Ready to Change Your Customers Behavior? Game On!

Article take-a-ways: 

  •       Learn about a proven method to change customer behavior.
  •       Discover how successful companies are using this method to change customer behavior. 

It does not matter what type of business you own, customer behavior (http://www.linkedin.com/in/joshuaharrell/) holds the reigns.  Their behavior also ties in with customer retention and acquisition, which makes this topic even more important.  

Let's face it, timeouts for bad behavior does not really work--especially in business--so why not try some positive reinforcement?  The answer to that question should lead you straight to gamification!  

Changing behavior one game at a time

This may be a serious topic, but for the sake of your business, lighten up a little bit!  Gamification (http://blogs.gartner.com/brian_burke/2014/04/04/gartner-redefines-gamification/), which is using game tactics in non-game environments to solve problems, has been around for ages.  Remember those frequent flyer miles you tried to collect? That's the old gamification method. The 21st-century method involves technology.  

Gamification has been reinvented through apps and social websites, making the concept even more valuable to a business.  Research (http://gamification-research.org/2013/09/does-gamification-work-a-look-into-research/) is showing that the gaming technique is changing the way customers buy and use.  With that information, changing their behavior is simple and could grow your bottom line substantially!

The benefits of toying with your customers

There are so many examples of gamification changing consumer behavior, but one of the most recent involves changing the way customers use energy.  Without sneaking into a person’s home and turning their lights off for them, it seems improbable that one could change the way a person lives, but Utility companies are doing just that with gamification.  

In an effort to reduce energy use, National Grid has introduced (http://www.cio.com/article/2835752/it-strategy/gamification-helps-utility-companies-change-customer-behavior.html) a program that allows people to compete with their neighbor’s energy use.  Based on their results they get points that can then be used at other retailers that they like.  Since the program began, 800 million kilowatt-hours of electricity has been saved in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York.  After that big of a reduction, it's easy to see why utility companies are spending millions on gamification tools.

Starbucks has also proved (http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/economic-intelligence/2013/11/20/what-starbucks-gets-about-gamification-and-loyalty) this concept with its loyalty program that is centered on earning badges.  This concept has changed the way Starbucks customers buy. Instead of buying one cup of coffee a week, people are buying more often to earn stars.  These stars then get the consumers free drinks and coupons.  

Considering the powerful impact gamification has on customer behavior, it's not surprising that research firm Gartner predicts 70 percent of the world's top 2000 companies will use the method by the end of 2014.  Does your business use gamification? If not, start now on an action plan to incorporate it into your company!

 

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