DECEMBER 9, 2014

The advent of technology and the passing of time have taken us to new frontiers on how businesses can be made more effective. The tools and rules of customer engagement and employee productivity are changing. Social networking has become ubiquitous in more than one facet of the present day business.

The people who are engaged and the people who engage them seem to have more than one trick up their sleeve. They transcend old boundaries the rigidity bringing in elements that were not present previously. The latest trick is from the multibillion dollar gaming industry. Games! Call it a child's play or a solace of the spoilt brats of the genx and z's they just might have the secrets on how to make work and business more compelling and fun. Did someone just say fun? Yes indeed! The latest buzz in the field of marketing and improving customer engagement-Gamification-takes some core concepts from the world of games.

So what is Gamification?

Gamification is a concept that has been employed by many industries in more ways to drive the user or the participant to participate effectively and to keep them loyal. Here let us discuss more about the business implication, it is all about taking customer engagement and making it a worthy experience that would compel them to do what the businesses want them to do. It doesn't end there, from within the walls of the organization it can be used to motivate employees to perform their task and to be more proactive with it.

The simplest ways to make the best of Gamification can be gauged from the way games are structured and taking these game technology and game design to create something unique. The game based mechanics, aesthetics and game thinking are used to engage people, motivate action, solve problems and to promote learning. There are many similarities and parallels that can be drawn along the lines of Games and real world business situations. Take a game for example, the common elements to it would be a structured space which has characters, a plot, challenges, rules, tension, interactivity, feedback, resolution, emotional reaction and these elements according to their interaction produces an outcome. These are also found in a business environment where the employee would face a task and he would have to find a solution or work on a given job with different elements that we see in games as well. The customers also can be engaged with businesses by leveraging the best of a social digital world through total engagement. What better way to do this than to create a game that all of them can play. Researches have shown us that people work extremely hard to get better at games, so why not transfer the hard work by borrowing the elements that makes games compelling and fun.

Making the Best of it!

So what could be the simplest ways to make the best of Gamification?

First of all Gamification is not about slapping badges onto the profiles of the customers and employees expecting them to deliver what the business wants them to do. Sure a graphical shiny badge wouldn't hurt but there has to be cohesiveness with elements like achievement, competition and fun.

There is a genuine need to understand what your employees and customers want. These players must then be aligned with the business objectives. Once the motivation and goals of the players are deciphered the Gamification needs to be designed with these elements in mind. This can give an employee reasons to engage with the company and a customer to return.

The personal goals of these players must overlap with the goal of the business. The gamified solution by virtue of helping the players reach their goal would invariably result in the hitting the business goals as well. Gamification is bound to stay and can help a lot to motivate people to find solutions and to go that extra mile finding a feasible solution or reasons for staying engaged.

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