Who Is Your Project Manager?
When it comes to your Channel Incentives or Recognition and Rewards program, you should always have a team that works with your company. Sometimes you have one person, sometimes a group of people. However, there should be at least one person with your provider who knows your company’s specific needs and works closely with you to meet your goals. This role has many names, and it varies by company. Various titles include (but are not limited to) Account Manager, Client Success Manager, Project Manager, etc.
This person or team is your first point of contact if you have any concerns, questions, or requests. They have many roles in the process from day one, all the way through the life of your account. It’s good to have a healthy relationship with your Project Manager (PM), and don’t be afraid to reach out to them about any questions you might have.
Let’s break down some of the reasons you might want to contact your PM through the life of your account.
In the Beginning
When you first sign on with your Channel Incentives or Recognition and Rewards program, your Project Manager should work with you to figure out exactly what your company is hoping to get out of the platform. You should discuss features and options, what your company considers “success,” and your company’s values that can be integrated into the solution.
Your PM should take all this information and incorporate it in the Scope of Work that will help the developers create a platform that works specifically for your company. They should also keep all this information on file and refer to it later, to make sure your goals are met. If you have a particularly good PM, they will not only review your goals at program launch, but also periodically throughout the life of your account.
The best thing you can do in the beginning is to make sure your communications with your PM are as clear as possible. The better your PM knows your company’s goals and expectations, the healthier the business relationship will be over time.
Awards and Promotion Building
Whether you are an Incentives or Recognition customer, the best way to keep your program alive is to create new promotions or initiatives every now and then; something to spark the interest of your users (Everyone loves a new shiny toy).
Some companies have an easy time creating new promotion initiatives, but if you’re struggling with ideas, your Project Manager is a great resource to spruce up your program. They see plenty of different promotions and might have some ideas to share.
To continue off the last point, if you feel your program is slipping at all, contact your PM for ideas on how to spice up your program. If participation levels are low or the program just feels stale, your Project Manager is a useful person on your side. Since they have tons of experience in engaging participants, you would be missing a great opportunity if you didn’t use your PM for what they are worth.
Oftentimes, companies think that their users are starting to lose interest in the program because the entire platform has something wrong with it. However, when this happens, all it takes is a little dusting off the cobwebs. Your PM is a fantastic resource to help bring new life to your program.
Whether your number of participants has grown considerably, your goals and/or values have changed, or your program simply needs a complete overhaul, your PM is there to help you make the necessary back-end and front-end adjustments so your program meets your changing needs.
I bring this up because some companies think that if their existing program doesn’t quite fit their needs anymore, they will often search for alternative solutions rather than try to fix the one they currently have. While I admit that sometimes switching providers can be entirely beneficial, it can also be extremely costly, time consuming, and a headache. So check with your PM to see if they have a way to keep up with your company’s changing needs before packing your bags.
Finally, a good PM should schedule time with you regularly to review program performance. Some companies schedule review meetings once a year, some schedule twice a year, but to get a truly hands-on, personal experience, you should meet with your PM every quarter. This way, your program stays up to date and you know what is working and what needs to change.
During this meeting, you can discuss how your goals impact promotions or how one award type doesn’t quite work for your company. You can discuss new definitions of “success” and create new promotions and awards that align with ever-changing factors.
It is in these regular review meetings that you can talk about anything and everything related to your program that might not have been brought to light throughout the quarter.
As I said above, the best way to have a long-lasting, optimal Channel Incentives or Recognition and Rewards platform is to stay honest and open with your Project Manager. Clear communication is the best way to meet your goals and maximize ROI.