Is it time to implement gamification into your business? If so, what gamification software, strategies and techniques can help get more of the results you want?
We all love games. Aside from the fact that parents are having to apologize to their kids for limiting their xbox and device time now that video gaming has become a professional sport, gamification has long proven to have many benefits for business.
Games are not just for kids. The average age of gamers today is almost 40 years old, and the average age of a game buyer is older than that according to the Telegraph. There are over 400,000 apps in the app store, and even homeless people have mobile phones and gaming devices. Suggesting that nearly if not all American households have have some type of gaming device.
Of course, business and life itself is already gamified, even if we don’t even realize we are playing. America is the biggest game on the planet. Our politics, immigration and who gets to live here, consumer culture and economy are all gamified.
Gamification for Business
In often small and subtle and subconscious ways businesses are already using some form of gamification in the traditional sense. They are doing it branding and marketing against each other, sales offers and more. Just think about Black Friday. It’s a huge (and often dangerous game).
Games work, and produce billions of dollars. Even though we are all supposedly so busy, too busy to take phone calls or get all our work done and enjoy more time off, we often still find a way to steal time for games.
So, 1) Whether we realize it or not, we’re all addicted to games. 2) Games work for business.
Gamifying Your Organization
There are actually many ways to leverage the benefits of games in businesses.
It’s really all about turning things which typically aren’t seen as games into fun, engaging activities, and inspiring people to take action.
Some of the areas which can be injected with gamification include:
- Employee engagement
- Project management
- Vendor relations
- Performance management
- Customer loyalty
- Social media
Industries Ready for Gamification
Whether you have a B2C or B2B business, and regardless of size, you can use this concept for internal performance metrics, and improving sales and revenue related metrics.
Industries which can especially be ripe for turning on these strategies include:
- Call centers
- Real estate
Microsoft, SAP, IBM and Deloitte are among the large enterprises we know are integrating gamification.
There are many different elements to bring from the game world to your business and different ways to apply them.
Your Own Branded Games
One of the most obvious uses of gamification is to create your own games. Mobile mini games and apps are often used for advertising, branding and lead generation. Or you can advertise inside other people’s games.
Points & Rewards Programs
These seem like they should be good crossovers from the game world to business. Unfortunately, their abuse and lack of real value and difficulty to use have created too much noise and mistrust. Whether it is airmiles, credit card rewards, or in store points and loyalty programs, consumers would now often prefer to skip them and pay full price, rather than trade in their contact information and receive a lifetime of spam. New approaches are needed that build trust and loyalty.
Badges are a common form of gamification. Maybe you remember social network Foursquare and its mayors. Like job titles in your organization, they really cost you nothing to give out, but can both influence behaviour and create buzz.
More recent variations of this are found in virtual goods and avatars. Hyper popular games like Fortnite roll in real dollars for virtual avatars, clothes and accessories. The online gaming business is now estimated to be worth over $70B.
If you are really into gaming then you could splurge on an ultra rare sniper rifle in the game Counter Strike for $61,000. Or a $635,000 virtual space resort in the game Entropia. Though you’re not a real winner until you can afford Planet Calypso in the Entropia game. It’s valued at $6 million.
Leaderboards are another common form of gamification, which perhaps have the most uses throughout a business. They can be used for ranking call center team members by different metrics, crediting and motivating sales people and even motivating users to engage more.
Giveaways & Contests
Prizes can work as great motivators for staff and consumers. That is providing they are attainable and create more trust, rather than burn it. Unattainable employee bonuses and auto industry advertising with fake prizes and almost no chances of winning will do more harm than good.
Those which offer real value, for things that people really want and need, and are easy to apply for can be highly effective. Especially, when it drives inbound calls
Missions & Achievements
It’s not just gifts that motivate people. It’s often just being a part of something, and feeling the sense of achievement. Consider that Joe de Sena really created the Spartan Race and endurance race craze in an effort to gamify recruitment for his own businesses. It has now spawned into a 30 country franchise, drawing thousands of people who pay good money to put themselves through grueling physical and mental tests. Yet, they love it.
People want to express themselves, and be seen and heard. They want to connect. It’s what Facebook and Instagram are built on. There are many other ways to invite self-expression and give others credit and attention. This can be through innovation in inhouse teams or user generated content.
Gamification software can be an incredible ally in quickly rolling out and integrating these concepts both internally and externally.
Microsoft says it has applied gamification software to drive performance and learning for its call center agents.
Elements of good gamification software include:
- Social interaction
- Peer to peer recognition
- Behaviour analysis
- Multiple levels
Gamification is all around us. Yet, it is those businesses who are intentional about it, and apply it in ways that are effective, actionable, and really build trust and loyalty which will be the biggest beneficiaries. Fortunately, new gamficiation software solutions are making these strategies and techniques ever easier to put into play.
How will you gamify your business?