Recognition Keeps Returning Dividends at Boomerang

bob's Blog Dr. Bob Nelson

If you’re having trouble selling recognition to top management in your company, sometimes you simply need to have a leap of faith and trust that the results will follow.  At Boomerrang Tracking/LoJack they overcame a strong executive bias against the use of employee incentives to launch a program that achieved 3 times sales with a 97 percent customer retention rate.

Boomerang the North American leader in tracking stolen assets has proprietary tracking technology that provides a seamless solution to the ever-growing concern of protecting and recovering stolen vehicles, heavy equipment, marine equipment and other valuable property. They wanted a way to drive sales of the Boomerang/LoJack device and gain a competitive advantage in the auto dealer sales market.

In-depth online surveys revealed 77 percent of their dealers believe an incentive attached to aftermarket items would influence their selling approach. Even more compelling, 94 percent of respondents said they were more likely to sell an aftermarket product that offers an incentive. Boomerang/LoJack saw an opportunity to increase their selling potential by implementing an attractive and user-friendly dealer incentive program.

Unfortunately, management in the firm questioned the need for incentives to drive the desired behavior.  They weren’t sure if recognition was really what was needed and if the seemingly frivolous, difficult to measure activity might end up leading to a perpetual cost that could never be stopped.  Some executives vocally warned:  “It’s going to get out of hand.”

An incremental approach to selling recognition within the company allowed a pilot program to first be initiated and then systematically built upon as success was achieved. Starting with a limited pilot program, working with just a couple of agents in their call center, the company took an incremental, grass roots approach to determining how best to roll out the program.  Discussions with agents examined obstacles of their jobs, what “going the extra mile” means, what incentives would be meaningful to help encourage the desired behavior and what recognition agents needed or wanted from their peers.

A four-month test with just five agents created an excitement and buzz that made it easier to expand the pilot program, which led to multiple loops of testing, integrating and soliciting feedback for improvements on the incentive program. DealerRewards launched in Boomerang’s largest market quickly exceeded the expectations and was expanded to several other major markets for the company.  As Marc Roth, Boomerang’s Incentives Manager expressed: “Pilot programs rule the day! If it’s working, it’s working; if it’s not, keep communicating!”

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