The time is now to engage business customers with awards and rewards

The time is now to engage business customers with awards and rewards
Feb 17, 2023

For utilities, municipalities, and government agencies, engaging your business customers can often feel like trying to hit a moving target. One way you can foster a sense of connectedness with these customers is through a strong recognition program. By improving business customer engagement, you can meet program goals while forging deeper relationships with long-term benefits.

Understanding key motivators

It’s easy to understand the psychological motivation for receiving recognition for an achievement—there’s a reason the J.D. Power rankings and awards have held sway among business leaders for decades. Recognition is an important driver of motivation, increasing loyalty and participation rates as well as meeting goals. Put simply—people appreciate being recognized.

Rewards likewise provide your business customers with a sense of appreciation. Rewards make customers excited about participating in your program by using positive reinforcement and small tokens of gratitude to keep them engaged. In addition to encouraging participation, rewards give you an opportunity to check in with the customer—making it easier to remain aligned with customer goals and expectations and better meet their needs.

Numerous new technology solutions, like our Sightline analytics platform, allow companies to provide direct rewards and perks that foster short- and long-term engagement. Utilities, municipalities, and government agencies can harness the power of data and technology to deliver the most impactful awards to their business customers.

Leveraging recognition to meet program goals

Awards are an ideal motivator in helping to meet program goals. In the energy landscape, recognition programs can boost participation with significant real-world impacts. The NYC Accelerator Awards program recognizes building owners and managers, service providers, and community organizations committed to decarbonization.

New York’s real estate market was reeling from the impact of COVID-19. As part of our work with New York City on the NYC Accelerator program, we identified a need to bring value to participants while encouraging them to continue participating in the program. By mapping out key milestones for moving participants through various levels—incentivized with awards along the way—the program structure created opportunities for decision-makers to take advantage of free technical assistance and other benefits.

Early participants were excited to receive recognition and awards for their carbon reduction efforts. New enrollments tripled in the months following the launch of the program. As enrollments continue to increase, the team closely tracks progress so that each participant receives customized communications throughout their program journey.

Standing out in a crowd

The time to consider an awards and rewards program is now. As we enter a shifting economic landscape, your organization can benefit from using an awards program in numerous ways:

  • Early adoption of technology and trends. Use data, technology, and robust analytics to innovate your business and remain one step ahead of the curve.
  • Free marketing and advertising. When other expenses are high, awards generate significant content (e.g., announcements of winners) and serve as an opportunity to garner publicity from earned media coverage and social media engagement.
  • Gain a leg up in a changing economy. Engaged partnerships like the NYC Accelerator Awards—which includes a variety of key stakeholders—can encourage business decision-makers to prioritize energy efficiency and decarbonization while juggling other challenges.

Leveraging a partner with experience in running customer recognition programs can allow you to reap the most benefit from your awards and rewards programs. Choose a partner with the right tools, technology, creative ability, media contacts, and outreach skills that touch every phase of a program’s lifecycle—they can best help build increased engagement with your business customers.

Meet the authors
  1. Kelly Zonderwyk, Director of Commercial Energy Marketing and Outreach

    With nearly 20 years of experience, Kelly designs and delivers award-winning energy efficiency programs and marketing campaigns for utility programs and local governments. View bio

  2. Natasha Ofman, Marketing Account Manager

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