Brands are always on the lookout for ways to engage with customers and boost loyalty. While games are a fun and interactive way to engage with customers, gamification is fast becoming part of many business strategies.
Although gamification keeps growing at a tremendous pace, don’t mistake it as a trend. Customers are looking for more engaging and personalized experience. Adding a gamification feature to your loyalty program can encourage customers to interact with your brand and your program.
First… what is gamification?
It is the application of game mechanism in a non-game environment. It usually includes items such as badges, achievement, leaderboard, status and challenges. As well as being fun and engaging, gamification can support a loyalty strategy in order to meet goals.
So let’s take a look at how gamification can boost brand loyalty and customer retention.
The idea behind adding games to loyalty programs is to create a great customer experience and strengthen the relationship between your brand and customers. In fact, gamification stimulates customer loyalty and enables you to collect data on client motivation and behaviour. Customers who participate are more likely to be engage with your brand, talk about your program, and make recurring purchases.
How do you know if you should use gamification in your loyalty program? Which gamification feature should you use? To answer these questions, you must first identify your business objectives.
Define your goals
Identifying the right gamification strategy with the right rewards will keep your customer engaged and have an impact on your bottom line.
To get gamification right, your strategy must be designed to address a goal or solve a specific issue. Are you trying to encourage customers to use your mobile app? Are you looking to stimulate visits over a certain time period? Do you want to learn more about customer preferences or increase their engagement on social media? Is your goal a short-term action or a long-term change in behaviour?
Without clear objectives, gamification can turn into a distraction for your marketing and IT teams—while frustrating or outright disappointing your customers. By identifying your objective and situating it in time, it will be much easier to select the right gamification feature.
Selecting the right features
Gamification components are included with most loyalty solutions available on the market. There are also many solutions available that can be personalized and added to your website or mobile app.
When selecting the right game mechanism, it’s vital you consider both your goal and your customers. What will motivate them? What will get them engage? Here are 8 tips to keep in mind:
1. Keep it simple
Simple does not mean boring. It means ensuring that it’s easy for customers to participate in the gamification process without requiring complex instructions.
2. Set clear goals
When it comes time to develop your game mechanism, make sure you set very clear goals for customers. That way they can understand exactly how to participate and earn a reward.
3. Make it accessible
A huge challenge when it comes to setting goals for customers to attain is ensuring the gamification process is accessible by as many clients as possible. To ensure everyone can meet this goal, you can adapt it to each customer or include multiple levels with different rewards.
4. Follow the progression
To ensure maximum engagement, let customers know of their progression and how much is left for them to reach their reward. Using a progression bar is a great visual way to communicate this information.
5. Encourage friendly competition
Everyone loves to win! Adding mechanisms like badges and leaderboards is a great way for people to compare their progression with others and encourage friendly competition via a way to recognize efforts.
6. Reward participation and success
Whether it’s using bonus points, instant surprises, or special offers, be sure to provide a reward that makes gamification worth your customers’ time and motivates them to continue participating. Offering bonus points for specific actions is a simple way to encourage participation.
7. Data collection
Game mechanisms can help you collect precious data on your customers. You can even gamify data collection to learn more about customers. Quizzes are excellent ways to gather data that’s often inaccessible via other means.
8. Get social
Using social media in your gamification strategy can greatly enhance the promotion of your loyalty program and brand, as well as help keep customers engaged. Encourage them to share content on social media, or provide customers with a way to share their status, location, or badge classification. Just a few fun ways to get started!
If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. Although gamification is a great tool to boost your loyalty program, not every avenue you’ll try will drive results. That’s why it’s important to have measurable results. The right measurement will play a crucial role in knowing if your customers are more engaged and to demonstrate how effective your strategy is. Keeping this in mind, gamification should net your brand positive, lucrative results.
Customer engagement and brand loyalty are at the top of the list of priorities for companies. Gamification is an incredibly powerful tool to provide a simple, fun, and engaging experience. By leveraging your program’s goals and customer needs, you can use gamification to boost customer loyalty and engagement… while having fun along the way!