The concepts of autonomy, mastery, and purpose can work for customer loyalty gamification tools, but customer loyalty and engagement platforms often take advantage of a reward-based endorphin hit instead. Customers receive a little feel-good bump when they feel they’ve won a special prize, mastered a tricky game, or been included in an exclusive group, which can result in a positive experience associated with your brand. Companies can use gamification to capitalize on these endorphin hits to improve their customer loyalty programs and augment their existing marketing campaigns or user experience designs.
Holding consumers’ attention through the continuous noise of competing marketing messages represents another avenue where engagement is critical to success. Salesforce found that 80% of customers felt that the experience they have with a company is as important as the products the company offers. Modern consumers are fickle and spoiled for choice. Companies that invest in engaging their customers will keep those customers.
Gamification in customer loyalty programs
Keeping your customers loyal is marketing 101, and yet companies often spend much less on customer retention than customer acquisition. Forbes reports that it can cost up to five times more to attract a new customer than retain an existing account, and other research shows that customer retention can pay off between 25 and 125 percent annually, while existing customers are 60-70 percent more likely to convert than new customers. Although that research shows it’s easier to retain than to find new, companies often focus on getting that next big customer rather than growing their existing relationships.
Loyalty programs can be found everywhere from your grocery store and coffee shop to enterprise mobile apps. These tools usually rely on a point or badge system to reward customers for purchasing and sharing their experience with others. Common rewards include discounts, free gifts, free shipping, or other valuable prizes for engagement.
By targeting loyalty behaviors and offering relevant rewards, customer loyalty gamification provides an excellent method for rewarding your most engaged customers. Those rewards make the customer feel that you value them, which increases customer loyalty to the brand. As an intrinsic motivator, brand loyalty decreases the need to provide discounts and coupons and increases overall customer engagement.
It’s this cycle of give and take that makes customer engagement and loyalty programs so important. A company that values its customers — and shows it through tangible rewards — often has the most vocal supporters, which boosts brand awareness and revenue growth.
Gamification for marketing and user experience
For marketers, grabbing the attention of consumers is more difficult now than ever before. Though increased engagement can be achieved through savvy social media usage, creating engaging user experiences is often a more reliable strategy to ensure long-term engagement.
These strategies can range from engaging push ads that encourage consumers to interact with personalized content to useful functions embedded within an online application. Consumer loyalty mobile apps are increasingly engaging customers by enabling them to complete common time-consuming transactions on their phones in a frictionless experience that builds trust and loyalty.
- The Starbucks mobile app sends your order to a nearby store for pickup
- The Walgreens app lets you renew prescriptions, provides you with updates on prescription status, and lets you quickly order prints of digital photos.
- The Hilton app can work as your hotel room key
All of these features make customers more likely to stay loyal to brands because the apps make their lives easier, and they often earn rewards and discounts while doing their everyday activities.
A customer who can quickly order their favorite coffee from an app is more likely to return because of the added convenience. This positive customer experience is then further bolstered by decreased wait times at the counter, the barista who recognizes the order, and the eventual discount for accumulating repeat orders.
Companies that understand what customers want and reward them for their engagement with the brand at key purchase and conversion moments are putting gamification principles to good use in ways that bolster their brand.
Gamification software for improved customer experience
Today’s gamification principles are often built into marketing, user experience, and customer loyalty campaigns, but you need to make sure that the software and gamification technology you choose to run your campaigns provides the right type of feedback. TechnologyAdvice can help you find the right gamification vendor for stand alone apps or integrated loyalty strategies. Answer a few questions on our gamification software Product Selection Tool page, and one of our unbiased TechnologyAdvisors will reward you with a short list of 5 vendors who meet your needs. It’s fast and free.