or stocking stuffers for the holiday staff party. In addition to this, gift cards are regularly used in initiatives that expand beyond this scope. Let’s explore a few proven methods that are applied in various sectors, that may not seem so obvious.

Rewarding Research Participants

Modern medicine has helped increase life expectancy and quality of life for almost all of humanity. But breakthrough medicines and treatments rely on research that often requires that these medical solutions be tested on humans before being rolled out to the general public. Some people volunteer to participate in research projects but attracting participants with gift cards is a great way to meet required quotas. They are a simple and versatile tool, are easy to manage, and serve as a great incentive to attract the right candidates. More and more, researchers are using waiting rooms in hospitals, for example, to approach individuals and offer them a gift card in exchange for their participation in a study.

Complaint Resolution and Refunds

Retail companies live or die by their brand and have therefore made good customer service the linchpin of their corporate strategy. However, it’s crucial to uphold outstanding standards while at the same time protecting the business from potentially harmful protocols such as overly generous return policies. One solution is to offer refunds in the form of gift cards. Customers will be satisfied because they’re a cash equivalent with a high-perceived value, but the use of gift cards will also discourage those who simply purchase things with the premeditated intention of returning them after usage. These people can still return a product, but the funds remain in the same retail ecosystem, thus limiting the financial damage that can be inflicted by lenient customer service policies.

Payment Disbursement

When it comes to basic processes, such as paying employees, organizations of all sizes can struggle for a wide variety of reasons. For example, the Canadian government has been unable to pay its own employees reliably with the “Phoenix pay system” that has been an “incomprehensible failure”. One way to get around this issue is to use gift cards to pay employees. They can be easier to manage than some complicated payroll systems, and depending on various circumstances, may be more convenient. They are also useful in situations where the recipients do not have easy access to banking facilities – the so called “unbanked” or “underbanked”. To use gift cards as a payment disbursement mechanism, an organization simply needs to deduct and remit the taxes and other contributions as they normally would. Internal finance departments can confirm if using gift cards for payment disbursements makes sense for an institution.

These are but a few examples of how gift cards can be used in non-traditional contexts. Being so versatile, they’ve proven, time and time again, to be an effective tool in the development of progressive and innovative strategies.

Contact us today to see how gift cards can be used as part of your future projects, whatever they may be!

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