Gamification is the process of using game thinking in a non-game concept. This is done in a variety of ways including a points based or tier system. The end goal is ultimately to encourage a specific behavior like increasing customer lifetime value, also known as customer retention.
Here are a few things that you need to consider if you want to do it right.
Have a Plan
The first and most important thing to do is understand what your objectives are. Review what behaviors you would like your customers to have and consider gamification as a way to encourage those behaviors. Once your objectives are set, then you have the process to consider.
Points, achievements, and/or a tier system have all been used by other companies to increase customer loyalty. With points and achievements, customers can see what they have done already and can receive rewards from them. A tier system can excite customers to go on to the next level and competition has also been used to encourage repeated behavior, bring a little fun to the activity, and encourage improvement in customers, who in turn stay loyal to your brand.
Focus on the Customer
If your plan is to use gamification strictly to get items off the shelves faster, then your “gamers” won’t have any fun. Your customers want great rewards, and they want them as soon as possible. While you don’t have to offer platinum gold with every point, making them jump through too many hoops can cause your customers to lose interest.
If it’s a competition, make it fun! Do something your customers would enjoy doing that meets business objectives. Gamification strategies should quickly lead to something that customers want. Make the process simple and dish out your rewards quickly. Don’t make them complain about technical support issues and update the rewards to keep things interesting.
Review Your Work
As you review your work, think about the goals that you set previously as you were coming up with a plan. Look at your key performance indicators, as well as your customers and make a plan based on what you’ve found. As you review your work, you may also want to consider how you might segment these customers. Those who are earning a specific achievement may also be drawn to a specific email marketing campaign and are thus more likely to buy.
Also look for problem areas and find out how to fix it. It could be that you’re not focused on the customer well enough. It could also mean that there’s a bug in the system, or customers are cheating. If there are gamers cheating the system, consider the value in revamping your campaign and making it harder to cheat, like going to a more digital system.
If you stick to these ideas then you will have a successful gamification strategy and your customers will love you for it. After all, all work and no play makes your company a dull brand.