What is gamification?
Gamification is the idea of increasing customer engagement by adding game-like features to products or brands. By imitating the engagement of games in customer experience, gamification has boosted engagement across multiple sectors, from healthcare to electronics. Gamification’s primary purpose isn’t to acquire customers, but to increase engagement with existing customers.
Gamification could manifest itself in many ways, like a leaderboard between friends, or badges that are awarded with increased use of a product. In fact, the global gamification market is expected to grow by almost 70% in the next four years.
How to gamify customer experience?
Gamification lets you elevate customer engagement by introducing game-like features to brands or products. Using engagement patterns seen in games, gamification has improved CX and customer engagement across industries such as healthcare, automobiles, and electronics.
A great example of gamification would be Starbucks’ reward program. In this program, you earn stars when you buy a drink rather than spending dollars. You may also gamify the product exploration phase for your customers, making it exciting. This will engage your customers that are not yet sure what they want. Apple is known to have created similar gamification in the exploration phase for their iPad.
How does gamification improve customer engagement?
Gamification isn’t about literally creating a game to engage your customers. It’s more about applying the mechanisms that are generally used in games to non-game contexts.
Businesses can use gamification to incentivize their customers to behave in certain ways or take certain actions, rewarding them when they do what the business wants them to do.
It can make the activity more fun and rewarding to participate in, thus improving customer engagement and enhancing your customer experience.
What are the benefits of gamifying your customer experience?
1. Lure more customers into your Business
One of the most valuable aspects of gamification is that it is entertaining and fun. By gamifying an experience, you tend to attract more customers and often many aren’t even aware of what’s going on, namely a higher level of brand engagement and increased brand awareness.
Today’s consumer wants to be entertained and gamification presents the most effective way to do this. You will be able to attract new customers and also retain existing ones because you are offering them what they want: fun.
2. Gain Insight into your Customers
Thanks to the way most gamification platforms are set up, you have the possibility to gather data on customers who use your system, allowing you to track and analyze what they do on your website or app.
This generates a lot of valuable data, which you can later process into insights, about your customers. However, keep in mind that it’s worth very little if the data is not analyzed properly. It certainly won’t do much if you just let it sit there, as many organizations tend to do. Luckily, many gamification platforms already come with their own analytics systems built in, which you should definitely be taking advantage of.
3. Boost Customer Loyalty
Gamification helps create a satisfying experience for customers, which leads to happy customers. Offering them rewards for winning contests, quizzes or liking a Facebook page, for example, keeps them coming back for more and builds loyalty. You’re not only engaging them but also giving back and valuing the time they spend engaging with your brand, which is key to building long-term loyalty.
4. Earns you social mentions
Gamification strategies can involve rewards or achievements. If you make it possible for your customers to share these achievements on social media, it could earn you some great social mentions, essentially getting your customers to market your business for free.
How do you gamify your customer experience?
From Angry Birds to Candy Crush, most popular games share similar qualities: they’re competitive, they include rewards, and they get more difficult as the player progresses. Likewise, similar tactics can be used in gamifying the customer experience for business purposes:
1. Set specific goals
When starting a gamification strategy, think about what you want to accomplish in the first place – it can do more than just boost customer engagement. Gamification can be a powerful force to changing customer perceptions or increase brand awareness. Setting the right goals can affect every part of the strategy, from the design of the game to the type of user data tracked.
2. Real-Time Interactions
According to Adobe, by having users engage with the product in a way that’s location – or time- based, you can better understand and shape user behavior, For example, if Starbucks sent a push alert every time you were within 10 feet of a store, they could capture more customers and observe how users respond to the alerts. The ability to obtain and analyze real-time data is a huge advantage, and gamification makes possible the necessary volume to analyze these movements. If people get rewards or points for sharing their location or using an app, they’re more likely to be inclined to provide personal data, thus allowing companies to develop valuable insights.
Competition brings out the greatest engagement. According to one Wharton professor, by showing users where they stand in comparison to everyone else, you provide extra incentives to the users with engaging challenges and reward structures. Additionally, many games involve teamwork, which could boost user engagement. Adding a comparative feature gives users an opportunity to interact with a product for more than just fulfilling the initial need.
Many companies have had success with implementing gamification tactics with their customers, but this can only be measured with the right data. Gamification software company Badgeville recommends tracking engagement, influence, loyalty and time spent with the product. For example, listening apps like Spotify tracks how many minutes you spend listening on their app during a particular session. Make sure the data you track reflects your initial gamification goals.