ABSTRACT

Currently, the rewards programs offered by many companies to strengthen customer relationships have been working quite well. In addition, many companies’ rewards programs, designed for stabilizing revenue, arerecognized to be effective. However, these rewards programs are not significantly differentiated between companies and there are no accurate conclusions currently, which can be made about their effects. Because of this, a company with a customer rewards program may not comprehend the true level of active participation. In this environment some companies’ rewards programs inadvertently hinder business profitability as a side effect while attempting to increase customer loyalty. In fact, airline and oil companies pass on the financial cost of their programs to the customer, and as a result, they have been criticized publicly. The result of this is thatthe corporations with bad rewards programs tend to get a bad image. In this studyof stores’ rewards programs, we centered our focus on the design of the program. The main problem in this study is to recognize the financial value of the rewards program and whether itcan create a competitive edge for the companies despite the cost issues experienced by them. Customers receiving financial rewards for their business may bejust as satisfied with a particular company or store versus those who are not, and the program, perhaps, does not form a distinctive competitive advantage. When the customer is deciding between competing companies to secure their product needs with, we wanted to figure out how much of an affect a valuable reward program had on their decision making. To evaluate this, we set the first hypothesis as, "based on the level of involvement of the customers, there is a difference between customers’ preferences for rewards programs." In the results of Experiment 1 we saw that in a financial compensation program for high-involvement groups and low-involvement groups, significant differences appeared and Hypothesis 1 was partially supported. As for the second hypothesis that "customers will have different preferences between a financial rewards programs (SE) and a joint rewards programs (JE)," the analysis showed that the preference for JE was significantly higher than that for other programs. In addition, through Experiment 2, we were able to find meaningful results, which revealed that consumers have shown a significant difference in their preferences between SE and JE. The purpose of these experiments was to enable the designing of a rewards programby learning how to enhance service information distribution and strengthen customer relationships. From the results, there should be a great amount of value for future service-related endeavors and academic research programs. The research is significant, because the results can be found to have a positive effecton reward program designs however, it does have the following limitations. First, this study was performed using an experiment, and all experiments have limitations. Second, although there was an individual evaluation and a joint evaluation, setting a proper evaluation criteria was difficult. In this study, 1,000 Korean won (KRW) in the individual evaluation had a value of 2 points, and, in the joint evaluation, 1,000 KRW had a value of 1 point. There may have been alternative ways to differentiate the evaluations to obtain the proper results. In this study, since there was no funding, the experiments were performed orally however, this was complementary to the study. Third, the subjects who participated in this experiment were students. Conducting this study through experimentation was unavoidable for us, and future research should be conducted using an actual program with the target customers.

KEYWORD

customer rewards program, financial rewards program, service rewards program, evaluation mode

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