In this guest post, Red Planet engagement manager Angela Baker (pictured below) explains how brands can earn customer loyalty, as well as support and recognition from the public, through gamification.
Gamifying established brands can be as easy as hiring genuine help in the form of a marketing agency. Letting someone else do the bulk of the work for you might be a good idea considering the subject matter.
Gamification of products, marketing, and customer experience has made a huge rise in popularity recently.
Customers are used to social media and the small, free-to-play games that come with it. These games are designed to pass the time and make users spend as much time online as possible.
While it does represent a small fraction of what customer experience can provide through gamification, it shows us one simple fact in practice – people want to interact with the brands they are using. How can you achieve a similar effect and earn customer loyalty, as well as support and recognition of the public?
The best way to start gamifying your customer experience is to start from the brand itself. What kind of a brand are you, and how interactive is your product?
This is because people’s attention spans are significantly lower than they used to be only a couple of years ago. They want access to products and service the instant they think about them. Designing your website and online store in a way that allows for a graphically intuitive approach to purchasing your products will increase your chances of gaining trust and revenue.
Tip: Think about your brand and how you can simplify the process of approaching your customers to its core.
Facebook rhymes with YouTube for more people than you might think. The cross-integrated options between the two have gone far beyond simply sharing a song on Facebook or posting social media links on YouTube. This also provides you and your company with a way of approaching far more customers and enhancing their experience in the process.
YouTube is known for its ‘influencers’ – people with large followings that sometimes promote brands, products or services in exchange for some money. Hiring an influencer that operates within your niche and using their expertise and popularity to enhance your customers’ experience might be the way to go.
Tip: You can gamify the experience by letting customers interact with influencers through simplified online games, AMA sessions or even live chats in the form of a loyalty program.
Putting an emphasis on gamification while your product is still in early stages of development is often a good idea. This means that you can gain popularity and traction by offering an incentive for purchasing your product.
While Starbucks isn’t a new brand on the market, it also started small. What it offered was a loyalty program through membership cards and subsequently rewarded its customers with real world rewards.
Tip: Give your shoppers a way to easily purchase products online and gain points towards meaningful rewards.
Going the extra mile and adding achievements to your online store might just be what your brand needs. A perfect real world example of this is America’s Army, a first-person shooter game for desktop computers.
What separates this game from many similar ones is the fact that it was built from the ground up as a military training and recruitment tool by the US Army. Everything you see in the game can actually be seen in the field, and should you grow fond of it – you can join the army yourself if you are a US resident.
This proved a sense of achievement for people who played the game and completed different missions and tasks in the game. Even getting a top essay writer badge on your writing help website can make an influence on people and they will hire you with further questions about purchasing your product.
Tip: Give your customers a sense of accomplishment by adding small achievements to their profiles and reward them with new ones for every purchase.
The community effect
Lastly, everyone loves being a part of something bigger. This is what customer experience is all about, giving your audiences a way of interacting with you and each other while enjoying the product they bought. You can implement gamification into your customer experience by giving loyal customers a chance to star in promotional materials, get the best writing help on demand or attend meetings and conferences with other customers or even become a part of your test groups.
A community that loves your brand and product can go a long way in making sure that more and more people approach you with interests in using your services, even if you specialise in quality writing or something similarly niche.
Tip: Find ways to create a community by involving your loyal customers in different public events and invite-only gatherings.
According to recently conducted studies, gamification of customer experience is only the first step in full customer-product integration. People who love certain brands and services will want to become a part of those services themselves through small gamification activities.
Use this opportunity to give your audience a chance to participate and help you promote your product further. Do your best to implement gamification in a way that doesn’t compromise your brand identity, and use carefully-planned test groups to check any customer experience methods before implementing them full-scale.