Businesses exploring ways to turn to increase customer satisfaction and consumers into loyal customers need look no further than the silver screen and cinema vouchers.

Any business would surely cherish the opportunity to show existing and potential customers how much it values them by offering the red-carpet treatment, but how is this possible for businesses with thousands, sometimes millions, of customers?

They can’t all be rewarded for their custom with VIP treatment and for any business the cost of this would surely be astronomical, with the logistics involved placing great pressure on the staff and resources.

Voucher culture has become increasingly prevalent in recent years, with a greater demand for discount vouchers and coupons driving sign-ups for money saving websites such as Groupon and Wowcher.

However, businesses can now benefit from this growing consumer trend by incorporating the demand for vouchers into their own rewards schemes.

Rewards have been recognised as a proven method for retaining customers for many years, however a new trend is now emerging where rewards are being offered for simply becoming a customer.

This model has become so prevalent that it’s even taken centre in business’ advertising campaigns.

Take price comparison website Compare the Market, for example.

The companies offering of a free meercat soft toy when purchasing a service through the website has taken its place in the centre of its advertising campaign since early 2009.

There’s no denying the cuddly meercat toys have become a longstanding success, but what if consumer facing businesses were to utilise this campaign model by offering something more appealing to the customer?

Cinema vouchers make a welcome reward for existing customers and can also be employed as an attractive motivational tool for attracting new ones.

For larger organisations, where it can be near enough impossible to connect with individual customers on a regular basis, cinema voucher schemes could be a simple way to make a connection.

In customer services teams – where interactions with customers can make or break the customer’s view of the business and customer loyalty can hang in the balance – these types of rewards also make for an unexpected treat and could help to smooth over customer agitations and bad experiences.

Moreover, they could be a strategic value-added incentive for imaginative competitions and can generate valuable leads when offered as a reward for customer referral schemes or surveys relating to business improvements.

For businesses looking to boost social media engagement or newsletter readership, cinema vouchers could be offered as an incentive to engage.

The scope is endless and can be especially appealing when it’s linked to current events – e.g. who will win this year’s Wimbledon Championship, or which actor will play the next James Bond?

As well as being used as a reward or incentive, cinema vouchers are also a good way to say thank you to loyal customers or long-serving staff.

Buying in bulk reduces the standard cost considerably, allowing the business to be generous about handing out vouchers for hitting targets or as birthday gifts.

From a cost perspective, the fact that companies and organisations can save up to 38% off the face value of a cinema ticket makes these vouchers an affordable and valuable corporate gift or employee benefit.

Everyone likes a deal. In public sector organisations where budgets and pay increases have been notoriously low in recent years, cinema vouchers are often resold to staff at a reduced price, passing on the bulk discount and saving employees and their families significant sums at the box office.

This method of reward could easily be reworked to treat customers.

Meanwhile, in the events space, some businesses are taking the cinema experience to another level, hosting private events for long-term customers and competition winners with trailers, popcorn and the latest must-see film.

Having seen a huge demand in the public-sector organisations for discount vouchers, promotional agencies are looking to find other affordable rewards and incentives.

In the near future, this could mean tie-ups with digital providers giving substantially discounted subscriptions to music or film streaming services and downloads.

Whether its movie magic or the hottest new band, customers are sure to welcome the gesture.

By Director, Opia