Gamification news, tactics, case studies and more. The official blog of Bunchball.
I am sure this post could and will expand well beyond the five ideas that I’ll explore, but I’ve hit at least 5 core points. As Director of Community at SolarWinds, I managed a successful gamified community called “thwack” which led to millions in support cost savings, 150+ new customer-driven ideas and 100+ testimonials for SolarWinds. As I explore the green field of a new venture in community building at LogicMonitor, I want to chronicle a bit of my own thought processes in digging the foundations, sinking the support beams, and ensuring the community I/we/you build can thrive in the ecosystem of your sponsor.
Here are my five:I am sure this post could and will expand well beyond the five ideas that I’ll explore, but I’ve hit at least 5 core points. As Director of Community at SolarWinds, I managed a successful gamified community called “thwack” which led to millions in support cost savings, 150+ new customer-driven ideas and 100+ testimonials for SolarWinds. (Link to blog post: http://www.bunchball.com/blog/post/1376/thwack). As I explore the green filed of a new venture in community building at LogicMonitor, I want to chronicle a bit of my own thought processes in digging the foundations, sinking the support beams, and ensuring the community I/we/you build can thrive in the ecosystem of your sponsor.
As Bunchball’s CEO and Chief Product Officer Rajat Paharia wrote about last month, the gamification landscape is shifting. More and more people know “the basics.” They understand gamification involves motivating people through data. They appreciate that it adds real business value and has proven to be an effective way to engage customers, employees and partners.
In other words, I’m now part of fewer and fewer conversations that begin with the question, “What is gamification?” Instead, people are looking for answers to questions like, “What can gamification do for us?” and “How can we get a gamification solution up and running where we work?”
Get to Know Your Customers Day falls on the third Thursday at the beginning of each quarter –that means it’s happening this week on July 17. For me, Get to Know Your Customers Day serves as a valuable, periodic reminder that satisfied, loyal customers are essential to profitability.
But ask any marketer and they’ll tell you: Keeping customers satisfied and loyal is becoming more and more of a challenge. Consumers are barraged with options, offers and media noise like never before, and it’s increasingly difficult to ensure your brand message can cut through all that noise.
Is there anything that can help shift the odds in your favor?
Hourly employees are notoriously difficult to engage and maintain –and perhaps no one knows that better than those of us in the restaurant/food service industry. I work for RMH Franchise Corporation, which operates more than 130 Applebee’s restaurants, and so I’m well aware that turnover rates for hourly employees in the restaurant industry can only be described as “crazy” or “insanely” high. Consider this: Turnover for hourly-employed bank tellers is labeled “high” when it reaches 30%, but the average turnover for hourly-employed restaurant workers logs in at 125%!
Fortunately, at RMH, we’ve discovered how to start turning statistics like those around –and the key to our approach is this: gamification.
With a predisposition to explore and a propensity for curiosity, humans are natural innovators. Without this instinctive urge, prehistoric humans wouldn’t have created spears to help them hunt, and they wouldn’t have learned to build campfires to avoid freezing to death. Innovation is paramount for survival, and yet . . .
In the business world, we’ve all experienced barriers to bringing new ideas to fruition. Sometimes there’s pushback (or even ridicule) from our “tribe.” Sometimes there’s a palpable fear of change. Often, the problem is simply not knowing where to start.
As an innovator in your company, you’re undoubtedly aware of how gamification—a proven strategy for engaging customers, employees and partners—is shaking up the business world. But you may be wondering exactly how to bring this data-driven motivational tool into your workplace.
Here are nine steps to get you moving in the right direction:
The Bunchball Rockstar Roadshow on May 15 was a huge success – and I’m not just saying that because I’m the founder and Chief Product Officer of Bunchball. I’m saying that because the presenters were stellar, the attendees were engaged, the discussions were rich, the questions stimulating and our specialty Nitrotini was, well . . . it was exactly as good as it looks:
When I see headlines like those, I can’t help it: I’m instantly skeptical. I know editors and writers craft them for effect – to grab the reader’s attention –and not because whatever they’re claiming is necessarily 100% true. (Did anyone really think Kiefer Sutherland’s character wouldn’t “live another day?”)
So, when I first ran across Fortune’s article titled, “Looks like that whole ‘gamification’ thing is over,” I’ll be honest, my gut reaction was something like, “Oh, boy. Here we go, again. Another trumped-up headline. I bet the article has nothing to do with gamification being ‘over.’”
I was right.
Let me explain . . .
When communities work together towards a common goal, the results can be amazing –as we have seen in social movements throughout history or in global responses to major natural disasters. Even smaller local initiatives, like cleaning up trash on Earth Day, can have a significant positive impact.
So, why does collaboration in the workplace remain such an untapped resource?
All too often employees and partners half-heartedly carry out their tasks in isolation, while customers are left standing on the perimeter with their input lost to the wind.
When marketers talk about the customer experience, the focus is almost exclusively on the buyer. “What does the customer want/need/prefer?” “How can we improve customer engagement?”
But today, I’d like to offer this (gentle) reminder that the customer experience is part of a larger service-profit chain. Yes, satisfied, loyal customers are essential to profitability. However, you can’t forget where the entire service-profit chain begins – with engaged employees. In 2000, HBR OnPoint published an article titled Putting the Service-Profit Chain to Work that very clearly articulated the value of employee engagement and loyalty, and to illustrate my point, I’ll adapt it slightly here:
The word ‘gamification’ might sound intimidating…but the concept has been around for generations. At the heart of gamification there are ten mechanics AND it turns out that you and your employees are already experts on all of them.
Let’s take a look at where gamification crops up in your day to day: