Since the idea of gamification first reached the business world, many organizations have tried to use its power to improve how they engage with consumers when collecting customer feedback. Yet, despite the major benefits the concept promises, such as deeper engagement and higher response rates, many gamified customer feedback programs are simply failing to provide significant results. Why is this and how can it be overcome?
What is gamification?
One major issue hindering the results of gamified customer feedback is a basic lack of understanding of the gamification concept. Many people see it as turning existing activities, such as monthly feedback ‘pulses,’ into video games, adding storylines and graphics to such an end. However, the addition of these elements also potentially overcomplicates the whole feedback process, and consequently, fails to engage customers.
In actuality, gamification is a much deeper concept and more powerful than merely adding colorful graphics to your customer feedback strategy. Done correctly, gamification should make the feedback process easier, more interesting and more engaging. Properly applied gamification solicits a more emotional, immediate and therefore, accurate response from customers as people reply instinctively without thinking about their answer. Unfortunately, in practice, this is not always the case for gamified customer feedback strategies. Some gamified customer experience strategies actually make giving feedback more difficult! For example, what is the merit in having to navigate your online character across the screen to select an answer. In this case, simply ticking a box ‘yes’ or ‘no’ would do.
The aim of gamifying customer feedback is to increase engagement levels. More consumers give you better quality feedback, providing a more comprehensive picture of what they feel about your company, brand and the customer experience. As consumers today are inundated with brands requesting feedback, gamification should help by making the process more engaging and fun, increasing response rates and the depth of answers as well.
To properly implement gamification in your customer feedback strategy, marketers running customer experience programs should focus on four main areas:
1. Start with the user experience
The number one rule around the user experience is keep it simple and easy. This particularly applies when gamifying the customer experience. Think about how you can adapt and incorporate ways of interacting with your feedback methods in a way that your target demographic already understands or is familiar with. For example, on the foundation of social media’s popularity, allowing customers to “Like” something by clicking on a Thumbs Up icon relates directly to previous experiences. With many consumers providing feedback on mobile devices, it is logical to adopt the same “touch and swipe” experience that they are already familiar with asking for feedback. When it comes to successfully gamifying your customer feedback strategy, the experience should be simple and easy for the user.
2. It isn’t a video game
Gamification is not about creating complex animations that fill the screen or using video game graphics that look cool but add nothing to the experience. Often, focusing too much on the visuals can overcomplicate the flow of the feedback process and actually lower completion rates.
Remember, the emphasis needs to be on keeping things simple, familiar and intuitive. You want to make the task easier! Therefore, when you are adding visual and interactive elements, ask yourself, “Does this element make the process more enjoyable or harder to complete?” If the answer is harder, even in the slightest, go back to the drawing board.
Adapt graphics to the feedback process. Look at where graphics can help. When you have an agree/disagree question, gamify the experience by providing the ability to rank answers or use images to clarify what you are looking for.. Gamification needs to incorporate the feedback into the user experience created throughout the market.
3. Engage through playfulness
At the heart of gamification is the concept of playfulness. This (also) doesn’t necessarily require complex graphics. In fact, it may not use any graphics or animations at all. For example, you can appeal to people’s competitive instincts by transforming the wording of a question into a game Ask your customers to compare you to established car brands rather than giving them a linear scale; this will not just boost engagement, but give you the chance to collect qualitative as well as quantitative feedback.
4. Reward your respondents
People like to feel that their feedback is earning them privileges or rewards. So, reward them! Points for their activities, such as completing requests, can be aggregated and cashed in for discounts or other benefits. The reward could be as simple as boosting their status in an online community and giving them higher privileges, sharing the overall results of a feedback project with them or showing how their answers compared to those of experts or other people. Never underestimate the positive effect of social competitiveness.
At a time when engaging with customers is becoming more and more difficult, applying strategic gamification to customer feedback can deliver major benefits, from a better customer journey to improved collection of insight and ideas from consumers. Focus on these four areas to ensure gamification drives real benefits to your customer feedback program.
About the author
Nora Sells | Account Manager at Questback
Nora Sells is an account manager in the Questback sales team. Prior to this she was a senior research consultant, specializing in customer relationship management. Nora has worked for Questback for over 10 years, after spending the earlier part of her career working for multiple market research companies in Austria.