We love to share creative ways businesses are using rewards to engage their customers. At The Hot Yoga Factory in Chelmsford, Mass, founder Terri Fry built retention and community with her karma points concept.
Terri uses Perkville to allow members to donate their points to anyone facing financial hardship and collectively chip in for their membership. She came up with her Pay-It-Forward Karma Points idea when a student asked if her points could be used to help others pay for classes.
“The program is in its infancy, but people have been very receptive,” says Terri. “I love how students are thinking about how to get their friends here and how to pay it forward.” She adds that Pay-It-Forward Karma Points also inspires members who aren’t necessarily motivated by discounts to care about rewards. “They can get something tangible out of karma points because it feels good to donate. That’s what we want to promote at our wellness center: people feeling good not just physically, but also emotionally.”
In addition to the feel good element of the program, karma points help to retain members who have temporary financial hardship. Pay-It-Forward Karma Points fund discounted memberships and sometimes free classes depending on the individual's unique circumstances. It’s enabled members who have lost their job to continue their yoga practice at the studio while they get back on their feet.
Members can donate up to 100 points at a time, an unlimited number of times. The donated points are transferred to a karma account (a Perkville profile created with the studio’s email) where they can be redeemed later for other students. It takes less than five minutes from when someone redeems points to put them in the karma account, making the program easy to manage. Terri sends a personal thank you email to each member who donates points. Who receives karma points is kept anonymous to respect their privacy.
Thanks to the program’s success, Terri is now thinking about how to take karma points to the next level. “Everyone has been so generous with their points, one idea I have is to see if we can reach a goal for karma point donations as a group. This way karma points becomes more of a community effort.”
Terri’s success story just goes to show that beyond its rewards system, the perks of Perkville can reach extraordinary levels and create community-oriented experiences. Thank you to Terri Fry and Hot Yoga Factory for always innovating!