Tiered Programs: An Essential Tool for Customer and Employee Retention


For any business, retaining a base of loyal customers is just as important as bringing in a steady flow of new customers.

Tiered programs are an approach that can help businesses not only bring in more customers, but retain them for the long-term. On the employee side, tiered reward programs can also be implemented to give them further drive to hit specific sales milestones.

When customers have an ongoing set of incentives to come back for, it also gives your business continued opportunities to strengthen that relationship each time they return.

Tiered Programs

Tier-based programs that offer rewards at specific milestones come in many forms. A baseline example is something as simple as a coffee card at a local cafe. After five purchases, you could be eligible for a free coffee. After 15 purchases, you could receive a complimentary bag of coffee beans to use at home.

Telecom companies may do something similar, by adding additional gigabytes of data to long-term customers mobile plans at no extra cost – or perhaps a customer who’s been on a 3-year contract and upgrades to a new phone can receive free accessories for the new phone they’re signing a contract for.

If you’re an auto dealer, you could introduce tiered rewards to customers who not only purchase a vehicle from you (which could come with a larger initial reward); but those who continue to utilize fixed-op services from your dealership, such as customers who bring their vehicles in for regular check-ups, oil changes, radiator coolant refills, etc., at your dealership’s garage.

You can link tiered rewards to set service targets (e.g. given oil changes tend to have relatively low price points, customers could be required to get 3 to 5 oil changes before receiving a reward) or even take a cumulative approach – once they’ve spent the equivalent of $1,000 with fixed-ops, you gift them a 2-night Vegas getaway.

Similar approaches can be taken in most industries, such as jewelers, furniture retailers and wholesalers, credit unions and banks, property management and real estate, HVAC and home improvement, and so many more. In all cases, these programs can greatly inspire customer loyalty.

However you choose to implement tiered rewards, it’s important to set the targets clearly for customers. When they know what they can get from returning to you time and time again, they have a clear and constant reason to keep coming back.

Examples of Tiered Programs for Customers and Employees

There are several ways to implement these tiered programs. Clients of ours have utilized programs on both the customer-facing and employee-facing ends.

For example, jewelers have often found that price-based purchasing tiers are a great way to incentivize people to spend more by offering different experiential rewards at varying price points. If spending $2,000, customers can receive a 3-day trip to Vegas. If they spend $5,000 or more, they get a longer resort getaway to Mexico.

Furniture retailers have done (and continue to do) something similar, with set rewards at different tiered price points.

On the employer/employee side, tiered programs are an effective means of driving staff members – particularly those in sales – to aim for set sales targets, with each target reached offering a different reward.

One of our clients, a jewelry maker specializing in diamonds, runs an incentive program that employees can take part in. The tiered program has 9 levels to it, with each level offering a more substantial experiential reward than the last.

For employees who sell any of the jeweler’s products, they accumulate points. Once they reach a set point threshold, they qualify for a reward.

The first four tiers of the program include:

Level 1: Accumulate 250 points.

Reward: 2 Events Tickets that can be put towards major sporting events, concerts, Broadway Shows, or festivals.

Level 2: Accumulate 750 points.

Reward: 2-Night Hotel Getaway for people.

Level 3: Accumulate 1,500 points.

Reward: 5-Day Cruise for 2 people.

Level 4: Accumulate 2,500 points.

Reward: 3-Day Las Vegas Getaway for 2 people.

These are just some of the ways a tiered reward program can be implemented by businesses across various industries.

Let’s Talk

To learn more about tiered reward programs and how our vast range of experiential and travel rewards can elevate your program efforts, contact us via the form below, visit our Contact page, or give us a call on 1-866-883-2968.

About Odenza

Odenza has delivered 3762 promotions in the last 3 years with 1254 clients in 63 industries throughout North America. Odenza is a three-time recipient of Carnival Cruise Lines' "Pinnacle Club" award for sales excellence and a member of Funjet Vacations "500 Club" of travel agencies. Odenza was recognized for providing superior customer service, demonstrating expertise in Funjet vacation destinations and ensuring that customers receive the best vacation value available.