Using Gamification to solve business problemsBy Martin Conboy Children have always been taught games to help them learn, adopt appropriate behaviours and adapt to life’s challenges. Brian Burke, research VP for Gartner, highlights how gamification uses game mechanics and game design techniques in a non-gaming context to solve a range of business problems and challenges[i]. It’s a tool to engage employees, customers and the public. Gamification has proven to be successful in engaging people and motivating them to change behaviours, develop skills and solve problems. Gamification is currently being applied to customer engagement, employee performance, training and education, innovation management, personal development, and a range of other areas. It has the potential to redefine the nature of BPO and outsourcing relationships, and the value they deliver to clients and providers. However it is not without its challenges, toward the end of 2013, Gartner released a report predicting that 80 percent of gamified
Gamification has proven to be successful in engaging people and motivating them to change behaviours, develop skills and solve problems.
What is gamification?The oldest examples of gamification are frequent flyer programs that airline companies offer as a part of their customer loyalty programs. Gamification was a term that was first coined in 2003 by Nick Pelling, but did not gain popularity until 2010[ii]. Gamification harnesses the basic desires and needs of users (such as competition, status, altruism, and collaboration) to help them reach their goals and objectives. Typical elements of game playing (i.e. Point scoring, competition, badges, rules of play and winning) are applied to other areas of activity, such as marketing, customer engagement, employee training and education, innovation management and so on.
Innovation ManagementGamification is playing a key role in innovation management. Combined with crowdsourcing it allows organisations to engage a target audience and leverage the collective intelligence of the crowd to generate and develop ideas. According to Gartner[iii] the increasing sophistication of innovation game design along with broader target audience participation and more organisations engaged with this approach, will result in an explosion of gamified, crowd sourced innovations by 2020.
Employee PerformanceOrganisations have been using game mechanics to improve employee performance for some time now. Most contact centres run
Consumers are tired of participating in dozens of brand-based loyalty programs where the rewards are small and the investment in time is significant. They start out with a simple three or four questionnaire and then take the reader down a long and torturous path of more and more questions and most people just end up with respondent fatigue and just give up.
Customer Engagement PlatformsGamification has the potential to revolutionise loyalty and marketing applications. Consumer brands such as Samsung, Nike and Pepsi are leading the way. And though big brands have the resources to develop customised gamification applications, there is a tremendous opportunity for coalition loyalty platforms to develop that aggregate loyalty programs from many retailers, services and brands. Consumers are tired of participating in dozens of brand-based loyalty programs where the rewards are small and the investment in time is significant. According to Gartner[iv], by 2020, a small number of dominant coalition loyalty platforms could emerge, driven by a number of factors:
- Cross-brand sponsorship and participation — Loyalty platforms are attractive to consumers if many of the retailers, services and brands that they already use are part of the program.
- Aggregation of points and levels — By aggregating points, rewards can be more significant, and players can level-up by virtue of their total program involvement, rather than involvement with a single loyalty marketing program.
- Levels are broadly recognised — Becoming silver or gold member provides recognition and entitlement across the brand network.
- Players become loyal to the platform and the brand community — Brands that are not part of the community become “outsiders” and less attractive to consumers.
- Points become a transferable virtual currency — Points can be broadly exchanged for goods, services or other rewards, and can be transferred to other people.
- Platform consolidation will occur through network effect — Multiple customer engagement platforms will consolidate to create a small number of dominant platforms.
Combining gamification with big dataThe benefits of gamification can be greatly magnified when combined with big data analytics. Big data allows business to capture and analyse customer behaviour[v]. The insight gleaned from this analysis can be used to design games and activities that generate more engaging experiences for customers, measure the performance of those games and activities and identify areas for improvement. All in all it’s about increasing loyalty by creating an enjoyable experience that connects with the user above and beyond the extrinsic rewards such as money.
[v][v] http://badgeville.com/wiki/Gamification#how gamification and big data are driving.