Why are rewards programs so boring?

Posted on Posted in Customer Engagement

Today, I have been a loyal customer for HSBC credit cards and over the past sometime accumulated some 3000 points on their customer loyalty program. I wanted to redeem the points and so logged into the program site to explore the options that I had.

I was not impressed by what I saw. They still have an option to redeem my points for a Kodak Film. Who uses a Kodak film anymore!! Maybe someone forgot to remove this from the list (that is if someone is reviewing this list at all).

Then the collection of gifts is un-imaginative. There is nothing that I would want to redeem from the program only and not buy straight from a shop. One of the other options is to opt for a gift voucher from some of the big retailers (which is what I think most people do), donate to charity or request sustainable products. 

Now, my question is does this help the bank? Will I cherish the item that I buy using my gift voucher. Will I go out and tell my friends about the great gift I got from the bank? I don’t think so.

On the other hand, what do you think I will do if I could redeem my points to get some personalized articles (like a Tee with my son’s photo printed on it or a sling bag with the collection of my favourute tweets or a laptop skin with the photo of my girlfriend/wife)? You bet when I use these articles, I will tell everyone how I was able to redeem my points to get this cool stuff.

I am not saying that the bank should change the entire list of items and replace them with an option to place an order with Inkfruit or some such vendor for personalized stuff. However, I think it will make the program wee bit more fun if they could add these to the current list as well. 

Would you want to be a part of a program that is fun or one that is mundane? 

I also believe that companies like Inkfruit should actively target all such customer loyalty programs and get themselves included in the list of articles that the customers could opt for. This will give them some good exposure and adds a new channel for sales. It is a win-win situation for these companies.


Hope the bank is listening. 

Do share your thoughts and continue the discussion