Engaging Customers & Employees Through Gamification

How can you implement the principles of gaming to increase engagement?

Let’s face it, life is a lot more engaging when it’s fun. On Saturday you’d probably rather hit a college football game than rake leaves in your back yard. And there’s a reason Friday is celebrated around the world – it’s the start of the weekend fun. But did you know that you can apply the principles of engaging through fun to your business?

The last several years have seen the emerging trend of employing gamification to appeal to a company’s customers and employees. Gamification is the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g., point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, often through web or mobile applications to encourage engagement with a product or service. And it’s being utilized in increasing numbers. In fact, by 2019 it’s estimated that the gamification market will be worth over 2.8 billion dollars.

If you were to ask your customers to fill out a 10 question survey, chances are only a small percentage would respond. But if you offer a quiz with the ability to compete against others, earn badges and even free products or services, more of your customer base is likely to participate. That’s because gamification taps into the psychology of motivation – using recognition and value to affect people’s behavior.

Companies have been embracing gamification as a proven method for increasing customer loyalty. Take Qdoba, for instance. The mexican fast food chain spiced up their customer loyalty program by adding an app filled with colorful graphics and themed levels based on a consumer’s eating habits. As Qdoba customers eat at their restaurants and use their loyalty rewards they earn points toward a variety of levels, each one unlocking new rewards opportunities in addition to free food items. The more a customer uses the program, the greater the rewards. The final level offered is the Champ level, with monthly mystery perks and extra points for each purchase.

But the concept of gamification isn’t reserved for customer loyalty. Many companies have found gamification useful in motivating employee productivity and participation as well. There are three main areas where this concept is especially useful: Onboarding Employees, Adapting to Change and Aligning with Organizational Goals.

Onboarding and adopting a company’s processes can often be a daunting task for new employees. But through the process of gamification, it can become fun and easy. By utilizing beginner levels and advancing through the learning process, new employees complete more tasks and retain more information than they would by simply reading through company documentation or watching training videos.

This concept also helps existing employees adapt to change within an organization. When employees are motivated to learn and put into practice new systems and habits, the return on investment is far greater. The gamification process motivates employees through competition, acknowledgement and rewards.

It’s useful in increasing sales and motivating employees to engage in behaviors that connect an employee’s objectives with the organization’s objectives as well. By focusing on the activities that prompt employee behavior and turning them into something fun and engaging, companies can not only see results on leaderboards, but promote behaviors that align with organizational goals. These efforts use feedback, achievement and recognition to help employees grow and advance their output.

If you are ready to increase your company engagement through gamification, Spud Software has the team in place for you. Our experienced developers can define, design, develop and deliver a solution that blends fun with function. Just give us a call and we’ll help you take your business to the next level.