Inc. magazine recently published an article in which it predicts the top 10 hottest industries in 2015 and one among them has caught my attention: Gamification software. You probably have the same first reaction as me: What the heck is it?! What is gamification? The following is the definition that I found from Wikipedia: Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems and increase users' self contributions.
Gamification has been studied and applied in several domains, with some of the main purposes being to engage (improve user engagement, return on investment, flow, data quality, timeliness), teach (in classrooms, the public or at work), entertain (enjoyment, fan loyalty), measure (for recruiting and employee evaluation), and to improve the perceived ease of use of information systems. Sounds awesome, right? The definition includes some of the goals and objectives that we want CRM tools to achieve. Therefore I am not very surprised to find that CRM gamification application has become so popular.
The Gist of the Game
First of all, let’s figure out what the mechanics of CRM gamification are. Basically it helps a company imagine the whole working day as a game. The goals set by the organization, such as: generate more revenue, increase profits, raise more funds are the ultimate goals that participants need to achieve in the game. Each unit, could be an individual employee or a team, is treated as a game player. Each unit is scored on all of the metrics that contribute to the ultimate goal.
Let’s use the marketing department as an example. The goal set for the marketing team in January is to generate more leads. In order to reach the goal, some metrics can be adopted for measurement such as number of phone calls made, number of first conversations made, etc. Each of the metrics has been assigned a point therefore whenever a phone call to a target client is made, the unit earns a point. The results of points can be easily tracked via a dashboard where all players’ points are listed. Managers can easily rank their subordinates by earned points. In order to motivate and increase morale, rewards are given when players reach their goals, it can be either virtual such as a badge or real rewards such as cash bonus. It can even relate to promotions and raises.
The benefits of gamification application are significant.
CRM gamification is a very new concept but has been quickly adopted by many companies, even Fortune 2000 companies. There are studies where research showed that a gamification technique has improved sales and marketing. Research firm Gartner predicts that 50% of companies that manage innovative processes will have gamified at least one application by the end of this year, and some 70% of Global 2000 companies will adopt gamification by the end of 2015. Although there are obstacles and doubt surrounding gamification, don’t let this early positioning cloud your vision or slow this opportunity. CRM gamification will mature gradually and become a revolutionary change in the business software industry. Those firms who choose to become pioneering business leaders will clearly gain the biggest benefits, and begin a journey of improved employee engagement and business performance.
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