Choose your own gamification: Congratulations! You won

By Peter Gothard
23 Aug 2012 View Comments

From reading the feature in our 23 August 2012 issue, you'll have a pretty good idea of what gamification is, how it can be achieved, and some of what you can expect it to do for your business.

And now you've played Computing's gamification "choose your own adventure" game, and won (or cheated). But what has the game taught you?

Further reading

Presuming you didn't choose to go to the pub, and aren't now wallowing in debt, your first correct choice (page 4) would have seen you approach a specialist gamification company to assist you with CRM.

Several companies of this type, specialising in CRM, have sprung up in recent years. Lithium, whose chief scientist Michael Wu was interviewed for the feature, has worked on solutions for Sky, Lenovo, Verizon and TomTom, among others. It has also worked with UK telecoms provider GiffGaff, but more on this later.

Badgeville has seen similar CRM success with the likes of Samsung, eBay, Oracle and Microsoft.

As Wu explained, the general practice when working with a company is to explore their needs and modify a range of established gamification techniques to suit their specific requirements. Typically, this will involve ways to strengthen the conversation between customer and business by incentivising the feedback process.

On page 8, you had two options; once the feedback system involving badges, awards and league tables for the customers had been installed, you were asked whether to keep in touch with the gamification firm you hired (page 7), or leave the system as you built it (page 14).

The reason you'd reach an early "Game Over" on page 14 is because, as mentioned in the feature, gamification cannot exist into perpetuity.

According to Wu, gamification is only the beginning of training customers to take an active part in the CRM process. Once they've realised the inherent value of the community they've become involved in, they will derive their own value, says Wu. Changing the rules every so often, as was the result of page 7, is a great way to keep customers "hooked" on feedback.

Your next choice was to gamify your customer support services (page 18), or to hold back from this risky-looking venture (page 14).

You've not "lost" the game if you decided against this, but as proven in the case of GiffGaff, a profitable and stable business can indeed be achieved by allowing your more technically able customers to take the reins in customer support, and even tech support. If you plumped for this from the off, consider yourself a shrewd thinker in the application of gamification to your business.

So whilst there are several ways to complete this "adventure", the real winners are those who finished at page 18. So well done to all of you, and to everyone else, we hope you found the game informative.

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