Gamification, which is defined as the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users, has been a hot topic since around 2010. Projects employing gamification have flourished ever since. From the start, the use of knowledge from social psychology and other social sciences has made many of the projects successful. In short, gamification is based on the 3 F’s Rule: Friends, Fun and Feedback.

However, not all companies understand how to apply engagement components to their loyalty programs. The use of nice-looking badges, progress levels, and scoreboards does not mean your program is gamified. It the combination of a number of elements and social mechanisms along with a clear business strategy that creates new possibilities for increasing customer satisfaction.

Gamification can be an easy way of improving an already existing loyalty program. There is a whole host of gamification elements in use today. Most are so common that we do not see them for what they are.

Reminders of Uncompleted or Long-Term Tasks

Here you can use progress bars. This is a good tactic if you are interested in increasing your brand awareness!

Accomplishments Should be Rewarded

Customer motivation increases when they know they will get something in return for their time and effort.

No Fun Without a Challenge

Easy is boring and a challenge makes things exciting. Making the tasks repetitive and boring will decrease user engagement.

Make Users Feel Like They Are in Control

Give them freedom of choice and never force anything on them. You can use notifications to remind them of expiring tasks or offer one-time only achievements and challenges.

Make Your Users Feel Optimistic

Your users must feel optimistic about being able to reach their goal. Make them challenging, yet achievable.

Choose Collaboration Instead of Competition

Sometimes using competitiveness is not the way to go. In such cases, a much better strategy is to use collaboration mechanisms.

Games have only one purpose - they entertain players. Games use elaborate storylines and graphics to create realistic experiences. The goal is to get players so immersed in the game and the role that they feel like a part of the game. Gamification is more than that: it is business-oriented and should be life-relevant. Even a simple form of well-developed gamification will bring positive results for the program. After all, everybody likes to play a game once in a while.

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Do loyalty programs truly reflect what matters most to customers?

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