Do you like to play video games? Or do you think they are for kids and sweaty nerds? Not at all. Nowadays many business people tend to believe that video games can make your business even more profitable. This kind of approach is called Gamification.
If you think it is just another cheap trick to make your clientele happy – it is not. It is a powerful psychological method, so applying it wisely may give you some very positive outcome. So the main question stands the same – do you like to play video games? The main feature of Gamification is to make a user believe that he or she is in a video-game like environment – this kind of approach applies both to company`s employees and clients.
So what is Gamification? They say Gamification is the concept of applying game mechanics and game design techniques to engage and motivate people to achieve their goals. Sounds a little bit psychological, don`t you think it`s so? No way -if you ever played a video game before it would be easy for you to understand it, if you didn`t – it is easy to get to know what`s what and start from a scratch.
One of Gamification`s goals is to leverage people’s natural desires for Competition, Achievement, Status, Altruism, Community Collaboration, and more. Speaking about video games – there is no such thing as team building there. Gamers already have a very strong social community – the reason games are so popular is that they gather different people around them, giving them a chance to compete, win and share their progress. So giving this idea a go many businesses can use Gamification to drive desired user behaviors to promote their brands in a complete new way.
So, how does it work? Let us have a glance. One common technique of Gamification is to increase engagement by rewarding users who accomplish different game-like tasks. The five most commonly used mechanics in Gamification are: Points, Badges, Levels, Leaderboards, and Challenges. Rewards such as Badges and Points are used to elevate Status by showcasing the talents, expertise, and accomplishments of users. Competition is another technique that can be used in Gamification. The desire to appear on the leaderboard drives players to complete more tasks, engaging them in the process of “playing”. It is similar to loyalty programs, but as mentioned above it has a strong competitive aspect that persuades people to accomplish more and more tasks, promoting products, making references, earning in-game rewards and naturally spreading the word about your business. And the most important thing is that Gamification has this rare quality of forming a gaming-like community around your business. It is a very fascinating thing when your clients pay attention to your company not because of a simple business attitude, but as a fact they are engaging in its development too.With the help of such things as Gamification it is easy to keep track of your clientele`s needs and gather feedback. The things is that if you set it all right it is no need to pursue your customers with giving a feedback anymore – they will do this on their own for sure.
A canonical and the first living example of Gamification is Frequent Flyer Program – maybe you even used this program, offered by many airlines nowadays, once or more. Typically, airline customers enrolled in the program accumulate frequent flyer miles (miles, kilometers, points) corresponding to the distance flown on that airline or its partners. Acquired miles can be redeemed for free air travel, for other goods and services, or for some benefits, such as travel class upgrades, airport lounge access or priority bookings. Gamification is a must have if you already have social networks integration. Who doesn`t these days? Even your grandma is playing Candy Crush now. Mark my word. It can help you to spread some useful information about your newly gamified business, and your clients will be busy posting their badges and leaderboard progress too. It is hard to resist when you may become “Super Welder Man of St.Paul”, shiny badge on a side, for just sharing this gorgeous app with 10 of your welder friends. And viola, they are all jealous and competitive again, trying to earn more badges within the app than you already have. And you don`t say about housewives.
So, some general questions now. Do you want to increase revenue? Gather more new clients or satisfy your current ones? Maybe you want to start from a scratch? The first thing is to have a web-site or create an app for that. Second, give Gamification a try! You don`t have to implement all the things at once, but the major thing is this unique competitive approach it provides. Just learn some basic human psychology and let the game begin.