The B2B realm is more often than not viewed as a joyless place where people in suits sit rigidly behind desks and are all business, no play. However, despite these common misconceptions, B2B can be as much fun as B2C. One of the best ways to make this happen is through the secret power of business gamification.
People enjoy games and challenges, because they make their world – be it personal or professional – more interesting and entertaining. Adding a gamified element to your business can bring joy to both your customers and employees, and can provide a myriad of benefits to your organization.
In this article, we focus on the best uses of gamification in business, and provide actionable tips on how to implement it in your company. So read on to up your company’s game and make it more enjoyable!
What Is Gamification in Business?
In business, gamification is an approach that introduces elements of play into your strategy. These elements can be implemented into both the company-client and the company-employee relationship, and contribute to the brand’s culture and public image.
The goal is to strengthen the business’s connection with the respective audience, build loyalty, and create engagement. Playing stimulates positive emotions and activates the reward systems of the brain. When the person associates the brand with these feelings, they are more likely to remain emotionally invested and loyal.
For this to remain so, of course, the company should back this pleasant experience with quality products, satisfying brand experience, and top-notch customer service. If all these elements are in play, the customer is bound to stay with the brand and make more purchases.
The same applies to employees – a gamified workflow, combined with a stimulating work environment, proper remuneration, and development opportunities, ingratiates the company with its workforce. This can, ultimately, improve the work experience, boost productivity, and reduce turnover.
Benefits of Business Gamification
As Friedrich Schiller has said:
Man only plays when in the full meaning of the word he is a man, and he is only completely a man when he plays.
Gamification can benefit the connection between the business and the individual, and contribute to meaningful and fulfilling interactions. Some of the most notable advantages it provides are:
Boosts in Engagement
Engagement keeps you at the forefront of your customers’ minds, and makes you their first choice when they are in need of products and services similar to yours.
Games encourage people to partake in activities and interact with brands better than anything else. For optimal results, you should research what formats best resonate with your followers and develop a consistent strategy.
By analyzing their behavior, you can learn a lot about your clients, and use the information to fill in the gaps in your buyer personas and customer journey maps.
Builds an Emotional Connection
Playing creates emotional engagement and makes people feel that they belong. This can help to inspire your audience to relate with your brand identity and build a community of followers. Shared experiences are a great way to strengthen your connection with people, make them feel at home with your company, and encourage meaningful communication.
All these positive feelings increase people’s loyalty towards your brand. If your audience feels engaged and entertained, they are less likely to take their business elsewhere. The emotional connection you build will take your relationship to the next level, and this positively affects retention.
The gamified approach is a great way to increase productivity in the workplace. Finding ways to ignite your employees’ competitive spirit, and make tasks more fun will encourage people to take pleasure in what they do and deliver better results.
When both employees and customers are more involved with the brand, sales will undoubtedly go up. Your team will feel motivated to seal more deals, and clients will take pleasure in making more purchases. Incentivizing both sides and enhancing their experiences will positively affect your bottom line.
Guidelines are easier to follow when they are presented in the form of a game. People are prone to better remembering, complying with rules, and being more diligent with tasks when they are playing.
As a result, customers will have more fun following the conversion path, and will feel encouraged to repeat. Employees, on the other hand, will implement processes with better accuracy and their workflow will be more efficient.
Encourages Positive Word-of-Mouth
When people have fun, more often than not they feel like sharing this emotion with others. This makes them more inclined to recommend your brand to their friends, share your content on social media, leave positive reviews, and create user-generated content. All this word-of-mouth works wonders for brand awareness and boosts your reputation.
Creates a Feeling of Joy
As the Schiller quote reminds us, people love to play. This gives them meaning, and influences their attitude towards the world and others. By giving them what they need, you help them feel better about you and about themselves.
How to Implement Gamification in Your Business
In a game, in order to reach the final goal and win the prize, the player follows a set of rules to reach certain objectives, overcome difficulties, and solve problems in the form of quizzes, puzzles, and tests. However, most games also imply the possibility of losing.
To gamify the business experience, you need to provide the thrill of the game without the element of risk. This way the player, i.e. the employee or the customer, will reach the milestones, and complete objectives successfully, but will not suffer the disappointment of losing.
The best way to achieve this is by providing a walkthrough with clear instructions. When you outline the path to success, and introduce the benefits and rewards, people will know what is expected of them and can proceed confidently.
Furthermore, make sure that the gamified experience enhances processes and delivers value without compromising productivity. The goal is not to give people a reason to waste time, but to motivate them to achieve an objective instead of losing time.
Without further ado, let’s have a look at some the best uses of gamification in business:
Client Experience Gamification Examples
Here are some examples of how to implement business gamification in the B2B client experience:
- B2B Loyalty Programs. Loyalty programs are a great way to engage customers and retain them. You can use tools to incentivise certain behaviors, educate clients about using your brand, and encourage product adoption.
- Entertainment Chatbots. Talking to an intelligent AI chatbot can be a fun way for customers to interact with your company. The bot can have informational functions, aid with customer support, or be of purely entertainment purposes. It can even be programmed to have a quirky personality, and serve its role with a twist.
- Brand Quizzes. You can use this approach to help customers learn interesting and relevant facts about your company, products, and services. This creates the feeling they know you and improves their emotional connection to the brand. As an incentive, they can win brand swag, delivered through, for example, a random item generator such as rolling a dice, a wheel of fortune, scratching a card, etc.
- Product Quizzes. In product quizzes, customers answer questions to find out which of your products and services best suit their needs. Depending on the type of the product, at the end of the quiz, you can provide the customer with a CTA button that allows them to buy the product, to book a service, or make an appointment with a rep for further assistance.
- User Experience Surveys. Surveys are of great value to businesses, but, unfortunately, they are not something most people enjoy doing. However, incentivizing them with rewards such as discounts, points that can be exchanged for prizes, and so on can encourage engagement.
- Social Media Games. Social networks provide an easy way to entertain and engage your audience. This can be done via industry polls, hashtags, games, picture puzzles, and so on. These can be used to boost brand awareness, and create positive word-of-mouth.
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Employee Experience Gamification Examples
Now let’s take a look at a few examples of how to implement business gamification in the workplace:
- Performance Bonuses. Performance bonuses are a proven method to motivate employees. When combined with a gamified element, they can produce even better results. For example, employees can have a dashboard where they follow their progress, and unlock achievements. This can boost performance while adding an element of competitiveness. As a result, productivity and performance may improve.
- Gamified Workflow. Work projects and day-to-day activities can be made more engaging and interesting by introducing levels, accomplishment badges, and incentives. Even the most boring and repetitive processes can be made more engaging if an element of play is added. Furthermore, this type of approach can make it easier and more enjoyable for employees to follow their work processes without missing important steps. For example, if you scroll through the Asana Community Forum you’ll see that people can’t get enough of their task completion celebration creatures. A simple unicorn (or a yeti, narwhal, or phoenix) shooting through your screen can really make your day!
- Incentivised Training. Training is an important and inseparable part of growing professionally. However, the avalanche of information can be overwhelming and even demotivational. Introducing gamification into learning makes it easier for people to process and learn new information and for companies to onboard new employees.
- Team Competitive Activities. Gamification doesn’t necessarily have to be strictly business orientated. You can also organize trivia nights, quizzes, and other team activities. This will allow people to bond and will improve their collaborative skills. Furthermore, you can encourage people from different departments to team up instead of playing department against department. This way, you will improve the relationships between teams and this will benefit your work process.
- Skill-Testing. Games that test people’s skills against peers’ are a great way to motivate employees to improve their abilities. For example, our team of devs and designers here at DevriX partake in a CSS Battle challenge each Friday evening. This is a great way to bond, lift the team’s spirits, and to, well, show off.
Business gamification is not something new, but if you haven’t started implementing it in your organization, it’s about time you did!
Adding elements of play into the way you engage with your customers and employees, can change how they see your brand for the better. Games enable you to level up your business-human connections, boost your company’s performance, and make joy the winning factor in your strategy.