Your Business Risks Being Left Behind If It’s Not Using This Trending Technology

The future of business depends on rich customer engagement, and that means gamification.


Tealfeed Guest Blog

3 years ago | 4 min read

“Life is a game and you are the player. As you master the game, so you also create it.” — Jay Woodman

It was a high-pitched wake-up call. A recent report by Adobe found that only one in ten businesses see themselves as “very advanced” with respect to customer experience. What’s even more alarming is that this is only a 2% improvement since 2015. This is a problem because the fight for customers’ attention and loyalty is intensifying.

Increasingly, businesses are competing for customers to engage with them across every dimension, and those that get it right realize amazing returns. For instance, through gamification, many businesses have realized phenomenal increases in everything from sales (300%), to employee use of cost-saving measures (100x), to improved customer satisfaction rates (1,000%).

There’s a simple reason behind these figures, and it’s why gamification may be the ultimate form of customer engagement: Gamification provides a highly personalized customer experience (CX).

What does gamification look like? You need only look to your local Orangetheory, a fitness club whose signature is high-intensity interval training (HIIT) combined with immersive technology that tracks your heart rate, calories burned and time, and broadcasts it in real-time for you, trainers, and your fellow gym mates to see.

The club’s approach has worked, spurring it to tremendous growth. Since opening its first studio in 2010, Orangetheory now has at least 1,000 locations, and in 2018, its revenue exceeded $1 billion. Fitbit is another great example of this.

Gamification doesn’t have to be quite so intense however; it comes in many shapes and flavors. Take, for instance, the Starbucks Rewards Program. It’s a low-key program with an insider feel; it’s also satisfyingly simple. Drink coffee or order food, get rewards, including exclusive offers and free stuff. The gamified program is fun to use and is aligned perfectly with Starbucks’ brand and business goals. Everybody wins.

Gamification invites customers on an exciting journey to a destination of your choosing

Gamification is the application of gaming elements to education, training, and business, among others. These elements include (but are definitely not limited to) being rewarded by leveling up, gaining badges, attaining a position on a leaderboard, or gaining access to previously-locked digital items after taking various actions or crossing certain thresholds.

While gamification is many things, it is much more than simply slapping gaming mechanics on a business or product. Instead, gamification uses proven behavioral science techniques to motivate customers (or employees) to take certain actions you desire in a predictable way and reward them for doing so.

If you’re interested in learning about some of the behavioral science that powers gamification, there are lots of amazing books and online resources available. Some of my favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg, and Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.

This is more than just a kids thing — in fact, youth are the minority of gamers

There are approximately 2.6 billion video gamers throughout the world, and the number is projected to grow to more than 2.7 billion by 2021. Surprisingly, U.S. video gamers under 18 years old account for just 21% of gamers. Yup, you read that right — teenagers are the minority of players, which means the vast majority are adults. The bottom line here is that gaming has become part of life.

Every day, people around the world are leveling up, being awarded badges for their gaming valor, and connecting with other gamers in their neighborhoods and around the world. Understanding this, it’s no wonder that customers reward companies that go the extra mile and focus less on a single transaction and more on providing a valuable, entertaining experience that draws them in and fosters a deeper relationship.

“First-class, personalised customer experiences need to be at the centre of commercial strategies because they are vital for competitive differentiation, and increasingly, just for survival.” — 2019 Digital Trends report.

Ready to gamify and realize those amazing gains for your business? Planning comes first

Customers remain at the heart of gamification, which is why it’s so important to carefully plan before rushing ahead. Some of the questions to ask include:

1. How will gamification fit into your broader business plan and goals?

2. What is your budget for this project? When do you expect it to start generating revenue, cutting costs, or increasing operational efficiencies?

3. How will gamification match or impact your brand?

4. What specific experiences do you want customers to have with your company and its products? What behaviors or actions do you want users to take? If you’re attracted to gamification because of its potential to reduce costs and increase efficiencies, then how will your employees interact with it?

5. What training will customers and employees need to get the most out of the new offerings?

6. What are your key performance indicators for this project? How often will success be evaluated?

7. Who on your staff will be on the project management team?

Gamification has tremendous potential and is as exciting as it is fun, however, like all projects, careful planning, vigilance, and possible course correction are required to ensure that these techniques directly contribute to your core business objectives.

This article was originally published by Mark ames on medium.


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