Despite the popular understanding, having cutting-edge technology is not enough to deliver a unique customer experience. While technology is the enabler of a smooth experience, it is also a part of the customer satisfaction process. It is important for the brands to research the customer’s psyche and needs to keep them interested.
The challenge stems from the lack of hands-on experience and product interaction. When users are empowered to deep-dive into the product experience, take the reins on how to use and interact with the product, customer engagement and experience increases exponentially.
In order to enable customer-product interaction, organizations should look into gamifying their experiences.
Gamifying experiences or Gamification is a technique where brands include game-like features of graphics, competition, scores, leaderboards, etc. to various areas of their product and service to enhance user interaction and attraction.
Gamification not only focuses on interactive animation & thrilling sound effects, but also follows a structured process. It comprises features that help create personalized experiences for both the customer as well as the brand.
Compelling narratives: Gamification uses simulations of stories, objectives and problem solving narratives to attract the audience from their day-to-day lives. These narratives add an element of information, relatability & sentimentality which gives brands an added advantage. Narratives have been a part of humans’ emotional build from time immemorial. Integrating them with product experiences help build brand recall.
Enhanced feedback cycles: Collecting feedback becomes fun and entertaining with gamification. Spinkling AI-driven elements in the feedback process engages the audience and builds a more efficient feedback loop. Sense of accomplishment: Accomplishments give you a sense of confidence and encouragement. So when a product makes the users feel accomplished they are motivated to keep using the product. For example, while using a fitness app, a notification for the user pops up notifying them of their accomplishment of completing their 5 miles for the day, they are more likely to share that achievement and continue to be an enthusiastic user of the said product.
Generating the buzz with gamification marketing
Rewards and offers attract customers more than any other marketing technique. These rewards can be in any form, from air miles to loyalty rewards, consumers are often inclined towards leveraging these opportunities to get better deals and experiences.
Gabe Zichermann, a Gamification evangelist, believes that users now want to move beyond monetary incentives. They respond to rewards better as they offer emotional and psychological gratification.
Gamification’s proven positive psychological impact on consumers is a boon for marketers. It is a go-to strategy for many, as it encourages users and consumers to create and share user-generated content (UGC). This organic user-generated content helps brands deliver realistic reviews and product-related content to their audience. The brands can share this content via social media and other marketing tools and help build an organic marketing funnel. In the world of push notifications and ad campaigns, gamification is a refreshing take on engagement and sales generation. Gamification marketing is another dynamic element for the changing marketing landscape and deploying it is now a necessity for brands to stay on-top of their competition.
So how can gamification be deployed to engage with customers effectively?
Include interactive designs
Interactive designs help users be a part of the application which greatly improves engagement. For example many shopping apps have adopted spin-the-wheel as a reward distributing game to engage the audience.
Create real-time challenges with friends and family members
Gamification can help create virtual challenges with real people where users experience a sense of achievement as well as earn rewards via referral programs. This helps maintain engagement as well as boost customer acquisition.
Incentivise your existing users
Users love a chance to win prizes and rewards. Gamification creates virtual competitions that motivate users to perform well for rewards. Brands can collaborate with other industry stakeholders to organize giveaways and foster healthy competition as well as drive up user adaptability and engagement.
Fear of Missing Out is real and a great way to pump up those engagement numbers. FOMO can be implemented via gamification with the help of countdown clocks to build urgency. For instance, a particular deal offering 50% off can be combined with a countdown element and a call to action that can motivate users to take quick actions.
Build intellectual challenges
Soduko or crossword puzzles can act as gatekeepers of these exciting challenges where users have to solve these puzzles to go to the next step and win the grand prize. These challenges are hyper-focused and for relevant brands, help engage the right audience.
Gamification techniques are now an essential part of marketing strategies because they tap into social and emotional psyche and blend it with monetary rewards.
From games to interactive design elements, gamification empowers brands to generate a higher brand recall value. The technique not only rewards but also educates customers effectively about their products & services, and increases conversion rates.
Brands, both old and new can implement gamification to involve consumers in real-time and be a customer centric organization, which is the need of the hour.