The ever-evolving state of digital technology always has something fresh to offer to businesses that want to market their products and boost customer engagement. Most types of online businesses have their doors opened wide for Gamification and its uses, and many of them are seeing incredible results in user engagement and retention.
Gamification means applying game elements to non-gaming environments and situations to turn what might otherwise be seen as mundane tasks into fun experiences.
Thanks to Gamification, businesses can drive customer engagement while also collecting priceless customer and behavioral data in the process. This data can then be used by companies to make important business decisions.
In addition, Gamification plays a major factor in boosting customer retention, which leads to a massive increase in profits.
However, many companies still steer away from Gamification as they don’t have the budget for it. But what if there was a way to take advantage of Gamification and prevent lagging behind the competition without having to deplete the company budget? What if there was a way to do so and also foster a culture of gaming and team effort within the company?
There is a way, and it’s called Offline Gamification.
Offline Gamification is almost identical to online Gamification; the difference being that the offline variant does not require the creation of a digital app.
Sure, with offline Gamification you likely won’t be able to capture the backend data of the user’s thought patterns or decision-making. However, it can be used in several ways including business training, driving productivity in the workplace, encouraging collaboration and healthy competition, and much more.
There are a few rules and elements that need to be present in a well-functioning game environment and they need to be studied and implemented to create a product people would want to engage with.
Below, we have also listed a few key elements that should ideally be present to invite and stimulate players.
Choosing the right type of currency your users will interact with is crucial. It can be anything you come up with including points, special coins, and so on. However, it must be something that suits the game you’ve created.
Also, the currency needs to function as a prize or penalty mechanism, and it needs to be designed in a way that invites people to do good deeds through an alluring point system and discourages unethical behavior by taking points away.
If, for example, money or a product plays a major role in creating the best possible outcome for your business, then penalties and prizes need to be designed around them so the game encourages positive change in players, employees, or learners.
Loyalty programs play an extremely important role in customer retention. Businesses can put scannable codes on their products so that by scanning the code, the customer can collect loyalty points based on their achievements/the money they’ve spent.
After each purchase they make, customers collect a certain amount of loyalty points, and when the user reaches a certain level, they earn a special prize. The item or experience they win should be chosen carefully and should be exciting enough to make the customer feel truly appreciated so they will keep coming back.
Time plays an essential role in business processes, and can also be used to create a competitive environment among users.
Needless to say, timelines need to be achievable and relevant to the content. There are two factors that the game creator should always keep in mind when establishing a timeline:
Hope and Fear
The timelines need to be set up in a way so that the player fears being left behind and missing out on the reward, and they need to feel hopeful that they can win the game in the end. Also, the time given to the users to complete the task/s need to be enough for the necessary actions to create the strongest possible outcome.
As a business owner, before creating a reward & penalty system, you must first think about what you appreciate most. Many times, CEOs and managers appreciate the wrong things and then ask themselves why the results don’t match their expectations. Also, some leaders show appreciation only for positive results and rush to penalize actions and behaviors that don’t deserve to be penalized.
Those types of leaders need to understand that not everyone in their user base will feel determined enough to complete the entire mission just to get a reward.
Hence, those in charge need to understand behaviors connected with end goals because most people can be pretty careless when it comes to getting to the end of something.
Here are three key things that need to be considered when designing a working reward & penalty system:
As a leader, once you start rewarding behaviors that lead towards the end goal, you’ll start seeing those behaviors manifest more often as people begin to realize that what they’re doing is beneficial to them.
And then there’s the ‘bounceback’ feature, which is a bonus round that gives those who are on the losing side a chance to make a comeback (e.g. in a work environment competition). This keeps the game hot and the winning team on their toes.
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When it comes to employee training, friendly competition awakens positive recognition, reinforcement, and a feeling of achievement, which keeps employees motivated. Winnings can vary and should ideally be a surprise… something that can keep people’s spirits up.
Also, another method to keep employees engaged can be setting up a leaderboard system, to which all workers can have access. Apart from giving them the transparency they need, it will also encourage them to improve and do their best to be recognized as top performers, which in turn, can lead to promotions and better job opportunities for them.
Playing games during work hours can bring fresh energy to your work department, and lead to unexpected positive transformations among your employees. This is also a great way for people to bond and form friendships while having a great time together. The benefits that can come from experiencing high-energy emotions and joy are many and they can help people go through much-needed transformation on a personal level. It all lies in the power of games in and out of the workplace.
All of the ideas above on how to implement Gamification in an offline business tap into the human desire to be part of an exciting journey, get rewarded for achievements, and stimulate the competitive spirit.
To apply Gamification successfully, you don’t necessarily need to have to use expensive software and technology. All you need is a little bit of research and creativity, and you’ll start seeing positive results.
Gamification will always be your loyal companion to success. And the great thing about it is that you can always find something that works for your specific business needs and apply it.
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