Nowadays, it has become important that the customer sticks to your business and keeps coming again and again. There are different means and ways of achieving this and Gamification is a considered as one of them. As the name suggest, it relates more to Gaming though it could be same or something related to it.
What is it?
From the Business context, it is considered as one more customer engaging marketing strategy whereas from common man`s perspective - we could say that it is an engaging tool where the user is stimulated to perform some tasks for fun or competition making it interesting and rewarding for the user. The user gets some brownies - points, discount coupons /vouchers etc.!
Why is it important?
Customers are considered as lifeline of business and it is important that they remain with the business. Retaining existing customers or attracting potential customers and converting them to paying has become equally challenging for every business.
There are many games in the market, and the customers really have many options to use the Games just for passing the time or get motivated to keep moving to the next level. For the business, they really can take this `fun and motivation` quotient effectively for customer acquisition and retention.
How can it be really integrated and used in the business?
Gamification, when introduced in the business should be seamlessly integrated without it being forced upon or making it very obvious. Most business know that Customers who interact with business are constantly looking for ways to get `more` from the interaction or get instantly rewarded too!
Below some of the ingredients when included, can actually govern how well we integrate and see the returns:
Some Games could be introduced just for Fun. This is just for them to pass the time and see that they can just play the games whenever they want and like. There may not be any incentive for the customers there but it is just for Fun! This may just be the ice-breaker for some potential customers.
Enables participants to compete by participating, sharing and comparing their achievements. It increases the competitiveness amongst the participants and also awards them by using the award points to redeem merchandizing products like iPads etc.
3. Campaign Linked
Campaigns can be linked to Games. Within the fixed Campaign period, the users can Gain points /incentives for the different levels they cross in the Games, followed by winners getting awarded additionally too.
4. Visibility & Rankings
Customers like their performance /ranks being displayed in common. Especially like `TOP 5 performers of the Day' , `Hall of Fame` , `Thumbs Up`, `Stars` etc for the Games make it more interesting for Customers to participate and get involved
5. Social connected
Successful gamification should create a strong sense of community. People like to join game when they know that their socially networked friends are also in it and many likes can generate more interest as well.
Business need not necessary have all the above ingredients to get the benefit of the gamification but rather optimize it properly and take small steps at a time - Start Small and Scale fast! In a market place where Generation Y predominates, by leveraging the above ingredients appropriately through different channels such as smartphones, tablets etc Game based application will be expected. There is no perfect place to start but should not waste time either. The benefits of gamification may take time but have a definite competitive advantage for sure.