Whether it’s running another mile because our watch will reward us with an additional point, or taking it easy on the speedometer in Sweden so we get entered into a national lottery, gamification has moved mainstream, here and in Europe. It’s not a new concept. The term gamification originated more than 15 years ago and involves transferring elements of gaming into programs that motivate and engage. It taps into human nature and the lust to compete with others, to succeed by beating them, and for others to witness that success. Gamification is a powerful tool and we are going to see it employed increasingly within this industry.
Education providers are already introducing it into their programs, using typical aspects of game play such as point-scoring, competition with others, leader boards and badges of achievement. It is a familiar world to young people reared on computer games and social networking. Learning through playing rather than slogging through a textbook is obviously going to be much easier for them. But gamification is more than the method of delivery for education. It can be employed across the business, from onboarding new staff to marketing to potential new clients to team-building and brainstorming new ideas. For instance, including fun games in induction will drive engagement, but rewarding achievement with a manager or senior figure giving some form of public recogntion, maybe texting and posting appreciation on social media, will have youngsters squealing with delight. It is important, though, to maintain the human element of that connection – a shallow standard or computer-generated message just won’t cut it. Rolling it out to across the company can bring equally impressive results.
Setting up fun challenges can help drive team performance or engagement of clients. Introduce one to the team on a specific day, and whoever reaches the goal first wins. It can be a simple challenge tied to retailing or upselling where each sale takes them through the challenge, or make it even more fun by creating puzzles to solve with each level they access. You will quickly see it’s not the result but the taking part – as long as it’s fun and competitive – that will drive engagement. Setting a timescale or ultimate goal keeps it tight and transparent.
An important point of gamification is to create various levels that those involved can aspire to and engage with. They will spice up a challenge for the team, but levels can also be ongoing – a VIP level with special treats for clients who participate in a variety of activities, who engage more on social media, who always leave reviews will help drive engagement.
Reward is a big part of gaming, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be something physical. However, giving clients the chance to win a service, a product or even a bottle of Champagne is a huge motivator to those you want to target.
Loyalty has long been rewarded with points that give collectors additional benefits, but you can also introduce them to the team, individually or as groups. Collecting more points than others on the team can often be more motivating than a simple financial reward scheme because it’s easier to understand than commission structures – and more fun.
It’s an undeniable fact we are choosing increasingly to live our lives in the public domain. We want people to see what we are up to and what we do. Add into the mix a desire to beat the competition, and running a leader board can be dynamite in driving participation. Who doesn’t want to see their name move up the leader board and who isn’t motivated to do better should their name drop down?
Adding a storyline might seem like a tricky task, but don’t we do it every time we run through the client journey? Creating a narrative that involves role-playing can be a really fun way to help your team think about every aspect of service delivery.