Case Study #1:

Building Stronger Dealer Relationships and Increasing Technician Training

The Challenge

A world leader in the agricultural and construction equipment business came to Market Incentives looking for a way to increase participation and motivation within their technician training program.

The company recognized that educating their dealer network about the many benefits of their products, equipment, and customer service was critical to their success.  They also knew that their competitors did not have a program of their caliber, but wanted to be sure that the technicians knew how valuable the training was and were motivated to continue with the program for as long as they were with the company.

The Program

Market Incentives started years ago with a tri-fold brochure that was mailed to all of the technicians who qualified for a gift award based on their test scores each year.  The brochure showed approximately 25-30 gifts that they could choose from, all within the same approximate dollar amount to the company, and each technician chose the gift they wanted at the conclusion of the program by mailing back a postage-paid reply card.

Over the past 15 years, the Program has grown from a one-award-per-year program, with all the gifts offered at the same value, to an Ongoing Points Program.  The program has also been moved online with tremendous success despite concerns about a less than tech-savvy audience.  There are now over 2000 gift awards to choose from, and the program has 4 corporate brands and 3 tiers: a beginning level, which all technicians must complete to move higher; an intermediate level; and a master technician level.  The technicians earn points per test rather than having to wait a full year to redeem their award.  They can also combine the points they earn in multiple brands and multiple tiers, allowing them to achieve their goals faster. 
Text Box: “our dealer network is better prepared to assist their customers because they have the proper education.”

The Results

Educating dealers about new models and other product enhancements has been an important component to generating sales volume and increasing loyalty among current customers.  The dealers proudly display custom-designed plaques in their showrooms that show their technicians’ achievements and certification levels in the Program.  The plaques have increased consumer confidence, and the technicians have been able to use their increased knowledge to increase their sales success.

By allowing the technicians the opportunity to save their points from year to year, we dispensed with the “use it or lose it” approach, encouraging longevity.  The decision to award points based on a slightly lesser grading scale also has encouraged higher participation and less technician “burnout” because the old design was out-of-reach for too many people.

The online program design now allows management daily access to point tracking and fulfillment, a more precise monitoring of technician participation, and easy to use summaries of accumulated reward earnings and redemption activity.  The BonusAwards system also allows the participants to track their own progress through their own My Account portal.  They can see when points are added to their account and why, add gift awards to their Wish Lists, and view their order status, cutting down on questions about deliveries. 

Each tier of the Program continues to build in technician participation every year.  Through the BonusAwards homepage as well as dealer newsletters, the company is able to communicate with managers and technicians about Program deadlines, new test postings, and special branded gift award merchandise offered only through the Program.  The company also believes that the Program significantly has enhanced employee loyalty to its brand over its competitors and increased its image in the marketplace.  The continuous communication opportunities have helped the company build stronger relationships with their dealers and dealer sales reps.

According to the company, “the folks at Market Incentives make it happen! The success of our long term relationship has been their focus on partnership. They understand our need to keep to the budget, and can make amazing things happen within that budget.  They are always friendly, always knowledgeable, and always on top of things.  Because of this, our dealer network is better prepared to assist their customers because they have the proper education.  MI just makes the program work.”