If you haven’t heard of gamification yet, you must have been living under a rock. So for starters, welcome to the internet.
Gamification in business has revolutionized areas from lead capturing and customer loyalty to onboarding and in-house training. According to Google Trends, searches for gamification since 2010 have skyrocketed as companies look to make it a part of their overall strategy.
The concept is simple. You apply elements of gaming into traditionally non-gaming processes and use the human instinct for competition to lead people to your desired outcome.
Plan your gamification around your goals
Gamification in business is the art of making potentially tedious tasks fun.
However, it is important not to focus too much on the fun aspect and lose sight of what you actually want to achieve.
Therefore, one of the gamification strategies that is relevant across all approaches is to define your goals and work backwards to plan how to achieve them. Common goals include:
Gaining new customers
When it comes to bringing new users on board, you can't throw them in at the deep end with in-depth material and heavy engagement.
Make the beginning steps easy and accessible, and think about how to reach your audience — social media, user shares, and advertising are three great places to start.
Increasing overall sales
If you’re trying to boost sales, include a pop-up early in the game rather than putting it off until later when users could potentially lose interest.
Try to style it in a way that doesn’t seem too pushy. Instead, think about your customers’ pain points and how your product can alleviate them.
Encouraging repeat sales
To focus on repeat sales, you don’t want users to complete the game, claim a prize and leave. Continued engagement is the name of the game here.
You need to create an app that is gripping enough for your customers to keep using it, with hints and reminders here and there to encourage sales.
If loyalty is what you’re after, think about what exclusive content or promotions you can offer your users. You can use them as an incentive to progress through the game, as blanket rewards for every player, or a mix of both. Combine this with the pride in reaching achievements and you’re well on your way to generating loyalty.
Getting the balance right in your gamification strategies is not an exact science. Try A/B testing your app from the beginning to see how to best reach your goals. Whatever your targets are, you need to write them down before you plan your gamification project.
Then, make a clear roadmap of how to achieve your objectives, and refer back to them when it’s time to analyze and adapt your approach.
Monitor progress and analyze feedback
Now you’ve set out your goals and you’ve got a rough idea of how to reach them. The next step is to set up a methodical process of how to analyze your performance and include it in your gamification strategies.
By monitoring reports based on your goals, you can identify which areas of your app are working well, and which are blocking you from success.
For example, you can analyze your drop off rates to see where your customers are experiencing difficulties and work on improving the user experience.
Sure, you want your app to be challenging enough to make it interesting, but if your users lose patience, you’ll fall short of your objectives and leave customers with a bad taste in their mouth.
Ask for customer feedback
With a bit of extra effort, you can go even further than cold, hard figures. Set notifications to pop up after a set amount of time and direct people to a feedback form. There, your users can give you insights that numbers simply can’t. Include questions such as:
- What do you enjoy about the app?
- What don’t you like so much?
- Why did you stop using the app?
With personalized feedback, you can further improve the usability of your gamification app while optimizing your efforts. When you implement analysis and feedback into your gamification strategies, you can measure exactly how well you are influencing user behavior. This allows you to make small adjustments here and there to get closer to your goals.
Offer incremental rewards
If you’re looking to increase engagement over time, you need to think about offering incremental rewards. Each reward gives your users a sense of achievement as well as encouraging them to continue up the ladder.
However, you can’t go offering holidays to the Caribbean for every small advance in the game. You’ll quickly find you’re spending far more money on the game than you getting back in benefits, and people will cut corners to get the big prizes.
The best gamification strategies manage to give rewards that don’t break the bank — they can even be free! If you’ve used gamified platforms before, you’re probably aware of a badge system and levels that you can achieve as you progress through the app.
These, of course, don’t cost you any money, but they still give your users a feeling of prestige.
Focus your rewards on your company
Companies often focus on rewards that are relevant to them as a company too. Hidden content and loyalty points are two simple ways of adding an incentive into your game. But crucially, both of these ideas focus on getting repeat business from your customers at a very low cost to your team.
You can go one step further to keep people interested. Send notifications that tell the user when they are in the top 10% of users, which will spark that sense of competition.
However, it’s not just about your best-performing users. Most customers you have will, by definition, be in the bottom 90%. They’re the ones that need encouragement to engage, so offer more rewards with smaller steps between them to pique their interest.
Make it shareable
Most customer-focused gamification strategy tips aim to increase user engagement through enjoyment.
However, you can capitalize on your gamification strategies by using them as a marketing tool. This is already quite a common practice among health apps, where users can compete with their friends on distance run, speed attained, and progress made. But it’s not limited to traditional forms of competition.
Language-learning apps have been booming for some time now, and with a well-made gamification strategy, friends and classmates can compete with each other on their progress.
Leverage social media
When you’re designing your app, include notifications that nudge users to share their performance on social media. This way, you get user-generated content that reaches huge audiences instantly.
This strategy offers a significantly better return on investment than paid ads.
Peer to peer comparisons
You can also ping notifications to update your users on how their in-app contacts are doing.
As well as fostering that feeling of competition, it also acts as a reminder to return to the game.
Health apps are pioneers in setting challenges that encourage your users to engage more. You can almost guarantee that they will release specific challenges on January 1 focused on the most miles in a year, a six-week push, or a couch to 5K.
While there is always a personal motivation behind these achievements, competing with friends increases the likelihood that their motivation will continue. Make connecting people one of your gamification strategies and you’ll find far-reaching success.
From brand awareness and new leads to higher engagement and motivation, you let your users do the hard work — and they’ll enjoy it too!
Spice up your onboarding and training
A bit of fun engagement shouldn’t be restricted to your customers. Among the most effective gamification strategies for businesses is to enhance onboarding and training with a bit of competition.
Rather than leafing through a thick pack of paper, you can provide fun, engaging, and effective experiences that stay in the memory.
Assessment as part of your onboarding
In traditional onboarding systems, there is little to no assessment of what your employees have learned.
However, with a gamified experience, your new recruits have to get answers right before they can continue. There is no shame in getting something wrong. Your app can simply show an alert that the answer is incorrect and encourage them to try again.
Therefore, by the end of your onboarding gamification, you can be confident that your staff will have a foundational understanding of what their role will entail.
Continued training for your team
Once your employees are established within the company, you can create new challenges to deepen their knowledge.
This is where the competition element really comes into its own. For example, if you are launching new products and need your team to get up to scratch in a short amount of time, you can gamify the learning experience and train your team in a crash course.
To encourage engagement, create a leaderboard for your team and send updates in your intranet. It’s no surprise that gamification has revolutionized the education sector. With fun, engaging, and competitive gamification strategies, they have improved learning at all levels.
Gamification in business isn’t quite as ubiquitous just yet, but it is quickly becoming common practice to drive companies forward from an internal perspective.
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Improve specific aspects of your teams
Gamification can also be used to improve specific areas of your teams. We would encourage you to focus on areas that aren’t performing too well, rather than doubling-down where you already excel. With a bit of imagination, you can spice up any stagnant areas of your business.
Customer service has a lot of responsibility — not just taking complaints and offering solutions. Some of these areas can be neglected and pushed to the bottom of the priority list.
For example, if there is a daily influx of calls that sees your team “putting out fires” rather than thinking creatively, you can create a special badge for your team members who come up with inventive solutions to requests. But it need not stop there.
If your team’s response time is falling short, set rewards for those who are first to pick up the phone. In the same way, you can nudge your team towards any other good practices, such as follow ups, cases closed, and quick calls.
Sales teams are an obvious area where gamification strategies can make a huge difference. But you can get far more inventive than simply comparing sales. By gamifying your process, you can include incentives for your team to cover areas that aren’t directly rewarded with commission.
We would recommend you to focus on those areas that commonly receive less attention, but are crucially important. If you have a CRM with sales workflows and analytics, it will be easy to identify the steps that are falling behind.
Your steps could be calls made per day, meetings scheduled, or leads warmed up — anything that helps you reach your overall goals.
Connect your teams across the company
Gamification strategies don’t have to be specific to each department. You can have a company-wide leaderboard for performance in every area. Sure, each team will run on their own metrics and have rewards specific to their field, but you can still create healthy competition across the board.
Aside from encouraging productivity and innovation, a universal leaderboard is a great way of uniting all your employees in one system. Whether you’re a small business or a vast multinational, your gamification techniques are a great conversation starter and a way of celebrating good work.
When used in a smart way, a gamification strategy for your entire team can increase engagement and productivity, which ultimately leads to better performance in your primary goals.
Putting your gamification strategies into practice
Gamification gives recognition and pride to workers on your team, and inspires engagement and action from your customers. So with a bit of creativity and a lot of hard work, you can apply our gamification strategy tips to all kinds of areas of your business to improve results.
But you can’t plan and implement amazing gamification techniques without hard work. That’s where Bitrix24 comes into play.
Our all-in-one business platform is a launchpad for productivity and collaboration, and as you can get started for free, there’s no initial investment! So sign up today and see how it can take your team forward.
What is gamification?
Gamification is a strategy that turns ordinary business actions into games to increase engagement through fun and competition. You can gamify aspects of your customer journey as well as your internal processes.
How do you use gamification in business?
Companies use gamification to:
- Attract new customers.
- Qualify leads.
- Educate your users Increase loyalty.
- Make onboarding more engaging.
- Train and retrain your staff.