One of our most popular posts so far this year has been last month’s 3 Top FAQ’s In Incentive and Loyalty Programs. As the title implies, it answers three of the top most frequently-asked questions we hear during our sales and implementation process with our clients.
The thing is, we obviously receive way more than three questions in the course of doing this work, so here we go with three more. If you can think of any other questions you might have that we would have the data to answer, I invite you to leave them in the comments below.
What is the best way to validate claims?
Without question, the best way to validate is by gathering and analyzing 100% of the documentation from the front line transactions. For example, in the case of a sales spiff claim for retail sale of a set of tires you would want the salesperson to provide a copy of the store’s invoice, along with the customer details of the person buying the tires. If your goods have a unique serial number on them, the absolute most effective thing that you can do is collect the serial number associated with each piece sold. Ask yourself, “Has this number been claimed before? Was this piece even ever sold to the store it is being claimed from in the first place?”.
To make this data collection effective, you absolutely need to be comparing it to all the past data you have from previous claims. This is why we audit 100% of all claims we process through our platform. Using software to generate different reporting views helps you spot trends and, most importantly, exceptions in your claims which gives you the best visibility into where your sales incentive spend is going.
Another powerful tool for accurate validation is to allow retailers to make claims by uploading a POS export file right out of their software and in to yours. This eliminates tons of keystroke errors and other compliance issues.
How can we cut down on fraudulent claims?
We have an e-book available (for free, of course!) which gets into much more detail than we have space for here, but in the interest of a quick, top-level view, I will present a list of the best ways to build fraud protection into your incentive and loyalty programs:
- As above, collect and compare serial numbers
- Collect a copy of the store invoice
- Compare store invoice numbers from the same store
- Collect customer zip code/postal code
- Compare variances of same names (e.g. Jason King, Jay King, J.King)
- Make sure your field sales reps have visibility into where claims are being paid out
Again, it is super tough to give these the space they deserve in a blog post, so I would encourage you to download our e-book, Fraud: The Most Overlooked Opportunity It explains these and more principles in greater detail and also contains a worksheet to help make sure you are reducing fraud right from the planning phase of your sales incentive programs.
What do other people do?
This is kind of a toughie; obviously it is incorrect to share anyone’s “secret sauce” so I will simply share the number one thing(s) that we have observed in client programs that have made a huge difference to their programs.
For sales people: Pay them fast and regularly. If you can create a predictable cycle of quick payments on your sales incentives program, every salesperson we have interviewed assures us that they appreciate it and that it motivates them appropriately. On a subconscious level though, it provides ongoing engagement with your brand and also (in most cases) builds affinity between the rep and the brand.
For rebate programs: Make it easy. If people have had a great a great experience with your brand up until the point of purchase (and let’s assume they had, since they became a buyer), you must consider the lasting implications of how rebate fulfillment is handled. Often, these programs are the last touch point your brand has with your end customer until next time they have a need so let the word of mouth from their experience be all positive.
Jason is the Content and Community guy at 360Incentives.com Connect with Jason on Twitter