In the current business scenario, most leading enterprises across a range of industries have almost a similar list of products and services on offer. Hence, it’s the customer experience that is steadily turning out to be the key competitive differentiator among the competing firms.
In the age of digital media, most companies have realized the need of a robust social presence to enhance their interaction and engagement with their customers. However, with the social platforms getting crowded, businesses are seeking a smarter way to engage their target audience. This has propelled the concept of Gamification of customer experience into the limelight.
Most companies have already started building their marketing and customer experience strategies with a firm focus on Gamification. For instance, some of the leading players in online learning sector operating in the Massive-Open-Online-Courses segment have started to use Gamification as a realistic option. By encouraging the subscribers to consider each course as a game, the firms are able to generate much more interest in them. The subscribers are not just able to enjoy a sense of achievement on crossing every milestone (the course), but also get tangibly rewarded at the end of their sessions.
While this is one of the effective examples of gamifying the customer experience, many customer-centric brands are coming up with their own indigenous ideas that are quite effective. However, the framework of gamifying customer experience rests on the following aspects.
Gamification can be an ideal option to achieve the specific goal of maximizing the customer experience. However, there has to be an appropriate strategy in place, which is the first step of preparation to achieve the objective. Once the strategy is in place, the game-mechanics can be conceptualized and subsequently applied to the development of design techniques. This needs to be done in a way that it complies with the strategy of engaging and motivating the audience.
Brands have realized that their time and location based engagement with the users can be critical to unravel the consumer behavior and perceptions. For instance, a soft-drink brand can place its kiosk at different places such as movie theaters, educational hubs, or parks. By analyzing the data such as the type of flavor and time of maximum purchase from a certain kiosk, the brand can identify the tastes of the consumers distinguished by demographics. This form of insights can go a long way in providing the appropriate Gamification to match the preferences of the consumers.
The advent of digitalization has provided the consumers with a number of channels to interact with the brands. By identifying the uniqueness of each touch point, brands can create a specific game mechanics that is relevant to the type of channel being used by the consumers. Some of these interactions include social interactions, influencers, and even word of mouth.
- Social interactions
Most of the platforms that are built for Gamification usually prompt the users to use their social-networking credentials to login. The information derived from their social profiles can help the brands to identify the field of interest of a particular user. Based on this the consumers can be classified under a specific segment, which makes it easy for the firm to interact with them. Also, the gaming preferences can be personalized based on each segments likes and dislikes.
The mass adoption of social media has led to the creation of a new kind of social personality, usually termed as influencers. Having a profound knowledge about their field of interest, their perspectives about a topic can influence a group of people following the discussion. By gamifying the interactions between the influences and the followers, a firm can have a substantial impact on the outcome of such discussions. When this happens, the opportunity to influence various segments of consumers can be maximized.
- Word of mouth
Various communication channels such as websites and apps can be integrated with the game-dynamics that are stimulating and fun. As the number of users fond of it keeps growing, they are sure to propagate this experience to their friends and family. Firms can utilize this word-of-mouth promotion to garner many more interested audiences to build on their brand presence.
In addition, Gamification can also play a vital role in e-commerce, where gamifying the buying process by providing points and incentives for specific activities can boost the conversions. The methodology that glorifies achievement and is based on rewards also has a profound effect on the consumer’s perception about the brand, which in turn can help businesses to improve on customer loyalty.